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, the Enzo Ferrari Museum is not just a museum. This is more a shrine… and everything is set up to allow visitors to worship.
For car enthusiasts (I’m not going to pretend to be a huge 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.
And it’s perhaps because the congregation is so large, so passionate, that there’s not just one museum dedicated to the brand, there are actually two Ferrari museums in Emilia-Romagna!
In this story, I want to tell you mainly about the one called the Enzo Ferrari Museum, which is in the city of Modena.
What is the Enzo Ferrari Museum?
The Enzo Ferrari Museum is on the site of the birthplace of Ferrari’s founder in the Italian city of Modena and contains exhibitions about Enzo Ferrari’s life and the cars he helped build.
What will you see at the Enzo Ferrari Museum?
There are two sections to the Enzo Ferrari Museum. In an older building, there are exhibitions about the life of Enzo Ferrari. In the large modern section is a collection of cars. There are also temporary exhibitions at the museum.
What’s the difference between the Ferrari museums?
The Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena is more focused on the story of Ferrari’s founder, along with his racing history and his involvement with the car brand. The Ferrari Museum in Maranello focuses more on the cars themselves, including the technical side and the evolution of the engines.
Further down, I’ll share a bit more information about the second museum, which is simply called the Ferrari Museum, and is located in Maranello, about 30 minutes’ drive away (in a normal car, not a Ferrari).
But for now, let’s look at the one in Modena.
The Enzo Ferrari Museum
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.
It is appropriate, then, that the museum is split physically into two sections that separate the man from the machines.
During busy periods, you’ll be able to save time by booking a skip-the-line entry ticket in advance.
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.
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 could be 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.
The life of Enzo Ferrari
It’s not just Ferrari cars that Enzo Ferrari was involved in.
The man who would eventually give his name to one of the most famous brands in the world has always been intertwined with others.
Born in 1898 in Modena, it’s said that his passion for car racing came when he was just ten years old and saw Felice Nazzaro win at the nearby Circuito di Bologna in 1908.
It was about ten years later that he first started working in the automobile industry, and within a couple of years he had a job as a driver and then as a manager with Alfa Romeo, where he stayed for much of his early career.
He founded Ferrari in 1939 and the first car was ready within a year. Although it wasn’t until 1947 that the first Ferrari-badged car was released.
Enzo Ferrari 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.
I get the sense from exploring the museum that he had a bit of an ego – but perhaps one that was justified, and one that came from a genuine passion for what he was creating.
You see that in one of his most famous quotes: “Cars are only beautiful when they win”.
It’s why visiting the Enzo Ferrari Museum is about discovering both the life of the man, and the story of the cars that he helped build. Because those two stories are inseparable.
Visiting the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena
The Enzo Ferrari Museum is located at the birthplace of the man himself, which was right in the centre of Modena, so that makes it really easy to visit.
You can easily get to the Enzo Ferrari Museum from Modena’s main train station within about five minutes of walking.
Once you’re there, I would suggest you need at least an hour minimum to see all the exhibits and read the information on display. In fact, you could probably easily spend a couple of hours here.
Especially during busy periods, it could make sense to buy your ticket in advance here so you can skip the line.
If you’re interested in seeing both Ferrari Museums, make sure you get the Ferrari Museums Pass, which will save you a fair amount of money. You can skip the line by buying the combo ticket in advance here.
If you don’t have a car, you can also book this convenient transfer from Modena to the other Ferrari Museum in Maranello.
Where is the Enzo Ferrari Museum?
The official address of the Enzo Ferrari Museum is Via Paolo Ferrari 85, 41121, Modena.
You can see it on a map here.
How do you get to the Enzo Ferrari Museum?
It is very easy to get to the Enzo Ferrari Museum by public transport. The museum is just five minutes walk from Modena’s main train station.
If you are driving, there is parking at rear at Via Giuseppe Soli 101.
When is the Enzo Ferrari Museum open?
The Enzo Ferrari Museum is open from November to March every day from 09:30 – 18:00.
It is open from April to October every day from 09:30 – 19:00.
The Enzo Ferrari Museum is closed 25 December and 1 January.
How much does it cost to visit the Enzo Ferrari Museum?
The entrance fee for the Enzo Ferrari Museum is €22 for an adult, €18 for a concession, and €9 for a child aged 18 – 5. (Under 5 is free).
You can skip the line by getting your ticket in advance here.
You can also get a combined ticket for both Ferrari museums for €30 for an adult and €12 for a child.
For real Ferrari fans, there is also this fantastic day package that will take you to both museums, plus a tour of the Ferrari factory and Fiorano track, and even includes an authentic local lunch!
If you don’t think you can do cars for a whole day, I would certainly recommend doing some other things in Modena, which is a really interesting city to explore.
Which Ferrari museum is better?
As I’ve mentioned, the Enzo Ferrari Museum focuses on the life of the man behind the brand. But it’s not the only museum about Ferrari in Emilia-Romagna’s Motor Valley.
The Ferrari Museum in Maranello, about 20 kilometres away, focuses much more on the cars themselves.
So, at the Maranello Ferrari Museum, you’ll find a lot of technical information about the engineering of the cars, including examples of the evolution of the engine.
There is also a big emphasis on the racing side of Ferrari’s story, with Formula One cars and stories about the top drivers, like Michael Schumacher.
If you are trying to decide which of the two Ferrari museums to visit and you’re wondering which Ferrari museum is better – the short answer is, whichever you are more interested in.
If it’s the racing and the engineering side of the car company, then I would suggest the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. If it’s the history and the personality behind the brand, then the Enzo Ferrari Museum would be more suitable.
The Ferrari Museum is in Maranello, about 20 kilometres from the Enzo Ferrari Museum. There is a shuttle bus that runs between the two Ferrari museums.
The official address is Via Dino Ferrari 43, 41053, Maranello. You can see it on a map here.
The entrance for the Ferrari Museum in Maranello is €22 for an adult, €18 for a concession, and €9 for a child. But you can buy a combined ticket for both museums that is €30 for an adult and €12 for a child.
Emilia-Romagna is known as Italy’s motoring valley, so there are quite a few things to do in the region related to Ferrari and other famous car companies (particularly Lamborghini).
So you might also want to look at some of the other trips you can do around here that include the Ferrari sights.
There are a few good ones here that I would recommend:
There is certainly something special about Ferrari that captures the imagination of more than just fans. Even people like me can appreciate the story of the brand and the pursuit of excellence that it exemplifies.
Enzo Ferrari once said: “No one remembers who took second place and that will never be me.”
It wasn’t arrogance (well, maybe a little) but it was about striving to always improve, always focus on quality, make something as good as it could possibly be. Whether it was building a car or driving in a race.
It’s about that feeling that Ferrari fans have 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.
THE BEST ACCOMMODATION IN MODENA
Although some people visit as a day trip from Bologna, I think it’s worth staying overnight in Modena to explore everything properly
It’s not a typical hostel but the lovely Ostello San Filippo Neri has some great dorm beds.
Just out of town, Country Resort Modena offers budget rooms in the quiet countryside.
For something special, PHI Hotel Canalgrande is in a former duke’s palace – and is decorated accordingly.
And for modern luxury, I would recommend the five-star Best Western Premier Milano Palace Hotel.
Time Travel Turtle was a guest of the Emilia Romagna tourism board but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.