Magnificent Motors: The Enzo Ferrari Home Museum in Modena, Italy

Seen from above, Modena’s futuristic Enzo Ferrari Home Museum is said to bring to mind the hood of a sleek, buttercup-yellow roadster.

At ground level, the sparkling-glass gallery is a state-of-the-art showroom – one that contrasts with its Old World, red-brick neighbor, the building in which Ferrari was born in 1898.

Admittedly, despite having maneuvered a Bavarian driving machine on Germany’s famed Autobahn for a decade, I am not by nature, an automobile aficionado. When Shawn and I embarked on our Southeast Asian, North American and Southeastern European adventures in 2011, we sold our cars, and have embraced slower-paced bus and train travel ever since. Nevertheless, we appreciate good design – and since Modena is as well known for its automotive makers, as its mouth-watering cuisine, and classic architecture, we found that the Ferrari Home Museum foray gave us a more complete picture of life in the Northern Italian city.

The museum’s modern gallery showcases classic Ferrari racecars which highlight Ferrari’s penchant for masterful design and technology. The cars are rotated every six months. A multimedia presentation projected on the showroom’s walls tells the Ferrari story, while upholding Modena’s automotive legacy. Supercar manufacturers Maserati, Pagani and De Tomaso also have roots in Modena.

Adjacent to the gallery is Ferrari’s childhood home, which houses life artifacts ranging from photographs and trophies to film snippets, even Ferrari’s birth certificate and his trademark dark sunglasses. Another display explains the inspiration behind Ferrari’s prancing horse logo, as well as the symbol’s various incarnations.

Ferrari Museum Modena Italy
The city of Modena’s signature color is yellow. So it’s no surprise that the color graces the interior walls of the museum’s showroom, as well as the futuristic building’s exterior. The building features geothermal technology.
Ferrari Museum Modena Italy Presentation
A multimedia presentation tells the Ferrari story of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Ferrari Museum Modena Italy 4

Ferrari Museum Modena Italy
Shawn, appreciating this Ferrari’s sleek design – but not the idea of maintenance that comes with owning one! :)
Ferrari Museum Modena Italy

Ferrari Museum Modena Italy
Elena, Francesca and I admire a brilliant-red roadster. This Italian pair was well-versed on their Italian automotive knowledge!
Ferrari Museum Modena Italy

Ferrari Museum Modena Italy Alfredo Ferrari
Adjacent to the state-of-the-art showroom is Ferrari’s former home – where he was born in 1898. Inside, there is racing memorabilia, as well as some of Ferrari’s personal effects.
Enzo Ferrari sunglasses modena italy
Ferrari’s signature shades. The placard inside speaks to Ferrari’s penchant for privacy.
Enzo Ferrari trophies modena italy

Enzo Ferrari Museum Modena Italy
Ferrari’s notebooks. Ferrari placed the Italian flag in his diaries, and it’s said that Italy, “his native land” was also “his deepest motivation.”

Where in the World?

Planning Pointers:

  • The Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari is located at Via Paolo Ferrari 85, in Modena.
  • While in Modena, we spent 3 nights at the elegant, historic, and centrally-located Hotel Canalgrande. One of our favorite memories from Modena, in fact, was sitting out on our hotel room balcony just before sunset, looking out over Modena’s rooftops, while enjoying goodies that we’d procured at the Albinelli Market earlier in the day.
  • Peruse the Emilia-Romagna Tourist Board and Modena websites for more details about Modena’s and the region’s rich offerings. The tourist board just recently released a free e-book that chronicles Emilia-Romagna’s Art Cities. I wish it’d been published when we were in the region, yet it’s since presented even more excuses to return to this stunning part of Italy.
  • If you’d also like to “eat, feel and live local in Italy” as we did in Modena, check out the BlogVille project website.
  • Need more inspiration? This link contains an index of all my posts from Italy.

Thanks & Disclosure:

The Emilia-Romagna Tourist Board hosted us during our time in Modena.

We’d like to extend an extra special thank you – or grazie mille – to Nick and Francesca for coordinating all the details and making us feel so welcome in Emilia-Romagna. For this excursion, we also thank our guide, Elena, for giving us much insight into local culture.

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

15 thoughts on “Magnificent Motors: The Enzo Ferrari Home Museum in Modena, Italy

  1. Now I feel like getting in a racing car and opening it up on the highway. That’s how you and Shawn must have felt. Those cars look like fun to drive.

    1. Gerard, like you, Shawn and I both had visions of taking one of these classic roadsters out onto the winding, back roads of Northern Italy.

      I’ve heard car enthusiasts mention a few race tracks in Germany where you can test out a sports car; perhaps you’ll want to put that on your life list? :)

    1. Lynne, and I wonder how many beauties are in storage at any given time, since the exhibition is rotated every few months?

      Wish you and Ron a wonderful weekend, Easter, and return to spring!

    1. Randall, I’ll pass along your congrats. For the moment, I think Shawn will only be able to acquire a model-sized version though since that’s easier to squeeze into our backpacks. :)

    1. Mark, it sounds like Modena is a must for a car aficionado like yourself then. :) You might recall from one of my earlier posts that the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese producer that we visited in Modena even had a classic automobile collection on site. I found myself simply smitten by the architecture, history, food and wine of Modena alone, but was pleasantly surprised by this jaunt as well.

  2. My husband would enjoy this museum very much. We’ve been to a few automotive museums and I tend to go through rather quickly and wait in the coffee shop with a nice drink and my book while he reads every word on every exhibit!

    1. Carol, we just heard that Robert DeNiro will be starring in a movie about Ferrari – which will probably draw even more visitors to Modena’s museum. I recall, the Ferrari Museum has a bright and airy coffee shop, so if that movie development piques your husband’s interest in visiting, you’ll have a spot to enjoy a nice cup of java! :)

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