Ducatti & Ferrari
11.10.2010 - 11.10.2010 17 °C
James, John & I jumped into the 4wd at 6am and headed into Sinalunga to catch the 6:40am train to Arezzo. We arrived in the nick of time, bought our tickets, stamped them and jumped on board. I had allowed about 25 Euro give or take a little for train tickets today. The first ticket cost 3.30 Euro. We arrived into Arezzo about 40 minutes later and bought our tickets for Bologna which cost an astounding 17.50 Euro's. It was a funny train trip this one. Each carriage had 8 or so compartments/cabins which in turn had 6 seats. By the time we had checked all the compartments all of the seats were taken. We ended up sitting on fold down chairs in the narrow walk way which for one reason or another people continued to walk up and down like yo yo's meaning we had to get up, sit down, get up, sit down etc. until the next stop which took about 40 minutes. A few of the seats emptied in the cabins so we sat down. About 15 minutes later a couple poked their heads through the door and it turned out that i was sitting in one of their reserved seats, so out to the isle i went again. At the next stop i found a seat in another compartment for about 15 minutes or so until another couple came in with reserved tickets at which time i just gave up and sat in the isle. By this time James and John had been ousted from their cabin as well and joined me in the aisle. (I know... I feel like a disciple when I read it too!) Finally we arrived into Bologna at 9:40am. We checked the time table and saw that the next train headed our way was in about 40 minutes or so. We headed to the toilets which cost .80 Euro cents. I think they charged 30 cents more because these toilets had seats in them. I ordered a Cafe Latte and got a receipt which I handed to the guy at the service counter and got a warm cup of milk (latte) . It turns out I ordered a latte not a caffe latte. Even though I don't like warm milk I drank it because I had paid for it. We headed to platform 6 and waited, and waited and waited. Finally I checked the board to find that we were waiting at the wrong platform and that we were meant to be at platform 6 ovest instead of platform 6. We checked the departure time table and found another train leaving in 5 minutes so we sprinted over to the the other platform. We arrived at our next stop just before 11am and ran to the bus stop to see the bus leave just as we were getting to it. I checked the bus time table board and ran in the direction the arrow pointed. After 10 minutes running we stopped and asked a guy where the Ducatti Factory was only to find out it was in the opposite direction. We ran all the way back to the bus stop and checked the schedule. As we had to meet at the Ducatti factory gates and 11:15am for a pre booked tour we couldn`t be late. The next bus was due at 11:05am. At 11:06am I started pacing and it finally arrived at 11:09am. We took the bus to the third stop, jumped off, and ran all the way to the Ducatti factory. Phew!!! We arrived puffing and sweating at 11:14am.
We were taken through with a group of others to pay our tour fee. Once completed we headed through to the factory floor for a very quick and barely audible tour of the factory. Needless to say John and I were lagging quite a bit in most areas. We were taken through the manufacturing and assembly line from where the engines are built piece by piece and then assembled onto the frame, right through to the point of testing in a sound proof bay... which with all the noise of the Ducatti wasn`t all that sound proof! The bikes are then shipped naked to their destination where the shipping company apparently puts the fairing on. As usual no photos were allowed. After the factory tour we were led through to the museum and shown a lot of bikes right from the beginning of Ducatti through to present day super bikes and the gorgeous 916`s (not so present day) and 1198`s.
Once the tour concluded we decided to head to Modena and then Maranello to see the Ferrari museum with an Australian couple who we met on the tour. We walked down to the bus stop and while waiting James and I headed across the road to purchase some lunch. Just as our lunch was heating up the bus arrived so we attempted to speak Italian to get our lunch. John held the bus by asking the bus driver silly questions until we got there! We headed to the Bologna train station, jumped the next train to Modena and arrived about 50 minutes later. We then caught a bus and arrived at Maranello at about 3:30pm to the sweet sound of a GT car testing on the Maranelo test track. We headed to the Ferrari factory with offers along the way to test drive a Ferrari for 100 Euros for 10 minutes. By the time we got to the Ferrari museum it was down to 60 Euros. This was really tough for me as this was something I desperately wanted to do. I thought about it whilst we went through the Ferrari museum. They had everything from there very first formula 1 cars right through to last years F1 car, the latest GT car and the latest models of consumer cars.
Their were Bose sound rooms to listen to the sweet sound of the Ferrari at different rpms, computers to set up your own Ferrari for racing and... well loads of other stuff too! We had a cafe latte, yes this time I actually got one, and then headed down to the Maranello test track. We climbed the fence and watched the latest Ferrari F1 car going through its paces on the test track which was EPIC!!! We climbed the fense and hang onto the fense so we could get an unobstructed view. By the end of it my muscles were killing me.
This was an unexpected supprise and probably the highlight of the day! Eventually we headed back to the bus station and in turn to the train station and bid farewell to our Australian friends. We found a supermarket, bought a panini each, a bottle of water and a bag of cookies. We headed back to the train station and caught our train. We arrived into our second last stop, Arezzo, at 10:30pm. Whilst checking the train time table we found that there were no more trains to Sinalunga till the morning. We eventually bartered a taxi driver down to 55 Euros and after getting lost once arrived into Sinalunga just before midnight. I think the days transportation cost came out at about 60 Euros each!