There is an area in northern Italy, roughly between Milan and Bologna, that has achieved almost mythical status among car and racing enthusiasts. Within the confines of the ‘Motor Valley’, legendary manufacturers Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Pagani – as well as coachbuilders Zagato – have been creating motorized works of art for over a century. Earlier this month, guests on the Road & Tracks Maranello a Monza trip experienced all that the region has to offer. And then some.
Twenty-one fans from across the country gathered in Maranello with Road & Track Editor-in-Chief Mike Guy to begin the eight-day adventure. As was the case throughout the trip, guests sampled the best of local food and wine while getting to know each other and anticipating a preview of what was to come.
On the first full day we set off and stopped at the Galleria Ferrari to relive the history and achievements of the Cavallino Rampante’s Formula 1 exploits. Afterwards, we drove to the Enzo Ferrari Museum to chronicle the life of the brand’s fiery founder (and peruse an exquisitely curated collection of cars). Several guests took the opportunity to get behind the wheel of waiting open-top Ferraris for an exhilarating drive through the city.
Broken by a lunch of local dishes and a tour of Pedroni, the world’s top producer of balsamic vinegar, the following day included visits to the Pagani factory, the Lamborghini family museum and an intimate tour of the Lambo factory, where we Witnessing an Urus “Chassis and powertrain come together right before our eyes.
We boarded the luxury coach that had quickly become our second home and set out to tour the Panini Collection, considered the ‘official unofficial’ Maserati museum. Fittingly, the next stop was the fully refurbished Maserati factory, where expert guides took the group through the production of the all-new MC20 supercar. At the end of the day we drove to the Stanguellini Collection. Here, guests were treated to a private tour of an incredible collection of vintage racing and street vehicles.
Gear change: Although there was much chatter about the awesomeness of the cars we had already seen – and the anticipation of the Italian Grand Prix which we would be witnessing live in two short days – the next day’s events revolved around food . En route to Milan, which should be our starting point for the rest of the trip, guests toured the beautifully restored Antica Corte Pallavicina Castle and its cellars, where artisanal meats and local cheeses are aged and matured. We treated ourselves to a truly magnificent meal at their Michelin starred restaurant, personally prepared by chef Massimo Spigaroli. Mangia!
The Milan-based Alfa Romeo was on deck. The next morning we visited the Museo Fratelli Cozzi where the founder’s granddaughter gave guests a personal tour of one of the finest private collections of Alfas on the planet. Next, at the Official Alfa Romeo Museum, the story of the quintessentially Italian brand was told through the cars themselves. (There’s nothing like getting up close and personal with the vehicles that drove motorsport titans like Tazio Nuvolari and Juan Manuel Fangio to victory.) After another fantastic lunch of northern Italian specialties, we entered a facility that few have access to have: the Zagato Design Studio. Chief Designer Norihiko Harada personally guided the guests through the highlights of the collection, which, alongside Italian favourites, includes the most striking selection of Aston Martins this side of the English Channel.
Race day finally came. By now this group of driven people had gone from total strangers to dear friends. We marched together towards Monza – a truly historic track celebrating its 100th anniversary – and wondered if Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz would bring victory at their home circuit. As it turned out, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen’s historic run couldn’t be stopped and he clinched the win (with Leclerc and Mercedes’ George Russell rounding out the podium). Our spirits were high as the group gathered to celebrate with a final meal at one of Milan’s finest restaurants. We eagerly shared memories of the week’s adventures and promised future meetings – whether back in Italy next year or at one of the many upcoming Road & Track experiences.
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