How (And Where) To Drive An Exotic Car in Italy

Going to Italy is on the bucket list of almost every person alive. This is because Italy is said to be one of the most romantic places on earth. It’s also home to great fashion trends and has the most exquisite shopping places. On top of the retail therapy and exotic food, Italy offers its tourists the chance to drive super cars on the public roads and also on the racing tracks. Several companies offering this service are available to make your trip to Italy simply unforgettable.

How to Drive an Exotic Car in Italy

You can hire a super car in any agency for a few hours as a driving test or take it on a spin for two days. Every car comes with a driving instructor who is always with you for safety.

Where to Drive an Exotic Car in Italy

Ferrari F12Berlinetta 6.3 '12

1. Maranello and Modena

A test drive in Maranello starts with a private driver picking you up from your hotel and taking you to the heart of Italy of motor sport. This area is also known as the home of Ferrari or Italian Motor Valley. You board your super car of choice right after you pass the Ferrari factory. At this point you get to sit behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or a Ferrari and feel its roar and power. The instructor will sit right by you to give you instructions as you start slow in normal roads. You can increase the speed and use F1 super gear as you get used to the car until you reach the Modena racing track.

At this location you can combine road drive and tracking driving at the Modena autodromo. This is a complete racing track with amazing bends and gradients. The instructor will take the first lap as you watch closely so you can know how to do it. After that you are given back the pilot seat to take four exhilarating laps on the track. You then get to drive the car back to Maranello for thirty minutes before giving it back.

2. Imola Racing Track

The city of Imola is known as the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. It is famous for hosting formula One San Marino Grand Prix .The Imola racing track is one of the biggest tracks in Italy and is also a tourist attraction. Imola has the biggest Lamborghini academy where people are taught to drive this high-end car safely. The instructor stays with you but you stay in control. The instructors are patient, polite and let you make your own decisions. The benefit of the Imola race track over other tracks is that you get unlimited laps and different super cars.

3. Mugello Racing Track

At Autodromo Internazionale Del Mugello, one gets to learn all the tricks of race cars before test driving one. It is a big race circuit in Tuscany that enables one to take long laps and enjoy the super high speed. The facility is upgraded regularly to meet safety standards because it’s used by a lot of companies and individuals. You can test the power of an amazing GT car in this exhilarating descents and long straights with the guidance of an instructor.

At the Mugello’s circuit it also possible to drive a Formula one car.

4. Monza

Monza circuit is the most famous sports complex in the world because it hosts the prestigious grand prix events .It has long straights and fierce bends that will take your breath away. Monza circuit has 3 tracks; Gran Premio, junior tracks and the Speed track. Get a driving course in the junior track and then get behind the wheel on a fast race in the GT program. Monza circuit is also great for watching famous racers do their thing on track days. 

At the Monza’s circuit it also possible to drive a Formula one car.

How to Get An International Driving Permit

If you plan to drive a super car in the public road in Italy you should obtain an international driving permit.

Drivers from outside EU are required to get an international driving license if they are to be allowed to drive in Italy. This license must then be translated into Italian to avoid problems with the traffic police. Anyone who has a USA driving license is eligible for an international one from any AAA club in US or Canada. It does not require a driving test, only an online application with photos and a $15 fee. It must be renewed annually, just like every other driving permit. The process is real fast and comes with minimal hassle.

Supercars, Super Foods of Modena

Connoisseurs of wonderful cars and superb cuisine will find a holiday in the delightful medieval town of Modena in northern Italy most rewarding.  Modena and near-by Parma are the home of Italy’s greatest exports, Parma Ham, Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic vinegar and, of course, Ferrari and Maserati.  Plan your next holiday to include enough time in this region to get a true taste of some of the best that Italy has to offer.  Here are some of the attractions that you must include in your holiday plans.

Romanesque cathedral
Cathedral of Modena

Hombre Farm – Motorvalley Panini Collection Tour.

Matteo Panini is a young farmer in the region, one of many Parmesan cheese producers, who also happens to  have an amazing collection of motor vehicles which have been passed down to him from his illustrious family which included his father Umberto, who together with his brothers Benito, Franco and Guiseppe, invented the famous Panini stickers.

The motor collection started with tractors, which all farmers needed, and one of the exhibits is a 1934 Landini, still in perfect working order.  After tractors came motorcycles, the most common mode of transport after WWII, and after that came the wonderful cars, featuring examples from Maserati that are thought to be the most important collection of these super cars in the world.  In addition to Italian motor vehicles, there are also many examples from other countries such as British motorbikes from Norton, and even a Messerschmitt car and a Lotus!

A visit to the Hombre farm is an excellent family day trip.  First visit the dairy, where 12 wheels of Parmesan are produced daily, and then enjoy the motor museum.

