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Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, ferrari museum, italy, cars (2)

“Cars are only beautiful when they win”

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This is the website of travel writer, Michael Turtle. After working in broadcast journalism for a decade in Australia, Michael left Sydney to travel the world indefinitely and write about his discoveries.

Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena

In the vast stadium of fluorescent light, the cars look like glowing orbs of style. Raised on low platforms, each machine is given a respectful space from the others. Despite the name, this is not a museum. This is more a shrine… and everything is set up to allow visitors to worship.

Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, ferrari museum, italy, cars (9)

Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, ferrari museum, italy, cars (1)

For car enthusiasts (I’m not going to pretend to be one), Ferrari is one of the gods. Like religion generally, there are many faiths – but devotees of each believe fervently in theirs. It is no different with cars and Ferrari has one of the largest and most faithful congregations in the world.

The Enzo Ferrari Museum in the Italian city of Modena is built on the site of the man’s birthplace. But it is only partly about Enzo Ferrari and his life. You see, his life became the car brand (not just in name) and the story transcends the years of one human. The museum is also about the machines he helped create and, although not stated as such, the cult that surrounds them.

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It is appropriate, then, that the museum is split physically into two sections that separate the man from the machines. In the old brown brick building, you can find out more about Enzo and his career. Directly adjacent, in the enormous and modern construction made of yellow and glass, the cars are displayed.

Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, ferrari museum, italy, cars (11)

Architecturally, it is superb. From above, it resembles the bonnet of a car and exudes the sense of style and technology the Ferrari brand is famous for. Inside it feels like the space is wasted – that there’s a whole lot of nothingness there. But isn’t that what luxury is all about? Ferrari doesn’t need to be penurious with the layout… and that in itself says a lot.

Once or twice a year the displays in the museum are changed. The cars in these photos are from one particular exhibition that honours the origins of Enzo Ferrari and shows his work and his influences. It’s not just Ferrari cars, but also those he was involved in.

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Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, ferrari museum, italy, cars (3)

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Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, ferrari museum, italy, cars (8)

Enzo Ferrari

The man who would eventually give his name to one of the most famous brands in the world has always been intertwined with others. Enzo Ferrari worked for many years for Alfa Romeo as a mechanic and driver. Before his death in 1988, he had also started to sell large chunks of his company to Fiat.

The man was all about cars – but that doesn’t mean his creation was not all about him. “I am the one who dreamt of being Ferrari”, he once said. Perhaps more poignant was his other famous quote: “Cars are only beautiful when they win”.

Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, ferrari museum, italy, cars (10)

It’s a sense you get all through the visit. The people here are proud of their brand and proud of what it stands for. It’s not arrogance… it’s more a feeling that they are part of something beautiful because they are winning. You can understand how the worshippers become so devout. It’s an infectious faith.

* You can check out the official website of the Enzo Ferrari Museum here.

Time Travel Turtle was a guest of the Emilia Romagna tourism board but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

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22 Comments
  • Brett | Jan 7, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Went back last month with my father-in-law. All the cars are different now, but still just as impressive! Awesome place to visit.
    Brett recently posted..Traditional Catalan Cuisine: Pont Vell Restaurant in Besalu, SpainMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Jan 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Yes, I read that they’ve changed the exhibition since we were there. It gives you a good excuse to go back, as you seem to have discovered! :)

  • Vera | Jan 9, 2013 at 11:52 am

    So THAT’s what a car museum can look like! I do like Oldtimers (since you admitted to not being a fanatic, I can say that I too do not care about brands, really), but have always only been to places that have been crammed with everything that once could drive or fly. My conclusion after looking at the pictures in your post: a compromise between these two experiences would be perfect! Although, like you said, it’s a very powerful statement, putting these cars on pedestals and into this gigantic hall… I shall think about putting a pedestal in our home. It seems to be helpful for the mission to be worshipped – and I know, I know, I don’t really need it, but sometimes even I have a bad day, you know, like when I’m only 98% perfect, and I think I’d profit instantly from a pedestal right then. It’s not so much for me, as I’m not that concerned about this kind of stuff, but it would make everything much easier for Loz. Maybe there’s pedestals on offer at IKEA or something…
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    • Michael Turtle | Jan 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Oh, Vera my dear, you don’t need a pedestal to be worshipped. Perhaps a wooden box or something might help, though. I imagine it’s much easier to feel like you deserve to be worshipped if you’re above everyone else. It would be weird if you were lying on the ground. Because then people could be on their knees, bowing at you, and you’d still be beneath them.
      What does any of this have to do with cars? How did we get on to this topic?

  • Jennifer | Jan 10, 2013 at 12:51 am

    I’m definitely not a car person, but I enjoyed the Ferrari Museum! Looks like the displays are quite different from my last visit.
    Jennifer recently posted..Exploring Lake Mývatn with Saga TravelMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Jan 14, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      It’s great that they change them up a couple of times a year. And you don’t need to like cars to appreciate the place – I enjoyed that.

      • ukash | Jul 23, 2013 at 1:18 am

        Ooohh, I’d be tempted to pop in all the time if I lived right across the road from it.

  • Cathy Sweeney | Jan 10, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I wouldn’t be considered a real car person (since I’m still driving the car I bought 12 years ago) but I would love to be driving around in a sparkling Ferrari. Interesting story about Enzo himself.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Surfing in MunichMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Jan 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      I’m not so sure about driving around in a Ferrari. Sometimes I think it has some bad connotations, if you’re not using it for actual racing and stuff. Some of those people look a bit silly in the middle of the city in a car that is clearly not meant for them.

  • Glen DaVille | Feb 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    vintage cars looks so adorable and lovely…they all looks fantastic! I want one! :)
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    • Michael Turtle | Feb 21, 2013 at 1:44 am

      Maybe you could just drive one of these away. I’m sure they left the keys in the glove compartment! :)

  • Travel Emilia Romagna | [Parlami di tER #78] “Le macchine sono belle solo quando vincono” | Mar 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    […] vive. Non è un diario – sono storie vere dal mondo. (Il post originale lo potete trovare qui) Tagged with: automobilismo, ferrari, modena, […]

  • emilia delizia | Apr 9, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Modena is my town and I love the Enzo Ferrari Casa natale, I actually just live across the road from the museum. Thank you for sharing this nice pictures
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    • Michael Turtle | Apr 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm

      Ooohh, I’d be tempted to pop in all the time if I lived right across the road from it. How many times have you been in there? They should let the neighbours in for free… maybe even let you borrow one of the cars occasionally? :)

  • ukash alma | Aug 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    It’s great that they change them up a couple of times a year. And you don’t need to like cars to appreciate the place – I enjoyed that

    • Michael Turtle | Aug 30, 2013 at 8:06 am

      As I mentioned, I’m not a huge car fan and I really enjoyed the place. It’s no different to an art museum because each car is a masterpiece in itself!

  • ukash | Dec 4, 2013 at 1:29 am

    It’s great that they change them up a couple of times a year. And you don’t need to like cars to appreciate the place – I enjoyed that.

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 4, 2013 at 4:46 am

      It’s certainly not somewhere just for car buffs – I think they intentionally design it so it’s a good experience for everyone.

  • ukash bozdurma | Dec 30, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    It’s great that they change them up a couple of times a year. And you don’t need to like cars to appreciate the place -

  • ukash bozdurma | Jan 4, 2014 at 2:40 am

    vintage cars looks so adorable and lovely perfect

  • ukash | Jan 23, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Ooohh, I’d be tempted to pop in all the time if I lived right across the road from it.

    • Michael Turtle | Jan 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      I’m sure you would find something new each time you went!

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