A Very Red Museum

To be fair, not all of the cars at the Ferrari museum in Faetano, San Marino, are red. But the emphasis is on "rossa" cars. Most of these rare specimens were driven in actual races, some are still raced today, nearly all are covered with decals and competition numbers. This is a peculiar place that is probably (but not definitely) worth an hour or so of your time. It is officially known as "Maranello Rosso Ferrari Museum," and also houses a Fiat Abarth exhibition, that we didn't see.
The museum is located right on the border with Italy in the town of Faetano, which doesn't seem to have much else to offer. Across the international boundary - which I say in jest; there isn't even a sign - is the airplane museum that we inadvertently visited a while ago. That first trip to this corner of San Marino was actually made to visit the Ferrari Museum, but there was a note on the door that said they were closed because of "extraordinary repairs," or something like that. When we came back, we were let in by a woman who seemed a little inconvenienced by our presence. She sold us tickets (12 euros each, which is outrageous) and turned on the lights for us. Nobody else came in while we were there.
The space itself is tight and strangely lit, with chandeliers and streetlight-styled fixtures casting difficult glimmers onto the mirrored walls. There are some carved doors and oversized urns that - I think - are supposed to evoke a swanky salon where someone has decided to park their collection of exotic cars. Each of the models is hemmed in by a guardrail thing, which makes them impossible to photograph whole and are also tripping hazards.
A good deal of the museum's literature and information is devoted to Enzo Ferrari, the racing champion and founder of the company, who apparently spent a lot of his life in San Marino. Wall plaques and photographs showed the man next to a wide selection of his quotes. Unfortunately, the museum also featured a large number of stills and "behind the scenes" photos of "Ferrari," a movie written about Ferrari by his son and featuring many of the cars in the Maranello Rosso collection.
This is a factory frame, used to form and fit pieces of sheet metal to the shape of the finished car.
In the museum's defense, the close quarters, gauche decor and questionable information displays couldn't cover up how beautiful the cars were. Rebecca, who has always said that Ferraris are ugly, admitted that she was struck by the looks of these models. They are all low slung, with curves and details that are more striking in person than in any picture.
The majority of them date from the late fifties to early seventies, with a few more recent outliers. This particular car was owned by Marylyn Monroe, and was the only white vehicle in the place.
In the end, it's mesmerizing to be there. There are twenty-five cars, many of them easily recognizable. It's a bizarre, mirrored, cramped museum that is probably worth the twelve euro admission price if you are really into cars or Ferraris. If you aren't, it will seem too expensive but may still charm you.
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