The security gate snaps out of the way and I fulfill a dream: I pull a blood-red Ferrari out of the entrance of the Ferrari factory. Better, it’s the new 458 Italia, the successor to the immensely popular F430 sports car.
Almost nobody has driven the mid-engine monster, and fewer still have motored out of the same entrance where founder Enzo Ferrari himself, wearing an ill-fitting suit, arrived every morning, to be met by a dog named Dick.
Still, the village of Maranello, west of Bologna, is less romantic than I’d imagined. It is dominated by the car factory and tourism amounts to entrepreneurs selling rides in rag-tag Ferraris and pizza restaurants festooned with the Ferrari logo.