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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
My wife and I are traveling to Italy July 18-august 8th. We are renting a car and touring around.

Wanted to pick the collective brain for ideas.

1) is the Alfa museum still closed?

2)anyone with Ferrari contacts able to get us a Ferrari factory tour for 7/28?

3)any other suggestions for alfisti touring italia?

Thanks,
Jonathan
 

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Rusty,

i don't know if the Alfa museum will be still closed (but i easily suppose yes), but, where precisely you will go? Have you already a road plan or will you adopt a "pinball" approach to the trip?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here is the plan. Lots of flexibility on the path between cities.

Start in Rome then Marataea near amalfi coast, then Naples then up to Tuscany and Florence. From Florence we head to Bolgna and then Venice. Then north to the prosecco road. Then to lake como, Tremezzo, Milan, cinque terra and back to rome.

J
 

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If you're flying into and out of Fiumicino airport, I'd suggest taking the train into Rome, touring the city, then returning to the airport by train to rent the car. Rome is a walking city and it just doesn't make sense to pay rental on a car when it will probably not be used. Besides, Rome can be VERY difficult to get around in if you aren't familiar with the roads.

While there, find the nearest stop for the 116 or 117 bus. These are small electric busses that take the small, back roads and get you to within walking distance of just about anything in Rome that's worth seeing. The 116 runs east-west while the 117 runs north-south, intersecting near the Palazzo Chigi.

BTW, on our last trip to Rome, we stayed in an apartment on Via Giulia (appropriately) while it was celebrating its 500th anniversary as a road.:D
Via Giulia 002_web.jpg

According to the Alfa Romeo site, the museum is still closed for "maintenance".:(

Other auto museums (other than Alfa and Ferrari factory museums) are:

Maranello Rosso near Rimini (Ferrari and Abarth collections)

Lamborghini Factory Museum near Sant'Agata Bolognese (Lambos, of course)

Museo dell'Automobile di Torino in, where else, Torino. (Alfa, Ferrari, Fiat and just about everything else)
(One of the largest auto museums in Europe)

Museo dell'Automobile "Luigi Bonfanti" near Bassano del Grappa (most Italian makes)

Museo dell'Automobile di San Martino in Rio near Modena (A little of everything, including Alfas)

Museo Nicolis near Verona (cars (many Alfas), motorcycles, bicycles, musical instruments, typewriters, etc., etc., etc.)

Hope this helps!
 

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Here is the plan. Lots of flexibility on the path between cities.

Start in Rome then Marataea near amalfi coast, then Naples then up to Tuscany and Florence. From Florence we head to Bolgna and then Venice. Then north to the prosecco road. Then to lake como, Tremezzo, Milan, cinque terra and back to rome.

J
Well, Brad gave you suggestions ad good as i couldn't do better. Fine. So i'll give you a "technical" advice:in that period, if you can, and especially in the north of Italy (Florence and up), avoid Autostrada in south direction on Saturday morning, and north direction on Sunday evening, unless you want to spend the day in a car cue...
 

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I think only owners get a tour of the Ferrari factory, and they have to arrange it through their dealership months in advance. The museum is always open as are several notable restaurants in the area. Send photo's if you get there.

Have fun,

Jeff
Dallas, Texas
164 LS
 

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Just came back from Italy and agree with comments. Rome by train , Metro and foot only. Take a guided historical tour. 25 people max and a PHD Archeologist as guide.(can get you name of outfit if needed) GREAT. Take train to Ostia- original Roman seaport thats in remarkable shape.
Went to Sicily ( God's country) Amazing and the roads are wonderful for spirited driving. The drive from Catania to Comisa was sometimes three-wide -late breaking- drafting trucks. Kinda like going into turn 1 at the Glen for 2 hrs. Good Luck and have fun.
 

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I think only owners get a tour of the Ferrari factory, and they have to arrange it through their dealership months in advance. The museum is always open as are several notable restaurants in the area.

A few years ago I had a personal tour at the Ferrari factory with only a two week notice.
This guy I knew, knew a Doctor in Italy who I think did some work on the Pope or did some operation on one of the Ferrari exec's kid (I forgot). None of us owned a Ferrari. Prolly One of the best things I have ever done:D , as said just go out and eat
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the advice guys. Love the Alfa community.

