A new Enzo Ferrari birthplace museum opened this week in Modena in Italy. The Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari stands on the site of the house in which Ferrari was born in 1898, and celebrates not only his long life and many achievements, but also the remarkable central role of his home town in the development of the Italian motor industry.
The museum's gallery building, which has a louvred, shell-like form that is intended to recall the bonnet of a sports car, was the work, until his death in 2009, of the architect Jan Kaplicky, while the interior was overseen by Andrea Morgante. It incorporates many energy-saving measures and its curved frontage embraces the original Ferrari house and workshops that remain on the site; these are also part of the museum complex and contain the exhibits directly related to Enzo Ferrari's life. The new gallery's roof is finished in yellow, rather than in 'rossa corso' red, the colour used for racing by Ferrari and other Italian sporting brands; yellow is traditionally associated with Modena, and was chosen by Ferrari for the background of his company's famous 'prancing horse' badge.
The gallery building contains a chronologically arranged continuous static display telling the story of Modena's development as the centre of prestige car making in Italy, covering the role not only of Ferrari but of other car makers such as Alfa Romeo (the original Scuderia Ferrari racing team used Alfa cars), Maserati, De Tomaso and, more recently, Pagani. It also explains the role of the city's legendary coach-building firms such as Scaglietti and Fantuzzi, and the famous but now defunct Aerautodromo race-track and test facility.
The main attraction for most visitors, though, will probably be the well-presented collection of about twenty cars reflecting the history of Ferrari and Modena. As well as significant Ferrari models, the highlights include the ferocious double-engined 1935 Alfa Romeo Bimotore, and representatives of the Maserati, Stanguellini, De Tomaso and Fiat marques.
The Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, via Paolo Ferrari, 85, Modena, Italy, is open from 9.30am to 7.00pm every day except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Full-price tickets cost EUR13 per person.