The Redheads of Maranello
Story and photos by Tom Weber
on board the motorcoach with the rest of my groggy-eyed group of merry
media journalists and photographers invited by Insight
Vacations to sample an abbreviated version of its fabulous Country
Roads of Italy itinerary that races you through Umbria and Tuscany
I'm trying desperately to clear my head after yesterday's "dark
and foodie night" of eating way too much and over imbibing,
and this morning's early wake-up call. YAWN.
Carlo, our experienced charioteer, puts
the big fella in gear as we bid Arrivederci! to Borgo
San Luigi, the sprawling Tuscan villa where we spent two memorable
nights, mostly at the bar.
As Tuscany, with all of its lovely rolling
hills filled with vineyards and olive groves, fades away in the rearview
mirror, I can think of only one thing: REDHEADS.
Not the Super Tuscan wines we just left behind, the flowing locks of
Nicole Kidman, Rita Hayworth and Lucille Ball, nor the curly pate of
No, I'm thinking about the sleek, fast-to-the-finish
line redheads designed, engineered and built by the late Persol
sunglasses-wearing Enzo Ferrari: the Testa Rossa (redhead). And,
we'll get a good look at a bevy of Il Commendatore's redheads
shortly when Insight's motorcoach pulls into the parking lot fronting
the Museo Ferrari
You know the drill, roll the "R"
and repeat after me: mah-rah-NEL-oh. Outstanding!
To get to the museum, we have to motor
up the A1 autostrada (toll way), leaving the rays of the Tuscan
sun for the flatter, more industrialized region of the Emilia-Romagna,
the manufacturing hub of fast cars Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Lamborghini
and, of course, Ferrari and home to regional foodie favorites
like mortadella, tortellini, lasagne and ragu'
alla bolognese (meat sauce). A pretty fair geographical exchange,
wouldn't you say?
Rounding the corner, we eye the large black
stallion. We've arrived.
Like a well-tuned pit crew, we're off the
motorcoach and inside the museum in a flash, and pick up headsets for
English language narration while we wait on our Ferrari girl, a guide
assigned to us for the VIP tour.
Sorry. I can't wait for the guide, curvaceous
as she might be. I've got to get ahead of this media pack, like Lauda
in '75 when he flew across the finish line at Monte Carlo in a 312/T.
So, off I go in search of Enzo's curvaceous redheads.
With over 3,500 square meters of surface
space including a Formula 1 simulator that lets you strap yourself
in and give it a go more than 250,000 visitors pass through the
turnstiles of the Museo Ferrari annually to walk among the legendary
stable of cars with the prancing horse logo that has won 31 Formula
1 World Constructors' and Drivers' titles and counting.
The industrial gray floors and white walls
and ceilings, coupled with excellent lighting, make the museum the perfect
photo-shoot studio. Living up to what Cavaliere Ferrari once
said, Sono uno che ha sognato (I am one who has dreamed), this
place is a true auto racing aficionado's dream come true.
Buffed to the nines, Enzo's redheads, along
with a few of his white and blue creations, just lie in wait to pose
for the camera. Every buxom speedster is so willing and able.
Close up, low, wide and overhead, I'm going
orgasmic, like Selleck in Magnum, P.I., crawling, kneeling and
lying on my back to frame these red-hot beauties with my lens the best
I can. Both batteries now spent on the DSLR, I switch over to the iPhone
5 for a few extreme wide shots.
With everything to see, seen, I pack up
my gear and take the proverbial checkered flag as I walk out of Enzo's
historic gasoline alley. I gotta tell you, it's a real pity to have
to leave all of those gorgeous redheads behind.
Back aboard the motorcoach, now just a
"slow boat to China" ride compared to what's inside Museo
Ferrari, Belinda, Insight's tour guide-slash-storyteller, gives out
our new GPS coordinates.
We'll double back a bit and stop in
Bologna for a short stroll and then a quick lunch on your own euro.
She adds, By the way, Bologna is affectionately known as "La
Grassa," or "Fatso," because of all of her great cuisine.
What do think of that?
All together now: FATSO! FATSO! FATSO!
For complete information on Insight
Vacations' 12 Italian premium and luxury-escorted itineraries and
over 100 journeys throughout Europe, just click HERE,
or call toll free (888) 680-1241, or contact your travel agent.
I'll see you in a little bit when we gather
in Bologna's Piazza Maggiore to chew the fat.
Ciao for now.
Good Humor Man of San Gimignana; Scorgiano:
A Dark and Foodie Night; San
Gimignano: Scraping the Tuscan Sky; Chianti
Pours Forth from Fonterutoli; Cortona:
Under the Renovated Tuscan Sun; Linnertime