Waking up early and a cup of black coffee later, I was ready to go to the Ducati factory. A group of Chinese tourist also stayed in the same hotel, I was surrounded by a group of seven men at the car park area as they wanted to know things about my bike and my journey. Usually I would be more than happy to chat, not today, I travelled this far to this factory tour, and nothing could stop me going. Politely I put my helmet on, shut my visor and went off.
Since my luck has been so great, I put extra 30 mins into my journey in case something would happen, of course, it would. The GPS took me to a farm instead of the HQ of Ducati! Tourism signage in Italy wasn’t very good. When I eventually found my way, I was told that I couldn’t park at the entrance; the space was exclusive for Ducati only. Still I wouldn’t complain as I was only too happy to be there.
The factory and museum tour was great. I also met a couple from Australia, Pat had two Ducati and not only knowledgeable about the history, but he also knew in depth experience of working on the mechanics of the bikes. It happened that both of them would come to Liverpool before setting off to Ireland. Being with him, I learned a lot more, even the tour guide admitted that she couldn’t match his wealth of experience and knowledge about the stable.
At the museum, there were lots of group visit. I was delighted to see so many young Italian teenage there, especially young girls that showed interests to the bikes. There is no way the same thing will happen at the factory of Triumph in the UK. It is because our youngsters are just too busy either playing with their gadgets or sitting in front of the computers.
With an afternoon to spare, I traveled to Modena and tried to reach the newly opened Enzo Ferrari Museum. The weather was gorgeously sunny and hot. I enjoyed every scene along the open fields and small towns. Traveling on the bike and wearing on the helmet, I sniffed some grilled nearby. It was from a food van parked by the side of the road. I had no ideas what it was, with the smell so good, I couldn’t care less. Ordering the food initiated lots of hand gestures. It was like a kebab with an Italian sausage, green pepper and aubergine. It was freshly cooked before you and very tasty. It was a bargain at 4.5 euro.
After the roadside pit stop, another 30 mins later, I arrived at Modena. My GPS had no record of such museum as it was only opened in March, I had to ask for direction. I ended up popping in a hotel as they would more likely speak English. The gentleman gave me a simple city map and direction to the museum, it turned out that he was the owner of the hotel. He then asked me to follow him to the back of the restaurant, when the double doors opened, there was a Ferrari sitting inside there. Obviously he was very proud of this Italian stallion and he even offered me to sit inside the car for a photo. Before I left, he reminded me that I should stay there next time when I visited the area again. What a bloke!
My impression of the location of the museum from this hotel was within walking distance, so I decided to park my bike up and walk. How wrong I was! No sign of the building after 15 mins walking, it’s time to ask again. At a photocopy shop, a young Italian woman stood outside having a cigarette. I asked her first but her response in Italian suggested that I should ask people inside. When I put the question to them, it turned into a complex discussion which involved 3 other people. I had no idea what they were talking about. Maybe I should leave now. One of the three turned out to be able to speak English, she explained to me that the Italian woman standing outside would be on her way home. The route would pass the museum and I should follow her. I was also advised that walking over would give me a chance to admire the local landmarks. I kindly accepted the offer.
While we were walking to the museum, this Italian woman was pushing a pram and I found it hard to keep up her pace. No wonder they said the Italian drivers were fast! At certain points, she stopped & pointed at some buildings. I then realised she was trying to explain to me what they were. Although I didn’t understand what she said, I was just too pleased with her friendless and kindness. Half an hour later, I was outside the museum. Whoever designed the building must know how to photograph vehicle, all the displayed car were on a platform, lots of nature light going inside the building. With the red colour against the white walls, it looked fabulous.
On my return trip, I even stopped at the local bike shops and did a bit window shopping. Menu for dinner, melon, salad and beers! What a day so far!