Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Emilia-Romagna - fast bikes and tortelloni

Seeing our travelling schedule, you might wonder Venice, Florence, Verona AND Imola??? Well this journey was not just about art, wine and dolce vita. We had a mission and the mission was called SUPERBIKE
We got both hooked watching motorbike races and we wanted to see how it is to be there for real. Do you actually see something? Can you follow the race? Is it exciting or just boring? How is the atmosphere? And what else comes to your mind.
Imola racing circuit from the air
So after two amazing days in magical Venice, we followed our overheating navigator through the Italian countryside to Imola. Those racing enthusiasts among you will know that Imola is famous for the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the Ferrari home circuit for the Formula 1.

We chose a position called "Aqua Minerale", which you can see quite in the center of the picture. We had a nice place on the slope in a park with view on the curves. One could say racing with picnic atmosphere, because that's what all Italians around us were doing.

The speeds of the bikes are a bit slower here in the curves than on the straights, but the interesting thing is that one could witness some important fights in ranking. Maybe the atmosphere is more tensed at the finish line, but I really enjoyed the races and also the people. They enjoyed a good competition and were feeling with the drivers. For example we could witness how one driver got off the track and was driving through the gravel in high speed directly to the concrete barrier. You could sense the tension and the scared looks of the people around and hear the sigh of relief followed by big applause when he just could turn the bike centimeters in front of the barrier and got back on track. I think the drivers must feel this kind of support too because they always have an additional round where they wave at the audience and do some fun tricks to celebrate with the audience. I must say I even got more hooked after this experience and I also have found my favorite: Max Neukirchner on Ducati 1199 Panigale R, #27!

Ducati Museum:
from the beginnings with "cucciolo", the attachable motor for bikes,
to the MotoGP champion bikes from the different years
After an exciting race, we had a look at the whole circuit to check out the best position for the next time and went for a well deserved dinner to 30km far away Bologna.
Everyone who has travelled with me before knows that I love to plan holidays nearly as much as going on holidays and during my research I came across a lovely looking trattoria in the heart of Bologna. 
The name of the place is Trattoria Anna Maria and the walls are covered with pictures and greetings from clients and friends all over the world. Being in Bologna we of course had our Tortelloni! Followed by game meat and zuppa inglese. Delicious! And the perfect finish for an exciting day!

              advertising from the early beginnings
FIM World Superbike champion bikes

But there is another amazing place in Bologna for two wheel enthusiasts; the Ducati factory and museum! I have arranged us a visit to both and I would like to say thanks to our guide Giulia who has showed us with a good portion of humor how a Ducati is being made and introduced us to the history of the company. 

We could witness the production of several models from the engine till the final tests and had couple of good laughs when Giulia was proudly explaining about the great working climate in the factory and the responsibility every worker has which leads also to very few mistakes in the production. But if you have seen all the Godfather movies and your Italian guide insists that workers "don't do the same mistake twice", you just can't help and start laughing.

Also our bike for the final test, the new Panigale, just stubbornly refused to start. That's what you call a show effect I guess, though Carlos Checa and Max Neukirchner can sing probably their own song about the difficulties with the new bike... The Diavel started immediately with the well-known Ducati roar. Forza Ducati!

favorite places in and around Bologna
for dinner:
Trattoria Anna Maria - Via Belle Arti, 17/a - 40100 Bologna 

for bikes:
Ducati Museum and Factory - Via Antonio Cavalieri Ducati, 3 - 40132 Bologna

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