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Italy's New Ferrari Museum
Gallery: Modena's New Ferrari Museum
The museum tells the story of Ferrari's life and how it fits into the greater context of the automotive history of the Modena region, known as The Motor Valley, home to Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati and other luxury car manufacturers. Ferrari was a racecar driver before he founded the company that would become Ferrari and the museum shows some of the 1930's era Alfa Romeo's he raced in as a young man.
The exhibits on Ferrari's life are interesting but the museum's real attraction is the collection of more than two dozen classic cars, which come from private collections and will be rotated every six months or so. One of my favorites was the aforementioned 1935 Alfa Romeo Bimotore, a racecar that was designed with two engines. The drivers realized that the car's two-engine design made it impossible to handle on a racetrack, so they took it out on a public highway near Florence and it set a record by topping 208 mph. Apparently there were no police wielding radar guns in those days.
These days, owners of Ferraris and other luxury vehicles are being targeted by the Italian tax authorities for audits, so for those who love these cars but don't want the scrutiny, this museum is a great place to dream.
If you go: The museum is a five-ten minute walk from Modena's train station. Modena itself is a beautiful small city but you can also stay in Parma and visit Modena as a very easy day trip. The train ride is only 30 minutes and tickets can be had for about 5 euros each way. If you want to see some modern Ferraris, go to the older Ferrari museum in nearby Maranello. You can buy a joint ticket for both museums at either location.