Thursday, 19 May 2011

Italy - Modena

My Experience of the Mille Miglia and MotorValley

It’s not everyday you get a chance to jump into a furious Ferrari. During my trip to Modena in Italy, a golden opportunity caught my eye. Whilst making my way along the pebbled streets of Modena, through Piazza Roma, I jumped into a feisty sportscar labelled with the prestige Prancing Horse – a yellow Ferrari 355.

My Experience in a Ferrari 355
The roar from the steel exhaust echoed through the concrete buildings of Modena. I was thrown back into my seat every time the driver squeezed the accelerator peddle and the excitement of the ride was expressed by the dominant smile on my face. We turned left onto the via Ganaceto, which followed through to a long open straight of tarmac, then heavy on the brakes for the long, sweeping round-about and we then hit 100mph within a matter of seconds. The attention grabbed by this classy character, and every other Ferrari labelled machine for that matter, was extraordinary.

Thousands of people gathered from all over Italy and internationally, to watch one of the most historical rallies of all time. The Mille Miglia. To sit in the VIP ringside seats and cheer as Rowan Atkinson entered the rally in a BMW 328 Roadster was a once in a life time experience.

However, beyond the dominant looks and powerful engines of an average Ferrari Supercar, lies much more. I travelled to ‘Modena Terra Di Motori’ the museum which celebrates the story of a great Modena character, Mauro Forghieri’s – a legend known all over the world for his role in motorsport and relation to the Ferrari company and many other prestigious brands. I learnt and admired the past of the man behind the technical background of the Ferrari brand from 1960 to 1984.

Galleria Ferrari
I realised at this point, there is much more to a Ferrari than just a car. This point was proved when I visited the official Ferrari Museum. A specific phrase caught my eye during a continuous presentation above a timeline of Ferrari Formula One champions – “We don’t sell cars, we sell a dream” Luca Montezemolo. It was a truly emotional and astounding experience to walk through the ongoing history, related to motoring and motorsport, of one outstanding brand.

Maserati 4200
 The experience of the motoring history also opened many doors to the next prestige brand, Maserati. I also took a trip to the Museo Dell’Auto Storica Stanguellini collection, home to 40 cars, 30 motorbikes and a selection of bicycles, in which each vehicle is of great value to Maserati such as, 6CM from 1936 and the 4200 raced in the 1958 Race of Two Worlds by Stirling Moss.

When watching the parade of the Mille Miglia as each driver roared up the ramp to sign the official book, I was sat just metres from the next greatest investment of Ferrari. A museum dedicated to Enzo Ferrari, an exhibition complex over 5000sq.m with an unusual yet brilliant design of the famous yellow aluminium bonnet. It will surround the birth house of the Drake, ‘Without covering it, like a sort of open hand.’

Italy MotorValley - A truly unforgettable and remarkable experience.

By Sophie Williamson-Stothert

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