The town where dreams are made

Trip Start Dec 19, 2007
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Trip End Apr 16, 2008


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Flag of Italy  ,
Thursday, January 31, 2008

Quite possibly the greatest day trip a person could make in Italy can be found in this tiny, sleepy town found 45min from Bologna. The original plan was to go visit the Ferrari factory and museum in Maranello, 25 km away. After a lot of searching I found out that it's quite the process to get a tour. You have to own a Ferrari, have your dealer phone them and send your registration details. They do have the Ferrari gallery (museum) but it seemed like too far. I figured the same problem would arise with Lamborghini but Wendy urged me to try anyway. For the factory you needed a special reservation and at least 4 days notice for the museum. I wrote them Saturday hoping to visit on the Tuesday. We must have incredible luck because they responded that there was a 230 english tour already arranged and they would be happy for us to join. WOW!! Since I can remember Lamborghini was always my favorite. I had posters and pages covering every inch of my bedroom walls growing up and still remember the big book my mum got for my birthday. Apart from owning one this truly is a dream come true.
Getting there was a bit of a problem. We missed the cheap train by 10 min (we were told the wrong time by someone at the train station) and forced to take the eurostar. It's a non stop faster option aimed at business and non backpacking travellers.
While waiting in the train station that morning we were joined by a group of 4 gypsies in the train station. It was quite the site. At first they were all walking around and joking. Then as mo people starting filling into the train station the began to get into character. All of them had crutches and we sat there and watched them practice their limp. They were very well trained. We even saw one of the guys begging later with a full body trembling action. Quite the show they put on.
Anyways, after the train ride we caught a bus to Sant'agata. A local on the bus gave us directions how to find the factory. We approached to find a car park full of Audi's. I imagine since the Audi group bought the Lamborghini company employees must get great deals. Arriving to the front doors was exactly how we expected it. Lamborghini's driving around everywhere and the constant roar of the engines coming to life.
Our tour consisted of the two of us and one other guy our age from Austria. We were lucky again as some tours can be up to 40 people. They other guy had been to Ferrari earlier that morning and said it was crap. The museum was half the size of Lamborghini's and that's all it was. Again, lucky us. The museum tour was great, started off with the first cars, a few ugly ones!, the original countach, the last ever production 25th anniversary countach, the diablo and finally the newer stars: gallardo and murcielago. The name of each car comes from either a bull, bull fighter or an event. The founder was a taurus and believed strongly in the bull. They were also a bunch of concept cars and racing editions. Just perfect. After this tour we headed into the factory. Of course photos are not allowed and we had to leave everything in lockers.
The first thing we saw were all of the cars that had passed the road tests and ready to be shipped out. Row upon row of these beauties (that's what it's all about!). We also noticed a brand new M3 sitting outside of their Research and Development building. Obviously spying on the competition! We headed into the production line and saw a series of Murcielago's in each stage. There are stations that the cars sit at for 3 hours where they are worked on by hand. No robots, just incredible. When we got to the end we saw a funny looking murcielago with sharp corners. Turned out to be the new Reventon. They said that we were witnessing history as it was the first ever production Reventon. 1 of 20 to be produced. Could it get any better? Yes. After spending some time in this area we went to the area where the interiors are assembled. When a person orders one, they are so customizable to the extent that you pick the color of thread in the seats. They said that because of this basically no two are identical. They allowed us to each pick our favorite color of Lamborghini leather and gave us a piece, pretty cool. Then a lady came over, put it under a press a put the bull logo into it just as it is on each seat. A major benefit of being in such a small group. The tour was over after this and we were free to take pictures in the museum. On our way out we even saw one of two concept Reventons outside that was being revealed. Very cool!
Overall an amazing experience. A long day trip from Venice but possibly once in a lifetime.
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