Bologna and Modena: travel through Time in Search of History on Two Wheels and Four

Logo CC

A visit to the golden age of the combustion engine, this itinerary takes visitors on a tour of some of the most exceptional collections of vintage motorcycles and historic automobiles in and around Bologna and Modena. 

Experience landmark moments in the history of Italian design and manufacture and relive the adventures of the most celebrated drivers and racers.

  • Length
    72 hours
  • Interests
    Motor Valley
  • Target
  • First stop - Battilani Collection Imola

    Your journey through the history of motor vehicles starts at the Battilani Collection in Imola (Province of Bologna). 

    There, visitors can trace the evolution of the motorcycle from the “advanced bicycle” to the Mancini, Loris Capirossi’s first competition motorbike; from such pièces de résistance as the 1905 four-cylinder FN motorcycle to models from the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s.

  • Second stop - Pasquale Mesto Collection San Lazzaro di Savena

    Speaking of motorcycles: following the shuttering of the Italjet Factory, Pasquale Mesto is credited with organizing a lavish exhibition of motorcycles and, later, of assembling a special permanent collection of models that have quite a story to tell.

    At its site in San Lazzaro di Savena (Province of Bologna), the Pasquale Mesto Collection exhibits more than thirty models produced over fifty years at Italjet. 

  • Third stop - Poggi Motorcycle Collection Castenaso

    For anyone fascinated by Yamaha competition motorcycles, the Poggi Motorbike Collection at Villanova di Castenaso (Province of Bologna), curated by Pierluigi Poggi, is a literal paradise of two-wheeled wonders.

    The Poggi Motorcycle Collection is unequaled in Europe and its holdings include such historical items as Guido Paci’s “Pantera Rosa” (Pink Panther”) and the motorbikes ridden by world champions like Max Biaggi, Valentino Rossi, Carlos Checa, Gary McCoy, and Olivier Jacque. 

  • Fourth stop - Parmeggiani Collection Bologna

    The last stop of the day takes us to Bologna and the Parmeggiani Collection, established in 1980 by Gian Pietro Parmeggiani.

    The Parmeggiani Collection represents the best of Italian motorcycle manufacture between the 1920s and 1990s and includes more than fifty individual motorbikes, some of them one-of-a-kind, along with such iconic brand names as Ducati, BMW, Guzzi, Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, and Morini.

  • Fifth stop - The DEMM Motorcycle and Moped Museum Porretta Terme

    On our second day, we’ll continue our focus on motorcycles, setting off this time for Porretta Terme (Province of Bologna), amid the Apennines of Bologna, for a visit to the DEMM Motorcycle and Moped Museum. 

    The museum’s founder, Giuliano Mazzini, along with his son, Mosè, began collecting objects, documents, and legendary prototypes in 1985. Among the most classic motorcycles on display is the “Siluro,” the winner of twenty-four world records. 

  • Sixth stop - Bruno Nigelli Collection Monte San Pietro

    In Monte San Pietro (Province of Bologna), Bruno Nigelli’s lifelong passion inspired an important private collection.

    In the Bruno Nigelli Collection, the fun comes in discovering the more than 100 vintage motorcycles and learning the stories of the eighty-five manufacturers who contributed to Bologna’s extraordinary history of motorcycle racing.

  • Seventh stop - Pollini Collection Casalecchio di Reno

    Our tour of Bologna comes to a close in Casalecchio di Reno (Province of Bologna) with a new focus: automobiles. 

    The Pollini Collection takes us back to the 1950s for a taste of the styles and attitudes of those decades and onward to the year 2000. 

    The collections of automobiles and other mementos tell a story that transcends time.

    The personal collection of Giovanni Pollini, whose origins were in Bologna, conserves a large number of pieces, including models, leaflets, and drawings from the history of the auto.

  • Eighth stop - Umberto Panini Collection Modena

    On the third day, we head for Modena to visit collections of four-wheelers. 

    Our first stop, the Umberto Panini Collection, is one of the most beautiful and most complete collections of Maseratis, the icon of Italian car manufacture.

    Located just outside of Modena, the Umberto Panini Collection is now the custodian of what was once the illustrious Maserati Museum.

    The cars on display here were patiently assembled over the course of many years and represent the most important moments in the history of the “Trident,” the Maserati’s storied logo.

    Some of these models are so exclusive as to be almost literally priceless: the 1934 6C/34, for example, of which only six were produced and which was the prewar winner of the Modena and Naples Gran Prix, or the “Berlinetta” Pininfarina A6GCS, produced in a run of only four individuals. The A6GCS won the Mille Miglia competition in three different years in its category.

    A visit to the collection means not only soaking up the rarefied air of Maserati luxury and elegance but discovering the prestigious auto manufacturer’s history as well.

  • Nineth stop - Stanguellini Museum Modena

    The Stanguellini Museum is dedicated to the Modena-based automobile manufacturer of the same name—to its glorious past, its countless competitions and victories, and, of course, to its cars, which have remained in the imaginations of automobile lovers ever since.

    The fascinating Stanguellini Museum, founded in Modena in 1996, gives visitors a chance to admire the finest automobiles, accessories, and publicity materials of an era.

    Among the thirty or so vehicles on display, the first Fiat Sport 750 and 1100, the Stanguellini Junior 1100, and the Stanguellini-Guzzi Colibrì are special favorites. Don’t forget to take a moment to admire the Fiat Tipo 0 and its MO 1 plate number—the first car registered in Modena.

  • The Gavioli Antica Cantina in Nonantola Nonantola

    We wrap up our journey with a visit to the Gavioli Antica Cantina in Nonantola (Province of Modena).

    Inside the Cantina, the Museo del Vino e della Civiltà Contadina (the Museum of Wine and Rural and Farming Life) displays wine casks and old-time tools as well as precious sport memorabilia that belong to the Giacobazzi family, the owners of the Cantina.

    These mementos testify to the competitive exploits of the undisputed champions of Formula 1 and to the success of the historic sporting sponsorships of Giacobazzi Vini, which have linked his name to such important drivers as Gilles Villeneuve, the winner of six Grands Prix. In the extraordinary exhibition area, visitors will find a number of cars that have made Italian automobile history, but the real eye-catcher for enthusiasts will be the Williams FW16, the Formula 1 single-seater driven by the Brazilian racing driver, Ayrton Senna, in Imola.

Last update 26/01/2024

Information offices

IAT Informazione Accoglienza Turistica Imola
Via Emilia, 135 - Imola (BO)
+ 39 0542 602 207 + 39 0542 602207
Ufficio Relazioni con il Pubblico di San Lazzaro di Savena
Piazza Luciano Bracci, 1 - San Lazzaro di Savena (BO)
+ 39 051 622 8174
Ufficio Relazioni con il pubblico di Castenaso
Piazza Bassi, 1 - Castenaso (BO)
+ 39 051 6059248
IAT Bologna Welcome
Piazza Maggiore, 1/E - Bologna (BO)
+ 39 051 6583111
I.A.T. di Alto Reno Terme
Piazza della Libertà, 11 - Porretta Terme (BO)
+ 39 0534 521103
Semplice - Sportello Polifunzionale per il cittadino di Casalecchio di Reno
Via dei Mille, 9 - Casalecchio di Reno (BO)
+ 39 051 598111
Modena Tourist Information Office
Piazza Grande, 14 - Modena (MO)
+ 39 0592032660 + 39 059 2032659 Opening: all year round

You may also like...

OFFICIAL TOURIST INFORMATION SITE © 2024 Emilia-Romagna Region Tourism and Commerce Department