There is a reason why Emilia-Romagna has been given the name Motor Valley. Legend has it that, when being weaned, babies born in this region were given a dose of pe in their baby bottles…
This is obviously a joke, but it doesn’t mean that the DNA of the people from this region isn’t clearly encoded with an affinity for motors.
This is a four-stop itinerary dedicated to those who want to experience, first-hand, a little bit of this DNA that smells like asphalt, adrenaline and petrol.
The first stop is the Autodromo Riccardo Paletti in Varano de’ Melegari, in the province of Parma. It is surrounded by the Parma Apennines and welcomes both two-wheeler and four-wheeler lovers.
In fact, this is where you can put yourself to the test by taking beginner driving lessons in the Centro Internazionale Guida Sicura [International Centre for Safe Driving], useful for improving your driving skills and controlling your vehicle, as well as lessons for driving sports motorbikes and on advanced safe driving.
Throughout the years, the Autodrome in Varano de’ Melegari has built areas dedicated to reproducing different road conditions by introducing artificial rain-making machines and low-grip asphalt with certain kinds of resins.
This was all done to guarantee advanced training lessons and create the ideal conditions, with challenging curves, that substantially cover all the different types of curves that drivers may encounter on any road open to traffic.
The second stop is the Autodromo di Modena. This structure was built to offer safe driving courses for sports driving, daily driving and, mostly, driving with highly specialised techniques aimed at improving safety and performance thanks to controlled eye movements and correct visual pointing.
Here too, there are many days in which driving courses are offered, where you can go onto the tracks and drive through an obstacle course that has been set to safely reproduce the most common incidences when driving a vehicle.
But that’s not all. The Autodrome in Modena is free for anybody who wants to drive their own vehicle and/or motorbike (amateurs and experts included) in order to optimize their driving skills and techniques.
The third stop is the Autodromo di Imola, better known as Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
It is open, for free tests, to cars and motorbikes.
This track is universally known for being very technical, difficult to drive on and with rather complex curves and breaks.
High speed driving on this track is only for expert drivers.
The origins of the Autodromo di Imola are told by an exceptional person, Enzo Ferrari, in his book published in 1980. “My first contact with Imola dates back to the spring of 1948. I thought from the first moment that this hilly environment could one day become a small Nurburgring. I was present at the ground-breaking ceremony…A small Nurburgring – I repeated that day looking around – a small Nurburgring…”
The fourth stop of this itinerary, dedicated to visiting some of the most famous autodromes in Emilia-Romagna, ends with what can be defined as the last destination of the pilgrimage; the Misano Circuit.
In 2012, after the fatal accident in Sipang of the famous “Sic”, who started his motorbike racing career precisely in Misano, this circuit changed its name to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, in his honour.
Non-professional drivers, who occasionally come on the Misano circuit for mere fun, are offered the possibility to test drive their motorbikes and cars. Furthermore, the Misano World Circuit is home of the safe driving school GuidarePilotare, which was founded in 1982 and constantly kept up to date.
The possibilities of living the driving experience are basically ongoing but in this itinerary you would be crazy not to finish with a drive on the go-kart tracks, completely lit at night for a summer night’s thrill. This is for all those who love competition and know how to accept a challenge!
So… are you ready? The lights are about to turn green!