I am not going to lie. The main reason why I signed up for the Social Travel Summit‘s post-conference tour to the MotorValley of Italy, was so I could have a supercar driving experience and drive around the racetrack in a Ferrari for the first time in my life!
And what better place to do this than in Modena, the birthplace of Enzo Anselmo Giuseppe Maria Ferrari, otherwise known as il Commendatore (the Commander), l’Ingegnere (the Engineer) or il Grande Vecchio (the Great Old Man) a.k.a. the racing driver and entrepreneur that would put the Ferrari brand on the map and change the future of motor racing forever (and has his own Enzo Ferrari museum!)
Now you can drive a sports car all around Italy, going through towns and villages behind the wheel or as a passenger, but in my opinion, nothing beats driving on a real racing circuit!
On our trip, we headed out to the Autodromo Di Modena, the Autodrome located on the outskirts of the city of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
This track lies in what is commonly known as the Terra dei Motori, or in English the MotorValley: an area between the cities of Bologna and Modena where you can find factories, museums and other car- and motorbike experiences from the great names such as Ducati, Lamborghini, Pagani, Maserati …and of course Ferrari!
I will tell you more about all the things we saw in the MotorValley in another post, but let’s start off with one of the most thrilling activities of the trip: my Ferrari supercar driving experience on the race track of Modena.
FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS!
APPROVED: SUPERCAR DRIVING EXPERIENCE ITALY
WATCH THE VIDEO!
ABOUT THE CIRCUIT
As soon as we arrive at the circuit to have our own fast car driving experience, you can feel the excitement in the group rising. We have already spend a few days exploring the Motor Valley regions and have seen (among other things) the Ducati and Lamborghini factories and their respective museums, but nothing really beats the real deal, right?!
The Modena Autodrome is a perfect circuit to test drive Ferrari’s to their limits, with a consistent 12-meter width around the entire 2.068 kilometer long track. There are thrilling bends and fast straights on the course, which makes it exciting for racing both cars as motorbikes and the terrain has been sculptured to create attractive gradients suitable for all drivers.
Apart from the Ferrari driving experience, the Autodrome offers safe driving courses, open days, product tests, ferrari experience days and other events for all levels of enthusiasts. There are even special events for kids and women!
While in the beginning we were under the impression that we would drive the Ferrari sports cars ourselves, in the briefing it became quickly clear that this unfortunately would not be the case. We would be passengers and drive two laps per person on the track.
With a mix of disappointment and slight relief (we all did a VR-driving experience at the Lamborghini museum the day before – and we really quite sucked at driving a racing car!), we signed our liability waivers and proceeded to the track, where two bright and shiny Ferrari rides were waiting on us.
ABOUT THE CARS
While the Autodrome in Modena has the option to drive in Lamborghini cars as well, we were all glad to see that we were given the chance to drive a Ferrari in Italy instead!
The Ferrari 458 Challenge was introduced in the 2010 to the Motor Show of Bologna Motor and is designed for racing sport championships. The version that we drove is not suitable to drive on public roads, only on the tracks and it has been fitted accordingly, with different wheels, seats and some chassis components.
Because they stripped the car pretty much of anything that wasn’t necessary, it weighs 100 kg less than it normally would!
ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE
All of the bloggers I’m travelling with are running around like crazy trying to figure out how to best capture the experience (while also still really enjoying it in the moment) and when it’s my time to go, I get handed over a black balaclava and bright blue helmet, that covers most of my face.
The lady tells me I can pull the balaclava down to breath a bit more, luckily, because I’m so excited I need all the air I can get right now!
I am barely able to scramble into the front seat, since the car is so low and the the opening into the car so narrow, but the seat is super comfortable, even after I’m strapped in tightly with a thick and heavy three-point belt.
There is no time to think or regroup, because my driver lifts his thumb and as soon as I do the same, I get pushed back into my seat like I’m just hit by an explosion… and we accelerate from 0 to around 200 km/h in just a few seconds.
OH MY GOD!
After a few more seconds, I realize what everything was doing wrong at the driving simulation yesterday, because driving a racing car has absolutely NOTHING to do with driving a normal car.
The driver flips the gears next to the steering wheel as if he is playing on a pinball machine and we go from full out acceleration to full on the breaks before the turns. I get smashed left to right and front to back like I’m in a washing machine!
While we only get to drive two laps (and they are really over before you know it), the guys over at Formula one do this for up to two hours, usually over 70 laps! I can only imagine the amount of adrenaline and sweat they must produce during that. And we didn’t even go full-speed. *shakes head in unbelief*
When I return to the pit lane, I am almost in shock. Not kidding you guys, this was AMAZING!
I feel like I am still spinning as I set foot on solid ground again and enjoy my last moments on the racetrack looking at the other bloggers have a go from the viewing platform.
Next time I watch Formula One, I have a much better understanding of what these guys go through. While I might not ever get an experience like this again (although – never say never), I am happy to have my certificate to proof I was brave enough to give this a go.
