There are many reasons to visit Italy – the scenery, the culture, the food – but to go and see a car factory may not be the obvious first choice, unless, as Channel 7’s ‘The Great Outdoors’ discovers on Saturday 19 April, that company is Ferrari.
Maranello is small town in the shadow of the Apennines, the mountain range that runs down the spine of Italy, and at its heart, as presenter Tom Williams discovers, is the most successful racing car company of all time and the company that has produced a host of legendary road cars.
At the wheel of a Ferrari 430 Spider, Tom Williams discovers first what its like to as an owner to make a pilgrimage to Maranello, with a factory tour, normally the private preserve owners and VIPs. But he also explores the many places that are open to the public, such as the unique Galleria Ferrari, the official museum for Ferrari, the restaurants where its often possible to rub shoulders with members of the Ferrari Formula One Team and eat Michael Schumacher’s favourite pasta as well as the many Ferrari shops selling everything imaginable branded with the famous prancing horse and even parts of Ferrari racing cars as a souvenir.
With Ferrari using the streets in and around Maranello to road test every new road car, the streets of this little Italian town are always ringing to sound of high performance V8 and V12 engines, even when Ferrari’s private test track – which is slap bang in the middle of town and clearly visible from the main street – isn’t being used!
Tom Williams’ report from Ferrari and Maranello will be broadcast in ‘The Great Outdoors’ on Saturday 19 April 2008 on Channel 7 at 18.30.
Further information on the Galleria Ferrari is available at www.galleria.ferrari.com, while www.maranello.it is good starting point for the places to see in and around Maranello. The most famous Maranello restaurant, the Ristorante Cavallino, situated opposite the main factory gates and where many a famous Ferrari face may be seen, has its own web site, www.ristorante-cavallino.it, and this is also where it is possible to buy the wine produced in Ferrari’s own vineyard. Just down the road, and right alongside the Ferrari Test track, is Michael Schumacher’s favourite restaurant when he is in town, Ristorante Montana (http://www.ristorantemontana.it/ing/locale.htm) where you can sample his favourite pasta made by ‘mamma’ Rossella Paolucci, while looking at all the Ferrari Formula One memorabilia lining the walls. Even the hedge, outside the restaurant, is in the shape of a Formula One car!
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