The Emilia Romagna region, and more specifically Motor Valley, is the Italian heart of all that is race engineering and sleek design.
Let’s focus on the motorbike giant in this article.
How to Get There
The Ducati museum and factory are in a little town called Borgo Panigale about 20 minutes away from the center of Bologna. Though it is possible to get to the Ducati museum by train, it requires a train and bus change. The fastest and easiest way is definitely by car.
From Florence, take the highway in the direction of Bologna. Take the ring road (tangenziale) around Bologna in the direction of Casalecchio di Reno/Firenze/Milano and take the A14 towards Casalecchio. Follow viale Alcide de Gasperi and then Via Antonio Cavalieri Ducati. You can’t miss the factory buildings. Depending on traffic it should take around 1.20 hour.
If you are in Florence and want to visit it, the tour operator I Just Drive organises aDucati Factory Tour from Florence that also stops at the Ferrari and Lamborghini museums.
Story of the Brand
Though nowadays the Ducati name is always associated with motorbikes, the company originally started by patenting and producing shortwave transmitter radios.
In 1926, Adriano Cavalieri Ducati and his two brothers Bruno and Marcello founded the Società Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati. Within 10 years they employed a 1000 workers in their Borgo Panigale factory. During WWII, the factory was considered a strategic target and therefore razed to the ground on October 12th 1944. In the Italian reconstruction effort, mobility became a priority.
The Ducati brothers saw an opportunity and started a new era for the brand: one of reliable and affordable transport. The first model was called Ducati Vilar Cucciolo (the last word translates as puppy) and was a single cylinder engine adapted to a bicycle. As the years passed, they specialised more and more in speed and technology. The Ducati values are style, sophistication and performance.
Different Types of Visits
The Borgo Panigale experience includes different options.
Discover the most iconic Ducati models and find out all about the brand that has shaped the world of motorbike racing. The visit takes about an hour and in order to improve the user experience, Ducati has designed a companion app.
Follow instructions on your entrance ticket and download the virtual tour on your phone. The museum is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays in winter, and only on Wednesdays in spring/summer.
The Borgo Panigale complex closes for national holidays and for a week in August (from the 10th to the 16th). The museum entrance fee is €17 per person for single tickets, €15 for groups and €12 for Ducati card holders. Minors cannot visit the museum unaccompanied.
Ducati fans shouldn’t miss the opportunity to witness how the high performing motorbikes are made. Check out how the engines are assembled and how the finished products are tested.
This is also an opportunity to meet the women and men behind the brand. Make sure to book your tour in advance. The factory visit can be in English or Italian. Remember to wear closed shoes or you won’t be granted access on the factory floor. The entrance fee is €32 per person which also includes the Ducati museum visit.
Physics in Motion Tour
If you are interested in how the study of physics can enhance the performance of motorbikes, then this exhibit is for you. Ducati has created a lab with prominent physics professors to explain with hands-on experiments the most important physics principles applied to motorbikes.
Though is exhibit is mainly geared towards high school students and teachers, it can be interesting for most visitors. During the school year (October to June), non student visitors only have access to the exhibit on Saturdays afternoons so make sure to book in advance to guarantee yourself a spot.
The entrance price is €32 per person and includes the Ducati museum visit.