Why speed-obsessed Modena is known as Motor Valley

Motor Valley. Just two words that encapsulate the spirit of the industrial and cultural district in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region that has been the cradle of several world-famous car and motorbike constructors. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati, Maserati and, of course, Stanguellini are just some of the brands that permanently shaped an entire industry.

In fact, it has been claimed that in Emilia-Romagna half of all businesses build cars, vans, trucks, tractors, buses and coaches. The other half build motorbikes! This passion for speed has been in the genes of the local people for generations, and even now it is reflected by the many enthusiasts and collectors attracted to the area.

The district is also at the cutting-edge: it is home to some of the most famous academies and training centres, with a strong bent for technological innovation, as well as museums and private collections that conserve the glories of the past. There is plenty of spectacular entertainment, too, with the celebrated Imola and Misano circuits.

Past, present and future of the Motor Valley

Modena Motor Valley

The Motor Valley’s history is deeply rooted in the past, when during the Twentieth Century the local farmers were faced with the first agricultural machines, which introduced them to the wonders of mechanical engineering and fuelled their curiosity. Many of them reinvented themselves as mechanics, following a new passion that led to the foundation of genuine businesses which grew up around men of genius such as Enzo Ferrari, Horacio Pagani or the Maserati brothers.

Today, the district known as Motor Valley, which initially only included the provinces of Modena and Bologna, comprises the whole Emilia-Romagna Region, which aims to become a genuine tourism district with the aid of the Motor Valley Development association. This no-profit association was founded in 2016 with the mission of promoting tourism in the Motor Valley region by coordinating the actions of all the main players.

But Motor Valley does not only promote its past; it also looks to the future by investing in education. From engineering to IT by way of communication, many aspects of the automotive and motorsports world are explored in the various specialisation courses for future leaders of the industry.

An industry integral to the Italian identity, to be safeguarded and valued.