Italian State of Mind: A Journey Into Formula Ferrari

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 “So 2013 starts with an extraordinary car as well as with the new single-seater, the F138. A new year in which Ferrari, as always, knows how to surprise with its ideas, proposals and models,”

So it begins, your lifestyle is accentuated with all the joys and modern luxuries a man or woman could possibly ask for. You are blessed to have made strategic business moves and intelligent investment decisions. A paradigm of modern sophistication and social acceptability, you have become an opinion leader and trendsetter amongst your peers. Yet one thing bothers you — the Rosso 458 Spider sitting outside your 10-car driveway is part of a storied history you wish to interpret a bit deeper from a brand perspective. A symphony of interactions transpire in your head and the following week you and the family are seated in First Class headed to Maranello!

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Voted the world’s most powerful brand by Brand Finance, Ferrari’s estimated value is stated to be $3.5 billion. The name alone conjures emotions of technology and innovation. And whether you’re a fan of the marque or a Ferrari owner the passion is sequential to childhood daydreams of sitting behind the wheel and taking the checkered flag in an F1 showdown. The Prancing Horse’s stats corroborate your respect for the company and what their messaging means to millions of loyalists represented by 31 F1 World Titles with 14 coming in the past 15 years. “So 2013 starts with an extraordinary car as well as with the new single-seater, the F138. A new year in which Ferrari, as always, knows how to surprise with its ideas, proposals and models,” states Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo.

Upon landing in Bologna you and the family are picked up and whisked away to Hotel La Cartiera – Vignola Village Resort in the suburbs not far away from Maranello, an area where performance vehicles are born and bred. Know passionately as “Motor Valley,” the region also plays home to Lamborghini, Maserati Pagani and Ducati. Of course the testosterone and euphoria are dramatically pumping through your veins. No worries, a few glasses of the finest and rarest Cru in the land, Giramonte by the Frescobaldi family, will certainly mellow your temperament.

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The itinerary begins with a visit to the groundbreaking Ferrari Store in Maranello, which recently opened. Here you will choose fine bespoke accessories including their premium Prima Line, the pinnacle of the Ferrari Collection and specifically tailored to owners. Other items of interest include the lightweight super-exclusive Colnago for Ferrari CFB road bike, watches, headphones, sunglasses, two unique hues of Tod’s Ferrari shoes, and Shell FI pit crew uniforms for the boys. The enlarged boutique is magnificently designed with the comfort and professionalism you have come to expect from elite shopping on 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive. Crafted by some of Italy’s most regarded artisans, Prima is related to the original Prancing Horse of 1949 and is an extension of what Ferrari owners experience when they step out of a 612 Scaglietti, 599 GTB Fiorano, California, 458 Italia, or FF . Soon, the 740 horsepower V12 F12 Berlinetta and carbon fiber V12 LaFerrari will win over your soul and make its way into your collection. Hopefully.

After purchasing a few sport jackets, hats, accessories, and a Granturismo Ferrari Automatic timepiece you head back to town for succulent Italian pasta at Ristorante la Gazzella, sightseeing at the Museum of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and the Fortress of Bazzano, and later reserve a show at the opera to allow everyone to wallow in the moment. The following day will entail double duty as everyone gears up in Ferrari Red for a tour of Museo Ferrari and the factory where Ferrari makes dreams come true. Managed by Antonio Ghini, the exhibit is the only officially Ferrari-run museum and displays 46 historic vehicles from the 1947 125S V12, 1962 250 GTO V12, 2002 Enzo, 2005 FXX, 2009 599XX, to the innovative and high-tech LaFerrari. There is the SUPERCAR showcase, Formula 1 auditorium, a wax figure of Enzo Ferrari sitting in his original office, a mini Ferrari store, an FI simulator to test your racing skills, and much more. Magically, the museum is open seven days a week except Christmas and New Year’s Day.

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Your second guided tour will bring you to “The Business.” This is where life is instilled into every sports car galloping around the 61 global markets Ferrari does business in. The factory receives 10,000 visits annually and is more akin to a science lab than a mechanical operation. It’s clean, quiet and quite fascinating. Your wife is pleased by the 165,000 square meters of trees and flowers inside and outside the plant. She also finds out that Ferrari workers are treated like family. They have a medical center on the campus, Formula Benessere, which performs complimentary medical checks for employees and their families, a fitness center at headquarters to keep everyone active, and a summer kid’s camp. As Chairman Montezemolo would say, it takes exceptional men and women to build exceptional cars. As you pass by secret buildings, the “Classic” department and “Personalization Boutique” will be the last stops. Individualizing your vehicle is important business for the company. Here is where 500 owners come each year to make their pride and joy unique. With 100 item options per vehicle, opportunities for variety range from special rims, performance seats, custom steering wheels and distinctive stitching. Since you already own a Rosso (red) hue (40% of all Ferraris), then opt for Canary Yellow. The world is your oyster. The afternoon’s excitement leaves everyone eager for Italian cuisine so the final stop is in Ferrari’s restaurant “Podio” where every day is a winning lunch!

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During lunch your tour guide reminds you of the Ferrari theme park that opened in Abu Dhabi in 2010. Hosting the largest logo in the world, the Italian spectacle features a roller coaster with the performance and acceleration indicative of an actual F1 car. No longer looked upon as a kiddie playground, congenial reflections of the family vacation have suddenly shifted from Hawaii to the Middle East. “What a ‘Bella’ world we live in,” is your latest aspiration as you pull away in a half-day test drive of the AWD FF Super Wagon with the whole family!

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