Galleria Ferrari - the Ferrari museum

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July 8, 2005 Ferrari has opened what must the be the ultimate museum experience for any motoring or motorsport fan, the Galleria Ferrari in Ferrari's home town of Maranello in northern Italy. Expanding on the legendary company's original display, the new Galleria Ferrari has been expanded with three new display areas, a new surround sound equipped cinema and a restaurant, as well as a host of new cars and displays, many of which have never been seen before. It is also the best place to see the newest Ferrari models.

As would be expected of a company that is a byword for success in Formula One, the first display in the Galleria is given over to Grand Prix cars, with display cars from Ferrari's first Formula One car to the 2004 cars that gave Michael Schumacher his championship title last year. The cars are displayed as if in pit lane and workshop display to provide a behind the scenes experience of Formula One.

But Ferrari's motorsport success is not limited to Formula One, with its many successes in Sportscar racing represented by a host of display cars that lead up to the second floor and a whole section on Ferrari engineering.

These include displays on aerodynamic performance and windtunnels and there is an entire wall of Formula One engines, tracing their development from the 1950s to the present day. Product development is also represented by styling bucks, development models and the tools used by Ferrari designers to produce the most remarkable road and racing cars in the world.

It is also here that the newest Ferrari models are on display, including at the moment the Ferrari Superamerica and the Ferrari F430, alongside classic models such as the 365 GTB/4Daytona, the Ferrari 288 GTO and the Ferrari Enzo.

Alongside the Cinema, which shows films and videos across the whole history of Ferrari, is a display given over to the many famous people who have owned Ferraris and visited the factory. Here, too, is a display dedicated to the man behind myth, Enzo Ferrari, including his office as it was in Via Trento Trieste, Modena.

The next display area contains more classic Ferrari models, such as the original Ferrari 400 Superamerica and a collection of the many design exercise Ferraris that have dazzled motor show visitors over the past six decades.

The Galleria Ferrari is open seven days a week from 09.30 to 18.00 and is in Via Dino Ferrari, Maranello. Nearby, outside the main gates to Ferrari itself, is the Ferrari Store and close by are two restaurants that a must-visits for car fans, the Cavallino and the Montana. The Montana not only boasts its own display of Ferrari Formula One memorabilia - check out the hedge cut in the shape of a Formula One Ferrari! - it also is alongside the Ferrari Fiorano test track, so meals can be accompanied to the sound of a Ferrari Formula One car in full flight.

Maranello is 20 kms outside mid-northern Italian city of Modena. For the full Ferrari experience, the best hotel is the Planet Hotel which overlooks both the Ferrari factory and the test track. Where else can you be woken up in the morning by a Formula One car or a brand new Ferrari setting off on its pre-delivery test drive?

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