While there are many places around Italy where you can have a memorable Ferrari Driving Experience, from renting a coveted sports car by yourself and driving along the Amalfi Coast to sitting alongside a professional driver while he whisks you around one of Italy’s famous race tracks, nothing beats a Ferrari Test Drive in Modena – the home of Ferrari and where the incredible Enzo Ferrari Museum is located.
Having just spent 3 days exploring the Motor Valley region, visiting factories, car museums and races tracks, I wanted to share my experience test driving a Ferrari and explain how you too can have this experience of a lifetime in Italy.
Ferrari Driving Experience in Modena, Italy
As mentioned, there’s actually quite a few places around Italy where you can have an unforgettable Ferrari Driving Experience but in this post I’m going to talk about Modena, the home of Ferrari and a unique place to test drive one of the most coveted sports cars in the world.
VIDEO: Driving a Ferrari in Modena
Ferrari Driving Experience at Autodromo Di Modena
The driver turned to me and smiled a cheeky smile, “Sure you’re ready for this?” “Oh, I’m ready“, I replied. “Okay, Let’s go!” he says, as he quickly pushed his foot to the pedal and the Ferrari 458 we’re both strapped into accelerates down the race track, while my heart pounds, my eyes bulge and the seat belt is tight against my chest.
I’m here at the Autodromo di Modena having signed up for a Ferrari Test Drive experience with a professional race car driver. We’re gliding around the track at over 200km and hour, which is actually way below what this beast of a sports car can do when pushed harder.
The driver keeps glancing across to make sure I’m okay (my mouth is dropped to the floor with a mix of excitement and adrenaline and there’s no wiping that smile off my face!) as he expertly guides the car around corkscrew bends, simultaneously waving into my GoPro and making small talk.
The seat belt is tight, but makes me feel secure, as I sink a little further into the ultra low car seat looking out the windscreen as the scenery to the side of the tracks flashes by like a blurry photo.
The whole experience is over quicker than a rollercoaster ride, and I’m left sitting in the parked car trying to catch my breath. I then struggle to scramble my way out of the car in my long flow dress – definitely NOT the ideal outfit to wear when getting into a sports can with some of the lowest seats known to mad! What a trip!
If this all sounds like a dream come true to you, then signing up for a Ferrari driving experience in Modena is a must in you next trip to Italy! It costs 130 euro for each lap, so cost us 260 euro for the two laps. I think if you’re going to do it, do at least 2 laps as its would be over WAY to fast with just one lap of the track (it’s just 2km long).
We were told it’s also possible to drive the Ferrari around the track, with your driving and the professional driver watching on with careful eyes from the passenger seat, but after our simulator experience earlier that day where my friends and I all managed to crash our cars on screen – we decided letting a pro do the driving was probably the best idea ever.
You’re guaranteed to go way faster with a pro driving, can enjoy the ride more and even take videos of the experience, and you won’t be panicking about whether your travel insurance will cover you writing off a 400,000 euro sports car!!
If, despite all this, you’re still keen to get behind the wheel yourself, prices to drive around the track a few laps start at 775 euro.
If you’re friends are racing around the track and you’ve opted not to, there are a few cool viewing platforms to watch the cars fly by and once the Ferraris (they have 3 in total at this track in Modena) park up at the end, it’s a fun opportunity to get that once-in-a-lifetime shot posing next to a car that costs more than most normal houses!
Once the Ferrari test drive experience has ended, they call out everyone’s name and present you with a fun souvenir certificate to prove that you have completed the “Ferrari Challenge” here in Modena. I’ll be cherishing mine forever – it can take pride of place in the wall next to my Bachelor and Master degrees!
Practical Information about Autodromo di Modena
If you plan to do a driving experience and want to drive yourself you’ll need a driving that is accepted in Italy. While many driving licences from other EU countries seem to be readily accepted, my American friends needed to get a little add on back home to ensure their licence is international and can be used in Italy.
The price of the test drive is 130 euro for each lap if you’re a passenger, so 260 euro to do 2 laps. It’s best to book in advance and they’ll give you a time slot that hopefully suits you.
They have 3 different Ferrari cars to choose from – 2 red and 1 yellow and I think they’re all Ferrari 458 racing cars.
BONUS: Visiting the Ferrari Museum in Modena
While you’re in Modena, it’s a prime opportunity to visit the impressive Enzo Ferrari Museum. The larger part of the museum is located in a new and very futuristic looking building, while the smaller part is located in what was once the childhood home of Enzo Ferrari and his father’s steel workshop.
The museum offers guided tours which I highly encourage you sign up to, as it will better inform you about the life of Enzo Ferrari, how he started racing sports cars (and later building them), more complex information on the engines and detailed history of every car currently in the collection including how many of them were made and how much they’re now worth.
A figure which, I’m sure you can image, is just mind boggling.
As I’m not a huge car enthusiast, and have never been to a race track or Formula One Racing event, I never knew much about Enzo Ferrari and his cars apart from the fact that they’re fast, expensive and loved around the world.
Learnings from the Enzo Ferrari Museum
I learned that young Enzo was forced to grow up very fast after his father past away when he was just 16 years old. I learned how he persuaded his mum to sell his father’s workshop and their family home simply so he could buy his first race car and start racing cars professionally.
All his life he was only interested in race cars. In super fast, sports car build for speed. He has no interest to build cars for every day use, to build cars for leisure or for collectors. The only reason he ended up making the type of Ferraris we’re all familiar with is that he needed to make money to continue racing, and funding his race team.
In the early days he loved competition and he would do anything to A) Set up unique races and B) Win by making his cars as light as possible through any means. Once he even raced a commercial jet on a track and won!
Some of the cars inside of the museum collection are one offs, some part of limited collections and others are examples of the newer types of Ferrari cars including people carriers and SUVs – which would probably make Enzo Ferrari turn in his grave!
Our guide pointed us to one car, belonging to a collection where every car is still in use today (none were written off or crashed) which means the entire collection is pretty much priceless and the car on display was worth close to 70 million euro!
We were shown which car was one of the first, which one was the favourite if Enzo Ferrari as well as slightly different models on the original Ferrari, designed and built by Enzo Ferrari’s youngest son who sadly died before his first design came to fruition.
Enzo decided to continue the model in his sons honour and even named it after him – the Dino.
Finally, and I’ll leave you with this nugget of information, we learned why the Ferrari logo is that iconic rearing horse – and it’s not the reasons many people think.
When Enzo was quite young he met the Father and Mother Count Francesco Baracca – an ace airline pilot from the Italian Air Force who died a National Hero after escaping death on dozens of flights in his fighter jet. He had painted a rearing horse on the side his planes for good luck, and his parents suggested to Enzo that maybe he should copy the idea.
Enzo liked the idea, and the horse emblem, and thus the Ferrari horse logo with an added splash of yellow and the initials SF (for Scuderia Ferrari) was born and is still continued to this day.
Practical Information about visiting the Enzo Ferrari Museum
Located in the centre of Modena, it can be accessed on foot, by public transport or simply drive here and park in their parking lot. The museum is open from 9.30pm – 7pm every day of the year except December 25 and January 1. Tickets costs 16 euro for adults and 6 euro for children.
We stayed for about 2 hours and that was enough time to do the tour, watch the mini Enzo Ferrari documentary and have some time to walk around and admire the cars by ourselves.