The Maserati Eldorado at the Panini Museum

Osteria Francescana

No culinary visit to Modena would be complete without having a meal at this wonderful restaurant, the brain-child of world-renowned chef Massimo Bottura, who grew up in Modena and developed his love of cooking by watching his mother prepare food.  Massimo has come a long way since then!  His food is a modern interpretation of classic Italian cuisine, but this chef, who has worked with some of the big names of the culinary world, such as Alain Ducasse and Ferran Adrio (of El Bulli) is forever pushing the boundaries.  He won his first Michelin star in 2002, a second in 2006 and a third in 2011, as well as numerous other awards and distinctions.  This year, 2013, La Francescana came in 3rd of the 50 best restaurants in the world.  Of course you have to book well in advance, and of course it is expensive, but it is worth it!  His signature dish for 2013 is called Camouflage – a hare in the woods; it is made up of a thin layer of foie gras decorated with various powders composed of hare blood, chestnut and several herbs – perhaps this dish is not for everyone, but it is an example of the chefs’ innovation.  Of course, there are more conventional dishes to suit all palates.

osteria francescana met Bottura
Chef Massimo Bottura at his restaurant La Francescana in Modena – Source

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Genuine Balsamic Vinegar has been produced in Modena for centuries, and is a unique artisanal product, completely unlike regular vinegar.  The basic ingredient is grape Must (juice) from predominantly Trebbiano grapes (sometimes with the addition of Lambrusco grapes).  The must is simmered (never boiled!) for a lengthy period to reduce and concentrate the liquid.  This liquid is then allowed to ferment and mature for a minimum of 12 years in the case on a “true” Balsamic.  This wonderful product, known as Black Gold, can sometimes be matured as long as 25 years and a new batch is traditionally started to mark the birth of a baby girl, and treasured to become a part of her dowry!  Balsamic vinegar should be used sparingly – just a drop or two to enhance a sliver of Parmesan or a slice of Parma Ham.  Make sure to visit one of the Balsamic producers of Modena during your visit to learn the process of the production, learn how to use it, taste the wonderful nectar and, of course, buy some to take home with you to remind you of Modena.


The 2 Ferrari museums – Casa natale Enzo Ferrari Vs Maranello Ferrari Museum

This article wants to tackle the dilemma of the 2 Ferrari Museums that are now available now in Modena and Maranello, and visitors seems to be confused about which is the best.

Maranello Ferrari Museum.

This is located about 30 minutes from Modena and it easily reached by car and attempting to go by public transport is going to be stressful if you do not know what you are doing. However you can purchase a shuttle bus ticket from the other Ferrari Museum in central Modena that will allow you to go to Maranello for a a reasonable fee. You should check for details on their website. The Maranello structure is the one that everyone knows about, it has been built in the 1970s and it is next to the factory and the Fiorano track, so it has all the historical value that you will ever find. Inside you will find some collections of vintage Ferrari plus a collection of Formula one cars. The Maranello museum offers the possibility to tour the factory ground by shuttle bus. However you will not enter the production facility. Tickets are  priced at 14 euros for the museum, and 14 euros for the shuttle tour. The museum also has  a cafe’ and a souvenir store. To visit the museum you will need about 45 minutes.

Ferrari F1/89
The Maranello museum – a collection of F1 cars – source

Casa natale Enzo Ferrari museum in Modena.

This is the newly opened Ferrari museum in Modena, and it is located about 5 minutes from the station. This museum is housed in a fancy structure designed by  Jan Kaplicky and  it resemble to a Ferrari car bonnet. Inside you have a collection of vintage Ferraris, and sometimes other cars designed by Enzo in collaboration with other car manufacturers such as Stanguellini or Maserati. In fact the museum hosts regular themed exhibitions. The yellow structure is also attached to Enzo Ferrari house where you can learn about the designer life from this interactive part of the museum. There is also a restaurant that offers fancy dishes from the traditional Modenese cuisine. If you want to learn more about Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari please continue reading here

Canza Enzo Ferrari
Ferrari museum in central Modena

Which is the best Ferrari museum? Both have pros and cons, it depends what are your priorities, if you have time you should stay in Modena and visit them both. You can take the shuttle bus from Casa Enzo Ferrari and then go to Maranello without struggling with public transport or renting a car. What is good at the Maranello Ferrari museum? It is at the historical site of the Ferrari factory, with possibilities to drive the car from 3rd parties companies around the museum  the crowds are here at the moment as it is the most famous site for Ferrari cars. The museum is definitely good for die hard Ferrari F1 fans. What is not so good at the Maranello museum? The museum is not easily accessible by public transport, but now you can use the shuttle bus from Modena Casa Enzo Ferrari.The museum is also dated and the exhibitions quite static, so there are no many fancy exhibitions going on. It is not  so interesting for those wanting to know more about the history behind Ferrari What is good at the Modena Casa Enzo Ferrari museum? It is a stone throw from Modena central Station, ideal if you do not have much time. It is a flamboyant modern structure, with themed exhibitions that are changed time to time. A real chance to learn about the cars and the people behind the marque. What the cons at the Modena Casa Enzo Ferrari museum? It is not at the historical site of the factory. However there are companies that allows you to drive Ferrari cars around. It is not so much about modern F1 cars.