While at first we were a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to drive ourselves, at the end everyone agreed that this was a much better experience, since we would have probably not even have made it out of the pit lane, haha. The speed your driver can get up to, is not something you can do yourself (or want your travel insurance to know about), so I am happy really they made this choice for us.
BOOK YOUR OWN TEST DRIVE
Looking to have this same supercar driving experience? I can highly recommend it! Here is everything you need to know:
Aerautodromo Modena Spa
Strada Pomposiana n. 255/A
Loc. Marzaglia, 41123 MODENA
The Autodromo di Modena is located just 3 minutes from SS9 “Via Emilia” and is easy to reach by car, bus and train. Or, if you fancy, the nearby airstrip also allows you also to arrive by private helicopter or plane ;)
CAR: The coordinates are 44.635402 North – 10.815267 East
BUS: Lines 9A and 10B stop at the Autodromo entrance
TRAIN: Modena Railway Station or Reggio Emilia AV Mediopadana Station.
There are different packages available where you can choose the make and colour of your car, as well as the amount of laps you want to drive (up to 5 laps), make sure to check this page for all the options and be sure to book in advance.
NOTE: For the self-driving options, you need to make sure that you have a driver’s licence that is accepted in Italy!
Count on an average of about € 130 for a lap when you’re a passenger. Packages for self-driving go around € 540-€ 775 for 3 laps with the Ferrari cars, and around € 645-€ 766 for 3 laps with the Lamborghini cars.
These packages include a short briefing about the vehicle and the circuit characteristics, you’ll get a personal badge, a small brunch, all the preparations (helmets and balaclava included), the option to have the first or last lap with the pilot driving with you as a passenger and at the end you’ll get a certificate of participation.
You can purchase an additional video of your experience for € 60.
The Ferrari Museum in Maranello and Modena have also joined forces with the Autodromo di Modena to give you an exclusive experience: if you purchase their new “Museum+Track” ticket, you will not only be able to visit at least one of these Museums, but also take your OWN CAR out for a 15-minute track session at the circuit. How cool is that?!
MORE CAR TOURS IN ITALY
Looking for more car-experiences in Italy? Have a look at the following fantastic tours on the trusted Get Your Guide website:
Partake in an unforgettable experience and enjoy the exclusive Ferrari full day experience tour where you get to explore what makes Ferrari such a renowned brand and have first-hand experiences with its products. You get to visit the famous Ferrari Museum in Maranello and the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena (both with skip-the-line access) and feel the adrenaline of a real Ferrari driver while driving a 488 Challenge on the track and a 488 Spider on the road.
Ferrari Museum, Fico Eataly World and Bologna (from Florence)
Immerse yourself in the Italian way of life and discover the enchanting Emilia Romagna region with this intimate small group tour. Visit the Ferrari museum in Maranello, ride an F1 simulator and explore the world’s largest agri-food park with its Italian delicacies.
Full-Day Food and Ferrari Tour
Discover the most delicious products of Emilia Romagna such as Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and prosciutto on this food and wine tour in Bologna and Modena. Also explore the Ferrari Museum in Maranello with your guide (with skip the line access).
Land of Motors Ferrari-Pagani-Lamborghini
Experience Italy’s “Land of Motors” and see some of the world’s finest supercars on a 7-hour tour to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, the new Pagani Museum Factory in San Cesario sul Panaro and the Lamborghini Museum in the town of Sant’Agata Bolognese. You get privileged entrance, tickets and reservation to all attractions and lunch at a local restaurant with wine.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO ITALY!
Here is more information to help you plan your trip:
Time Zone in Italy? Italy is on Central European Summer Time, GMT+2
Currency in Italy? Euro (EUR). Check the latest exchange rate here.
Electrical Plugs in Italy? In Italy the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The power plugs and sockets are either of type F (two round pins, thick or thin) and L (three round pins). The thick F-type pins won’t fit in the L-type pin, so always make sure to bring an adaptor that fits the 3-pin sockets as well!
We recommend getting [amazon_textlink asin=’B01KLMW9GY’ text=’a universal travel adapter’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thetraveltester-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’1798619a-ecb8-11e8-8af7-5980e1425c5f’] to never worry about having the right plug on your travels!
Languages Spoken in Italy? Italian, but English is widely spoken, especially in the more tourist areas, such around Bologna and Modena.
Best time to visit Italy?The best time to visit Italy is either in the spring (April-June) or fall (September and October). In these months, the weather is fair and moderate and there will be fewer tourists around.
Insurance for Italy? Make sure to get travel insurance! We recommend checking out worldnomads.com
How to get to Italy? Check skyscanner.com for the best flights to Bologna >>
Map of the Modena Racing Track
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Tours on GetYourGuide.com
Disclaimer: I visited the Motorvalley in Italy on invitation of the STS travel blogging conference (#STSRavenna), organised by iambassador and Emilia Romagna tourism. All opinions and photos in this article are 100% my own.