It's no surprise that a country famous for well-made luxury items
also produces some of the most iconic specialty cars in the world. Italy is
known not just for its expensive designer clothing brands, but also for its
expensive designer auto brands like Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini. Most of
these companies are found in the Emilia-Romagna region, sometimes called Motor
Valley, where there are a significant amount of attractions for gear heads to
If your heart races with the same beat as a 400-horsepower
engine, here are a few activities to seek out on your next trip to Italy:
The International Motorshow Bologna represents the
convergence of the many different auto companies in Italy and beyond. The
historic main square of the city is flooded with classic cars including
Ferraris, Lamborghinis and more. This area is open to all and makes for
terrific photo opportunities. The convention center in Fiera houses the second
half of the exhibition that features presenters and exhibits from around the
world, as well as the premiere of new and unique cars.
Ferrari was founded in the town of Modena in 1929, and the
museum and factory remain there to this day. The Museo Ferrari curates over 80
years of Ferrari history including displays of the most iconic road and track
cars from the brand's history. Visitors who book ahead can take an additional
tour of the private Ferrari factory and test track. For an extra fee you can
also experience a state of the art Formula One driving simulator.
Just a short drive from the Ferrari Museum is the original
Lamborghini factory and attached museum. The corporate museum is an extensive
look at the history and style of the brand, featuring two floors of classic
cars. The first floor is dedicated to classic Lamborghini, including the
original prototype of the Countach, the first car to top 300/km an hour. The
second floor features newer models and concept cars. It is also possible to
tour the factory next door, where each car is assembled by hand.
Ducati is Italy's most famous motorcycle manufacturer, well
known for its sporty style. The carefully curated museum presents a collection
of the company's most iconic models. Enthusiasts can also follow the path of a
Ducati from production line to testing booth to the final product. Visitors are
encouraged to book their tour ahead of time on the Ducati website.
Italy's most famous race track, located north of Milan in
the town of Monza is famous for one thing: the Formula One Italian Grand Prix,
which has been held here since 1921 (for those keeping track, that is before
Ferrari even existed). Perched on the edge of a massive park, the racetrack is
open to all visitors. When races are not scheduled it's possible for tourists
to have a genuine Formula One experience by test-driving a car on the famous
This museum showcases another historic brand started in
Modena: Maserati. When the brands entire collection of historic cars was due to
be auctioned off in London, the city of Modena protested and a private buyer by
the name of Umberto Panini purchased the collection for public display. The
collection is only viewable by appointment, but features classic and rare
Maserati models in addition to other Italian classic cars and motorcycles.
Which car or motorcycle do you most want to drive?
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Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can't sit still! Since graduating college in 2007 she has either been traveling or planning to travel. She's lived on four continents and visited everywhere from the Great Wall of China to the Great Barrier Reef. She now writes and travels full time, blogging about her adventures on Why Wait To See The World? (formerly Twenty-Something Travel). Follow Stephanie on Twitter or visit her on Facebook.
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