From what I understand Ferrari tours are
For owners but if you know someone you can make it happen. Who has a contact to share?

Thanks
J
 

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Thanks for all the advice guys. Love the Alfa community.

From what I understand Ferrari tours are
For owners but if you know someone you can make it happen. Who has a contact to share?

Thanks
J
Don't miss the newly enlarged Car Museum in Turin. Absolutely fantastic!!!!!
And Turin is a wonderful city to visit (do a Google search). Stay at the Hotel Principi di Piemonte! You'll love it!
 

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E-mail Ferrari. No cameras allowed in the factory when I sent a friend last year. Local dining by the factory is four star. Test track is an ear-full when in use.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the advice. Emailed Ferrari with no luck. They said tours for owners only. Need a "connection"
 

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Bertone museum?

If Turin/Torino is within the scope of possible places to visit - and, if you can actually verify in writing that they'll open it up for you, I thought this was a highlight of my only trip to Italy, about 10 years ago, when my wife and I joined the "Car Guy Tour". Apparently, even w/ documentation, you may still be SOL when you appear at the gates. This is Italy, after all. But I'd still try - what's the worst they can do to you? Actually, being Italy, I'll retract that question.

By virtue of the tour, we were able to visit an unbelievable array of factories, museums, design/styling houses, etc. I assume it would have been next to impossible as an individual to replicate this experience. We were also extremely fortunate in being able to talk our way onto the Ferrari factory tour, due to my wife conversing extensively with the woman who was the organizing/marketing coordinator at Ferrari, earlier, at lunch. She must have just assumed we had our letter. Being part of a group (several of whom had astronomically scaled egos and demonstrated a level of rude behavior that would put a drunk sailor to shame) was obviously an immense advantage.

I mention Bertone, specifically, because seeing the prototypes that I absorbed as a youngster through the car mag. images was absolutely surreal - and wonderful. Bertone has always been a favorite designer of mine, and with a Giulia Sprint GT in my barn, the place just resonated with me. I seem to recall that you may have one of these, too.. ;)

Anyway, Pininfarina was my second favorite locale, but if it could only be one..

Good Luck.

-----
Oops. Almost forgot - two cr*ppy quality, teaser pics, shot straight out of the photo album. It was '99, incidentally.

Museum -



Corvair styling exercise - (second car on right, in above image):

 

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........

I mention Bertone, specifically, because seeing the prototypes that I absorbed as a youngster through the car mag. images was absolutely surreal - and wonderful. Bertone has always been a favorite designer of mine, and with a Giulia Sprint GT in my barn, the place just resonated with me. I seem to recall that you may have one of these, too.. ;)

Anyway, Pininfarina was my second favorite locale, but if it could only be one..

Good Luck.

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Oops. Almost forgot - two cr*ppy quality, teaser pics, shot straight out of the photo album. It was '99, incidentally.

Museum -



Corvair styling exercise - (second car on right, in above image):

You mean the museum which should host these cars:





No, you can't anymore. Bertone is under what in USA is called chapter 11, i don't know if it's open, but i seriously doubt about that.
You know, when the CEO of a car corporation knows car and car history as well as i know how to build atomic bombs, i think it's a usual situation.
And we'll see what will happen to the Arese museum.

Speaking about Ferrari.....no, better don't speak.
Only for Ferrari owners?
Go there and show your $1M tax declaration, i bet they will drive you for a tour even at their home.
From passion for the cars to passion for the wallet, in this moment better if chinese or russian.
Bleah....
 

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No, you can't anymore. Bertone is under what in USA is called chapter 11, i don't know if it's open, but i seriously doubt about that. [..]
That is very sad news, indeed. Maintaining a collection where enthusiasts can absorb a company's heritage appears to be a luxury now, not a requirement. I know the Maserati collection was "saved" before being sold off to Asian collectors (not that there is anything wrong with car aficionados in Asia!). I just hope the Bertone cars remain accessible, as a group, somewhere, somehow, in Italy.
 

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Bertone is no longer in bankruptcy as they were bought out by Fiat in 2009. Where the museum's car are is anyone's guess.:(
 

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Hey Rusty Racer - how about an update? Were you able to make it into the Ferrari factory? Let us know how the trip went. Inquiring minds want to know.

