Some tourists plan their Italy travel for the fantastic food. Others go shopping for wonderful Italian wine. Still more are in search of Italian history, art, or culture. Maybe some even come here who are looking for Italian romance. Now, car lovers, can enjoy an Italy vacation, too.
Automobile enthusiasts can join the crowds who travel in Italy. Five museums, scattered across the northern third of the peninsula, celebrate a century of Italian car history and design. The displays are sure to satisfy even the most discriminating car fan. From FIAT to Ferarri, here is a short look at each of the five exhibits.
National Automobile Museum
One of only three national automobile museums in Europe, a massive, three-year renovation project here is coming to a close. Find this museum in the city where Italy’s car industry got started, Torino, or Turin. Permanent exhibits offer an interactive lesson on the history of the automobile and trace the development of the car industry in Italy. Temporary exhibits trace design technology, celebrate the appetite for speed, and recount the progress of mankind through advances in transportation. Visit www.museoauto.it for more.
In the small city of Maranello, just to the south of Modena, this exhibit is a celebration of the near-mythical line of Italy’s most coveted car, the Ferrari. More than 40 models, including some of the most important in company history, are permanently displayed. The permanent exhibit is supported by temporary showings of other lines, including Lancia, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati. Check the web site, www.galleria.ferrari.com.
Umberto Panini Maserati Collection
This private collection exhibits about 40 cars, 30 motorcycles, bicycles, engines, and military equipment. The most comprehensive collection of Maserati cars is on display here, including models from 1926 to today. Some of the fastest cars of their day find their home in this collection.
FIAT Historical Archives
Opened in 1963, not far from the National Automobile Museum in Torino, the FIAT Archives hold a collection of interesting historical documents and publications that testify to the development of the car industry in general and the FIAT group in particular. Also here is a collection of famous FIAT cars, including the first 3.5 horsepower model of 1899 and the impressive “Mefistofele” that set the world speed record in 1924.
An impressive private collection just outside the beautiful city of Verona, the Nicolis Museum features an extraordinary inventory of vintage cars, motorcycles, musical instruments, cameras, typewriters, and small aircraft. The collection is complemented by an impressive archive of historical documents available to researches, historians, or the curious.