On my first day here in San Marino, the kind folks of Visit San Marino have taken me to a very special museum. Although the museum has nothing to do with motorcycles, even the hardest core biker will melt when he/she hears the word 'Ferrari '. The museum is dedicated not just to the Ferrari car, but to the life of its creator, Enzo Ferrari. The Ferraris on display have all been developed by Enzo, right up to the F40. Enzo even talked about the museum.
No matter how hard core you are as a motorcycle rider, and most of us don't really like cages, the words Ferrari mean something else than 'car'. It's a bit like the name Ducati in the motorcycle world; it has dream built around it. That was Enzo Ferrari's legacy, who until the age of 90 was still designing world's most impressive and mythical cars.
Enzo had a special relationship with San Marino. His mother came from this area of Italy, and he spent much time here. So it is appropriate to have a museum here dedicated to the man and his cars.
The museum is called Maranello Rosso Musei and it is located in San Marino. In a rather big building you will find world's biggest private Ferrari collection, and what's even better, for a modest sum you can visit and be really close to these incredibly sculptured cars. But apart from Ferrari, the building also houses the Abarth collection.
The whole museum is nicely done, tasteful and well designed. But the collection took over 20 years to assemble and over those years it grew into 25-or-so Ferraris and 60 odd Abarth cars, so space is at a premium. Cars are often parked so close to each other, it looks like a high-class parking space. Truthfully, it is what gives the museum a nice 'taste', more realistic than having cars on pedestals with lots of space in between.
Ferrari V12 engine
You start off the museum tour by admiring what made Ferrari into an elite name: the V12 engine. Anyone who will have heard the roar of the V12 engine will instantly recognize it from a distance.
The Ferrari museum is separated into different sections, from the early years, to special years (like with the Daytona Ferrari) and the race cars (and yes, there is even a Formula 1 car present).
The Ferrari race section, 1st car in photo is the F40.
One floor below is the Carlo Abarth collection. Although Abarth is less known for the non-racing public, it was a household name for design and mechanical engineering. Abarth started for Porsche but also worked on Ferrari, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Simca. He transformed many 'normal' cars into full-blooded race cars.
The contrast with elite cars like Ferrari and on the other side a Fiat 500 Abarth is enormous. But both cars have speed in their blood.
The museum library.
A special race Vespa scooter from the creator of the museum.
If you are in the area, this is one museum you should visit. They will even organize guide tours of 2 or more people, and if you want to have an event there, they are all game for it. The visit will not take more than an hour or two, so plenty of time before or after the MotoGP race.
I highly recommend a visit, it's entertaining, and if you get Alessio as guide, you can not have anymore more passionate about Ferrari than him.
Click here to access the Maranello Rosso Musei web site .