Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to Get to Maranello

As a tifosa, the first time that I visited Maranello was a highly emotional experience. It was the fulfillment of a dream that had been a lifetime in the making. I remember when I was a little girl I kept diaries and within them I would often scribble my thoughts on Ferrari and also my plans for the future. Amongst the pages of enthusiastic writing was a map that I drew, along with specific instructions on how to get to Maranello by train. At the time I was only fifteen and Italy was an ocean away, seemingly out of reach. Still, I promised myself that one day I would be fully grown and make the journey to Ferrari’s home. Fast forward six years later when I was studying at university and taking my first cautious steps out in the world. After years of waiting, I flew to the Italian city of Forli and excitedly began my quest to find Maranello.

You would think that being a massive tourist draw in northern Italy would mean that the little town was easy to find and yet even with my detailed notes, getting to Maranello was no easy task. The locals in Modena (the nearest city with a train station) are friendly enough that if you ask them they will give you directions, however, if you are like me, you would rather be prepared. Recently I performed a search on the internet to see how many truly helpful guides to Maranello that I could find. I thought that there would be hundreds, I was wrong. While there are a few pages with detailed descriptions of the town itself, there are only a few step by step guides of how to get there and I found that many lack detail or are simply confusing. The following is therefore a step by step guide of how to get to Maranello without a car and I will follow this particular blog entry up with my personal guide to Maranello. I also intend to take pictures along the route that I describe below and post them here just in case you are like me and terrible with directions! Please do not hesitate to ask me questions. I hope that this information is helpful to all tifosi who wish to follow their Ferrari dreams.

  • The first step in our journey to Maranello is to board a train bound for Modena. Modena is the closest major centre to Maranello and it is from here that you will catch your bus to the fabled town.

  • Upon arrival in Modena, exit the front of the train station. You will notice immediately a small local bus depot on your right. I have been told that you can catch a bus here that will take you directly to the main bus station but why bother when it is only a short 10-15 minute walk away?

  • Walk straight by the bus depot and take the first turn right on Viale Monte Kosica. You will want to cross the street here as well because the bus station that you are trying to find is on the other side.

  • Walk straight for approximately 5 minutes and you will come to a round about. It is the left hand road that you want to follow. (you will still be on Viale Monte Kosica) You know that you have gone the right way if you pass the Modena football club on your right shortly.

  • Walk a further 5-10 minutes (depending on walking speed) and you will notice the bus station straight ahead.

  • You will have to purchase a ticket before getting on the bus. If you go into the little mall on your left (it contains a police station and a few small shops) you will notice a ticket counter immediately on your left. You want to purchase a return ticket to Maranello. The people who work at the ticket counter only speak Italian so you will have to say that you want “uno/due biglietto/i per Maranello andata e ritorno.” There are no obvious places to purchase a return ticket once in Maranello, especially on the weekends when almost everything is closed, so do yourself a favour and don’t buy a one way ticket unless you plan on staying in Maranello for several days.
  • Once you purchase your ticket you can go and wait for your bus. There are signs at each docking bay that tell you where the next bus is going and when it is due. On weekends especially the bus to Maranello comes only once every hour (usually on the hour) so you may want to wait in one of the nearby cafes if you have just missed one.
  • When the bus arrives you will usually hear foreign tourists talking about Ferrari in the line, it is a popular destination so don’t worry about missing your stop as the bus will certainly stop in Maranello with half the bus getting off.
  • The journey takes approximately twenty minutes and Maranello will suddenly seem to spring out of nowhere. If you are sitting on the right hand side of the bus during the winter you will most likely get a view of the Fiorano circuit as you approach the town. (in the summer the view is unfortunately obscured by trees and bushes) If you are sitting on the left, you have a view of the historic front gates of the Ferrari factory.
  • The bus stops almost directly outside a Formula 1 book store near the historic entrance and you will notice that you can catch your return bus across the street.

Catching a train and then a bus is of course not the only way to get to Maranello. I have also been by car before and found that the roads to the town were well marked and seemed easy to follow. (My boyfriend was driving and he didn’t have any issues. I also noticed many signs along the way.)

Now that you know how to get there, make sure to keep on checking my blog as I plan on writing about some of my favourite things to see and do in Maranello in the next few days.

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