Emmanuel Tresmontant - 2010-11-22
Every true luxury car enthusiast has, at least once in their life, made a pilgrimage to the town where the most famous car in the world is manufactured. But maybe it’s too soon to mention the cars themselves.
Maranello is situated 18km south-west of Modena and since 1943 has been home to the Ferrari factory with its emblem of a rearing horse standing 10 metres high at the frontage. Shrouded in great secrecy, the factory resembles a barracks where luxury and beauty are wedded to the very latest technology. Even NASA itself has a research unit working here in direct collaboration with the firm’s engineers.
In Italy they say a Ferrari is the only car in the world that will never get scratched or vandalised: “you can pass through the very worst areas but no one will dare ruin your Ferrari!” This modern icon does indeed inspire admiration and respect from the very moment it leaves its parking space.
There are, of course, other prestigious brands in Emilia-Romagna (such as Maserati, Ducati, Zonda) but Ferrari is, in every sense of the term, ‘a living legend.’ Fortunate enthusiasts come from all over the world to visit the Maranello factory and, for a hefty sum, they can rent a Ferrari to drive on the circuit at Fiorano.
You don’t have to be an Emir from Saudi Arabia to enjoy 30 or 60 minutes of fun, driving one of the latest models such as a California - a luxury two-seater convertible manufactured in 2009. Its 460 horse power V8 motor reaches 200mph quite happily and does 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds! Yet for those familiar with Ferraris, it’s simply “an everyday car, for driving to the supermarket!”
The other model we feature here is the 458 Italia with its almost mythical, Formula 1 level 600 horse power. Rumour has it that the local police are extremely tolerant towards the occasional Ferrari drivers who may overdo it with their foot on the accelerator...
Near to Maranello, I recommend you take lunch at da Pasticcino in Castelnuovo Rangone. Chef Luigi Montanini is a local hero who cooked for the Ferrari stable for over 20 years. Prost, Senna, Schumacher... Luigi’s restaurant has lovingly fed all of these drivers as the signed photos bear witness. Montanini’s cooking reflects his temperament and is simple and delicious. I would recommend his excellent chateaubriand, saffron risotto and caramel pannacotta.
To rent a Ferrari contact Ugo Biolchini:
Ristorante da Pasticcino
Via Paletti, 32,
41 051 Castelnuovo Rangone
Tel: + (0)039 59 53 54 04