Uncovering the Hidden Gems of Emilia-Romagna

A Journey through Art, Cars, Food, and Scenic attractions

Shereen Shabnam

Emilia-Romagna is a region renowned for its rich culinary traditions, stunning landscapes, and its close association with luxury automobile manufacturers. During a recent visit, we checked out the Dallara Factory & Academy, the Maserati factory, Casa Maria Luigia where we tried a curated dinner with Chef Massimo Bottura, had multiple Ferrari experiences, and visited the Lamborghini Museum and the Pagani museum and factory.

We started the day with a visit to the Dallara Museum followed by the Dallara Factory and Academy, explored the world of motorsport engineering and witnessed the craftsmanship behind the creation of high-performance racing cars.

After a spot of lunch in the mountains, we headed to the nearby town of Modena for a guided tour of the Maserati factory and discovered the meticulous production process of their cars. We also spent some time interacting with the new CEO of Maserati and listening to his plans to elevate the brand further.

In the evening, we enjoyed a dinner curated by Casa Maria Luigia, the culinary project of renowned Chef Massimo Bottura. We enjoyed touring the one site cellars where Chef Massimo houses barrels of balsamic vinegar and indulged in a unique dining experience featuring the flavors of Emilia-Romagna.

The next day, we experienced the thrill of driving a Ferrari F488 at the Modena Racing Track and enjoyed a high-speed driving session under the guidance of professional instructors. Following our driving experience, we savored a delicious lunch at the Cavallino Restaurant, known for its delectable local cuisine.

Soon after, we embarked on a guided tour of the Ferrari Factory in Maranello, getting insights into the manufacturing techniques and precision engineering that make these iconic cars. We continued our Ferrari journey with a visit to the Ferrari Museum, showcasing the rich history and evolution of the brand and admired a collection of classic and modern Ferrari models.

We spent most of our visit exploring the small towns and one afternoon, checked out the Opera 02, which offers a unique and immersive experience centered around the world-famous balsamic vinegar. After a delightful lunch,  we indulged in another captivating tasting journey that highlights the artistry and complexity of traditional balsamic vinegar production.

Similar to what we experienced with Chef Bottura earlier, we had a tasting experience at Opera 02 of balsamic vinegars, ranging from young and vibrant to aged and velvety. Each sample unveiled a symphony of flavors, from sweet and tangy notes to the delicate balance of acidity and richness.

Another highlight of the trip to this region was visiting the Lamborghini Museum. We explored in the world of Lamborghini, the legendary cars and their iconic designs. It was my second visit and this time around; I found the museum more developed and with more cars than before.

A highlight of our trip was a tour of the Pagani factory as although I have met and interviewed Mr. Pagani in the past, I had never visited the Pagani Museum and factory during my previous visits to the region. The visit was insightful and we witnessed the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into creating the exclusive and luxurious Pagani models.

Before heading to Bologna, we spent an afternoon in Modena City to experience and view the Cavallino Classic Parade that showcases a stunning array of vintage and modern cars. We enjoyed the festive atmosphere and admired the beauty of these iconic vehicles.

After a well-rested night in Bologna city, we had a whole morning of retail therapy before the flight. It was certainly difficult to say farewell to Emilia-Romagna and it is a city that will always have a special place in my heart.

From the UAE, it is easy to get to Bologna. Being an avid traveller, I prefer to combine a few destinations and Turkish Airlines has attractive offers regularly to European destinations with a stopover in Istanbul. The airline has daily flights to Istanbul from Dubai with easy connections to cities like Bologna.

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