Cheers,

Jeff
Dallas, Texas
1994 Alfa Romeo 164 LS
1977 Fiat 124 spider
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So sorry for the delay. I do feel guilty, you guys gave all this help and I don't even share my experiences. I will work on a post tonight with pics and details. We had a great trip.

Jonathan
 

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Discussion Starter #19
3 Weeks in Italia

Hi,
First, thank you all so much for the friendly advice on our Italy trip. We had an amazing time. It is great to have such a good community here in the alfabb to come for advice on anything italian or car related. Second. I am such a firm believer in the 6 degrees of separation thing and the power of networking but it failed for me on the Ferrari factory tour. I tried every thing I could think of to set up a Ferrari Factory tour. We contacted our local dealers, car nut friends, alfabb, hotel concierges, multiple phone calls to the factory and credit card concierges with out luck. It seems they have gotten strict and you need a vin number and proof of ownership to get in. I am sure there are still ways around it but no luck here. But lots of other fun was had.

Our itinerary was as follows. 20 days in Italy (turned 21 thanks to US airways) Direct flight from Charlotte to Rome. 2 nights in Rome then picked up a rental car at the out skirts of Rome, a fine Lancia Ypsilon, then drove down to Maratea south of Amalfi. Two nights there then a drive up to Pompei and a stay in Naples. Then to Montalcino in Tuscany for two nights. From there we drove to Florence for a night then toured Ferrari Museum and Ducati Factory and stayed in Bologna. Then to Venice for 2 nights, Valdobbiadene 2 nights and Tremezzo Lake Como for 2 nights. From there we drove to milan and flew to Ibiza spain to meet some friends also on vacation (learned at 30 something we are too old and don't use enough drugs to enjoy Ibiza). Then after one night in Ibiza flew back and did a night in Milan before heading to Cinque Terre for 2 nights. Then drive back to Rome and got an extra night there due to canceled flight (thanks US airways).

Survived, event free and car scratch free.

General impressions:
Italy is an amazing county with beautiful and friendly people. We know almost no Italian and everyone bent over backwards to help us and talk to us. Even going as far as to apologize for their poor english. I would wave this off as I feel guilty for not knowing more Italian before visiting.

Italy is quite mountainous. This was surprising to me but led to great driving.

Lancia Ypsilons are slow

Rental Car companies leave tires low (front tires 15 psi) to try to kill you when you drive the amalfi road in the rain.

Drivers are aggressive in southern italy. Turn two lane roads into 4 lanes and take the right of way. But once you catch on it is a fun way to drive and works well. But then I learned the bad habits and in northern Italy I looked like a rude driver.

Traffic circles are the work of the devil. Seriously a three lane traffic circle??? How is that supposed to work? This is where I got closest to a crash. Someone shot from inside lane to a exit missing me by inches.

The left lane respect on the autostrada is amazing and inspiring. Very frustrating now to be wanting to pass someone on the highway and be stuck behind some slow *** biatch in a mini van.

We in the US do not know the meaning of expensive gas.

Or expensive toll charges.

I love the idea of speed cams. Nicely labeled, GPS knew where they were, no rude cops to deal with.

Well I will share some pictures and stories in the next few post. May take me a couple days but thank you for your patience and help on this trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Rome

We left Charlotte, NC on a direct flight. Left at around 630 pm and arrived in Rome around 830 am. Cab ride to the hotel was about 40 euro, not cheap.

Stayed at Hotel Raphael, beautiful.

Piazza near our hotel:


Checked out the Vatican and did some walking. Rome is impressive with the age of everything. You walk around a corner and there lies a 2000 year old structure. Awesome to see.





Beautiful dinner in the area of Trastavere.

Next day spent checking out the Colosseum and roman forum. Very interesting to see what humans are capable of for entertainment left to our secular ways.






Roman forum and 2000 year old perfect arches.



Trevi Fountain



Then we hit a wine bar, dinner and back to hotel.

In the morning we are checking out and look over to see someone having their makeup done on the lobby couch. Me: "look Kris (wifey) that strange!" Kris: "Holly S#$t that's Penelope Cruiz." Filming a movie in the lobby. Funny



Car scene out front:


Head to outskirts of Rome to pick up the fine Lancia Ypsilon, set up the iphone with tomtom western europe app and tomtom map and head off to Maratea:

 
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