On December the 26th I was awoken by my girlfriend who was very excited to give me my birthday present. She jumped out of bed and gave me a series of clues to my main present. I read the tags and opened the presents. They were little 1/43rd scale Ferrari models. We were off to Maranello, Italy to stay in a Ferrari themed hotel ‘Maranello Village’ where they also have apartments for the mechanics and racing drivers to stay in when they are visiting or working at the Ferrari Factory.
A Month later and we landed at the airport where I had organized a Fiat 500 to raz around in while we were there. We drove to the hotel after a stop off at the Lamborghini Factory to visit the museum and Katy had also organized a guided tour of the factory, but that will have to be a follow up blog as this is dedicated to Ferrari. We arrived to find a huge red building, we walked into the reception to find Michael Schumacher’s F1 car behind the counter with a dash from a Ferrari 575 and various engines with a gift shop in the corner selling Ferrari merchandise. This was already heaven, we were given the keycard to our Ferrari themed hotel room, which was also red with an old Ferrari engine part was a detail on the wall.
For dinner that night we had reservations at the Paddock Ristorante. Before we went for the meal we thought we would have a pre-dinner drink at the Pit Stop bar. I had the most fantastic Chianti, which led to 5 glasses due to meeting a Mechanic for a Ferrari dealership in Cyprus who originated from London. He was on a training course at the Ferrari factory to learn about some new equipment and was staying in the hotel. He had fantastic tales to tell us, and he got to drive every model of Ferrari as his job. We went merrily to the Paddock Restaurant and had some of the finest Italian food.
The next day with a slight fuzzy head we went down for Breakfast and then walked into Maranello to visit the Ferrari Museum. On the way there was Ferrari everywhere, even the local school looked like it had Ferrari sponsorship with Ferrari flags and font used in the Shell advertising. I popped into a few model shops and even took a Ferrari California out for a spin, another great present from Katy. We then had a Pizza for lunch and we were set to enter the museum. Due to it being out of season we pretty much had the museum to ourselves. They had a great range of Ferrari 250’s downstairs and a huge selection of Formula One cars. At the very top they had the latest Ferrari 458 Italia and the Ferrari FF as well as a one off Ferrari 360 Barchetta built for Pininfarina’s wedding present.
After a whole day of Ferrari excitement we walked back to the hotel, diverting past the Ferrari Factory and then completely going the wrong way through unlit country roads in between grape vines. Once we eventually got back we got changed and hired a taxi back into Maranello to have dinner at Ristorante Cavallino the restaurant opposite the entrance to the Ferrari Factory. This had to be the most amazing food I have ever eaten, it was cooked to perfection and there was Ferrari memorabilia everywhere. Signed photos of all the great Ferrari racing drivers, helmets, parts of cars, Ferrari models, even the plates had Ferrari on them. Our waiter Daniele was very helpful when choosing what to eat. Italians eat a lot, I do not understand how they stay so skinny but they have a starter, a first, a second, then a main and then a desert. We managed a second dish, a main and a desert. For my starter I had a Griming Salsiccia which was miced sausage meat in a pepper sauce with lovely pasta, Katy had Spinach and Ricotta Totelloni con spec. For mains I had a whole little chicken which was grilled with a squeeze of lemon it was full of flavor and Katy had Filleto di orata which was a fish dish. We just about had room for a light desert so Katy went for the chocolate Soufflé and I had Sacottino which was a crepe in confectioners custard.
This was a weekend to remember for the rest of my life, the world of Ferrari is a magical thing and to experience the birthplace of Ferrari really gets inside your blood. I suppose that is why Ferrari’s are Blood Red. A big thank you to Katy for the best and most thoughtful Birthday present.