There’s an area in northern Italy, roughly between Milan and Bologna, that has achieved near-mythical status among car and racing lovers. Within the confines of “motor valley,” iconic builders Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and Pagani—as well as the coachbuilders at Zagato—have sculpted motorized pieces of art for over a century. Earlier this month, guests on Road & Track’s Maranello a Monza trip experienced everything the region has to offer. And then some.
Twenty-one aficionados from across the country gathered in Maranello with Road & Track editor-in-chief Mike Guy to kick off the eight-day adventure. As would be the case throughout the journey, guests sampled the best local food and wine as they got to know each other and previewed what awaited them.
We hit the ground running on the first full day, stopping at the Galleria Ferrari to relive the history and successes of the Prancing Horse’s Formula 1 exploits. After that we were off to the Enzo Ferrari Museum to trace the life of the marque’s fiery founder (and check out an exquisitely curated assemblage of cars). Several guests took the opportunity to hop behind the wheel of waiting open-top Ferraris for an exhilarating drive through town.
Punctuated by a lunch of regional fare and a tour of Pedroni, the world’s finest producers of balsamic vinegar, the following day featured visits to the Pagani factory, the Lamborghini family museum, and an intimate tour of the Lambo factory, where we witnessed a Urus’ chassis and drivetrain come together right before our eyes.
Boarding the luxury tour bus that had quickly become our second home, we were off to tour the Panini Collection, considered the “Official Unofficial” Maserati Museum. Appropriately, the next stop was the fully renovated Maserati factory, where expert guides took the group through the production of the all-new MC20 supercar. To round out the day, we journeyed to the Stanguellini Collection. Here, guests were treated to a private tour of an incredible collection of vintage racing and street vehicles.
Shifting gears: Although there was plenty of chatter about the vehicular awesomeness we had already witnessed—and anticipation around the Italian Grand Prix we’d be experiencing live in two short days—the next day’s events were all about the food. On the way to Milan, which would be our home base for the rest of the trip, guests toured the beautifully restored castle of Antica Corte Pallavicina and its cellars, where artisanal meat and local cheeses are cured and aged. We indulged in a truly sublime meal at their Michelin-starred restaurant, personally prepared by Chef Massimo Spigaroli. Mangia!
Milan-based Alfa Romeo was on deck. The following morning, we visited the Museo Fratelli Cozzi, where the founder’s granddaughter gave guests a personalized tour of one of the finest private collections of Alfas on the planet. Next up, at the official Alfa Romeo Museum, the history of the quintessentially Italian brand was told through the cars themselves. (There’s nothing quite like seeing, up close, the vehicles that motorsports titans like Tazio Nuvolari and Juan Manuel Fangio piloted to victory.) After another fantastic lunch of Northern Italian specialties, we entered a facility few have access to: the Zagato Design Studio. Chief designer Norihiko Harada himself walked guests through highlights of the collection, which, alongside Italian favorites, includes the most eye-popping variety of Aston Martins this side of the English Channel.
Finally, race day arrived. By now this group of gearheads had gone from total strangers to dear friends. We marched together toward Monza—a truly historic track celebrating its 100th anniversary—while wondering if Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz would bring victory to their home track. As it turned out, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen’s historic run could not be stopped, and he claimed victory (with Leclerc and Mercedes’ George Russell rounding out the podium). Our spirits were high as the group gathered to celebrate over a final meal at one of Milan’s top restaurants. We eagerly exchanged memories of the week’s adventures and promises of future meetings—whether back in Italy next year, or on one of Road & Track’s many upcoming experiences.
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