Bologna owes much of its contemporary charm and vibrancy to its lively University Quarter. As in all good university cities, it has a good cache of cafes, bars and clubs to cater to its student population.
Bologna’s university has an impressive lineage, dating back to 1088, making it the first university in Europe. During the Renaissance and Baroque eras, it attracted some of Europe’s finest thinkers, including Renaissance scholars Mirandola and Alberti, astronomer Copernicus, and the artists Durer and Borromeo.
The university houses a number of museums, including an Anatomy Museum, Herbarium, Physics Museum, Museum of Anthropology, Wax Museum and Museum of Zoology.
Most museums are found in the Palazzo Poggi, the university’s seat after 1803. A highlight is the Astronomy Museum, along with the palazzo’s many frescoes and impressive decor.
You might easily associate the Ferrari name with Italy, but did you know that Ferrari is based not far from Bologna? In the town of Maranello, just outside Modena, you’ll find not only the Ferrari Museum but also the factory complex and the famous Fiorano test track.
The Ferrari Museum - Museo Ferrari in Italian - is a few steps from the factory in Maranello where every Ferrari is made. The museum contains a number of cars, including both cars designed for regular driving and some from the company’s illustrious Formula 1 racing history. In addition to the actual cars, the museum also has exhibits of photographs and racing trophies as well as interactive displays.
For racing enthusiasts, the Ferrari Museum has an F1 racing simulator based on the Monza race track outside Milan. You need to reserve a slot in the simulator in advance, and before you begin your experience you’ll even get pointers from a Ferrari technician.
A futuristic, tall building with a curved bright yellow roof sits next to a traditional Italian warehouse. Both tell the story of Enzo Ferrari, race car driver and founder of the famous car brand Ferrari. Born in Modena, visitors to the museum can experience the timeline of events that brought the cars to be, from the birth of Enzo Ferrari in his childhood home to the future of the brand. Projected black and white films tell the story of his life, while vintage and modern vehicles on display tell the story of the cars. Seeing the warehouse his father worked in gives context to how the unique cars were developed.
Today the warehouse holds the Museo dei Motori, which showcases various race car models as well as their powerful engines. Just beside the warehouse, the automotive design gallery houses the temporary exhibitions of some of Ferrari’s most classic cars.
Showcasing Italy’s most famous luxury vehicles, the Lamborghini Museum and factory tells the past, present, and future of the coveted car brand. From the first 350 GT model built in 1964 to the factory of custom cars built on site, visitors can get a sense of the passion behind the manufacturing process. The museum also unveiled the famed Murciélago car, considered by many enthusiasts to be a masterpiece. Visitors can see a range of vehicles on display — from vintage to contemporary, built for racing or as concept cars.>
Open since 2001, the museum is a tribute to the passion and life’s work of founder Ferruccio Lamborghini. Many of the older cars in fact come from his personal collection. There are behind-the-scenes glimpses into the production, including large-scale models and parts of cars that were never made. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a prototype out for testing.