Ferrari & California Dreamin’

My family and I were on holiday recently in Italy. We visited the traditional Roman ruins and then traveled on TrenItalia (Italy’s version of the bullet train) to see some Venetian vistas. However, it was the destination in between those two cities that was a promise fulfilled, a dream come true and the highlight of our journey to a little boy.

Three years ago we made a promise to our oldest son, then age 6 and a certified Ferrari fanatic (it’s in his DNA), that we would visit the Ferrari museum. Five days into our trip his dream came true when we jumped off the train, grabbed a taxi and approximately 35 minutes later arrived in Maranello. Our hotel was a block away from the museum and directly across the street from the factory! From the balcony of our fifth floor hotel room we had a birds eye view of the test track and every Ferrari that passed down the street was announced by my son as if we were watching a race.

Bright and early the next morning we were at Museo Ferrari. Unbeknownst to us this exhibition was titled ‘California Dreaming’ which meant that everything we were about to see was based on Ferrari’s success, not only in America, but specifically the influence California has had on the company. Enzo Ferrari was already making a name for himself in racing and when orders for cars came in, particularly from California, this gave him the financial success and security for growth. Collaborating with his US importer and friend, Luigi Chinetti, Ferrari designed & built cars specifically for California- such as the 1957 250 CA Spider.

Throughout were various presentations of California scenery where Ferrari has featured most prominently. From the Silicon Valley to Los Angeles, in Hollywood, racing in Northern CA at Laguna Seca and at the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance. As a native of the Golden State all the displays felt very familiar and made me a little homesick!

Following that exhibit we hopped aboard the shuttle for part two and headed toward the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari. The birthplace and once home to Enzo Ferrari now houses the Museum of Ferrari Engines. Alongside this worn brick building, in a more modern setting is the other half of museums exhibition which is a collaboration of two talented men from Maranello; Enzo Ferrari the coachbuilder and Luciano Pavarotti the opera singer. While viewing the technical display of cars we were entertained with a video featuring images from the lives of these two talented men. As the lights in the pavilion dimmed, Pavarotti’s eloquent voice enveloped us as if we were center stage at a concert yet surrounded by Ferrari’s ranging from a 1948 166 Touring to the LaFerrari. It was music to the ears and eyes as well as a dream come true for one little boy.

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