Did you know that the Motor Valley in Emilia Romagna is heaven on earth for supercar lovers? After an amazing Ferrari driving experience, we got to go on a secret tour of the Lamborghini factory and museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese!
Ok, let’s play a game. If I say ‘supercar’, what brand comes to mind? I’m pretty sure Ferrari will be on everyone’s lips, with Lamborghini as a close second.
Then, other names will follow – perhaps Maserati, Pagani, Bugatti, or Porsche, Tesla, or whatnot. However, it is undeniable that no other brands convey the idea of speed and power as much as Ferrari and Lamborghini, the two best-known car manufacturers from the Motor Valley, the part of Emilia Romagna between Modena and Bologna.
Brief History of Lamborghini
There are many similarities between Ferrari and Lamborghini – both brands were the brainchild of two legendary men, Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio Lamborghini, both from Emilia Romagna.
Ferrari rose to fame first, in the post-WW2 period, both in the racing world and as a maker of extraordinary sports cars. Ferruccio Lamborghini was a wealthy industrialist, owner of a tractor-manufacturing company, and also loved sports cars.
Ferruccio collected sports cars, and he owned a few Ferraris. He believed Ferraris were beautiful cars, but found faults in their engineering, especially in the clutch – he tried to share his criticism with Enzo Ferrari, but was ridiculed.
Guess what? Lamborghini thought. I’m going to start making cars as well, and they’ll be way better than Ferraris.
And so, the Lamborghini legend was born.
Where is the Lamborghini Factory?
Automobili Lamborghini was founded in 1963 in Sant’Agata Bolognese, where the company headquarters are still located to this day, with the Lamborghini factory and museum just next door.
Sant’Agata is 30 km out of Bologna, a quick 30-min drive if you have your own car. If not, you can just hop on bus number 576 from Bologna station, and you’ll reach Sant’Agata in just under an hour. It’s a fun way to escape the touristy Bologna historic centre for one day!
If you have time, make sure you also spend some time looking around Sant’Agata – besides the Lamborghini factory and museum there’s also a nice church and theatre, plus a Lamborghini bar and luxury car rentals if you want to take your very own Lamborghini for a spin around the Motor Valley.
We also recommend heading to Ristorante La Taiadela for lunch, before or after your visit to the Lamborghini museum – not only is the food really delicious, this is also the ‘official’ restaurant where Lamborghini employees have their lunch, and there’s even a separate group for meetings with important clients!
How to Plan a Lamborghini Factory Tour
When you visit the Lamborghini headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, you can choose to go on a Lamborghini factory tour (which includes entrance to the museum), or just head to MUDETEC, the Lamborghini Museum of Technology.
If you want to opt for the factory tour (which you should totally do, as it’s amazing) we HIGHLY recommend booking in advance, as tickets are limited and they sell out during high season.
Tickets for the Lamborghini factory tour cost €75 per person. Tours are available Monday to Friday – the first is at 9.30 AM and the last is at 3.45 PM, following normal working hours.
There are no tours on the following days: May 1st, August 5th-23rd, November 1st, and December 23rd-31st.
Also, please be aware it’s strictly forbidden to take pictures in the Lamborghini factory. You’ll be asked to lock your cameras and phones away, so don’t try to be smart and sneak some shots in!
The Secret Lamborghini Factory Tour
Our first stop at the Lamborghini headquarters was also the moment we all looked forward to the most – the Lamborghini factory tour!
I am a big fan of visiting working factories anywhere we go, and I have been to a fair few in the past – the first thing I thought upon entering the Lamborghini factory was wow, it’s so quiet. Don’t expect the sound of clanging steel and banging metal, production lines working at full speed, while workers with grease up to their elbows run around.
Lamborghini cars are works of art, and like all works of art, they take time to be made. Currently, the Lamborghini factory produces three car models – the Aventador, the Huracan, and the Urus, an SUV.
We started with the Huracan production line. The line is divided into several work stations, each dedicated to a specific task – combining the engine to the frame of the car, and then adding seats, wheels, windows, all parts one by one until you’re left with a brand new, shiny Huracan.
Our guide, jokingly, called the Huracan ‘our baby boo’, as it’s the smallest and least expensive of the three cars currently being produced – ‘only’ about €100,000, excluding customisation.
Each Huracan spends 35 minutes at each work station, each step carefully timed with a countdown on monitors. A total of 13 Huracans are being produced in the Lamborghini factory daily – and when they reach the end of the production line, they’re driven away, before being taken for further testing.
After the Huracan production line it was time for the Aventador. In that case, production is even slower – Aventadors spend 100 minutes at each work station, and only 4.5 are produced daily.
As a result, the starting price for an Aventador is considerably higher – a minimum of €180,000! However, the final price is almost always several thousand euro higher, as most clients opt for add-ons like custom stitching, special seats or special paint colours.
Our visit to the Lamborghini factory lasted about an hour. We were lucky to see a brand-new green Huracan drive away, after reaching the end of the production line, and even to catch a glimpse of the testing rooms.
Even if you’re not a car person, you’ll no doubt gain appreciation for these wonderful cars – I certainly did!
MUDETEC – Lamborghini Museum of Technology
The Lamborghini factory tour was definitely the highlight of our afternoon in Sant’Agata, but that wasn’t the end of it – we also visited the MUDETEC, the Lamborghini Museum of Technology.
The museum has two floors – the ground floor is dedicated to the history of Lamborghini. You can read some info about Ferruccio and how he created the Lamborghini dream, but it’s also quite likely that your attention will be captured by the shiny iconic models on display – like the red 350 GT Superleggera, one of the very first Lamborghini.
When we visited there were also two Lamborghini Diablo side by side, and a stunning purple Countach with a ‘UFO’ numberplate, in reference to the 1970s space race.
The top floor displays several supercars currently in production, plus a number of prototypes and concept cars. The display is rotated periodically – we saw a Veneno, recently making headlines as the most expensive Lamborghini ever sold at $8.4 million, and a Lamborghini Centenario, featured in Transformers 5.
Our Lamborghini Driving Experience
BTW, did you know that at the Lamborghini Museum you can also try your hand at driving a Lamborghini?
No, not a real Lamborghini unfortunately – you’ll have to head to the Modena Autodrome or some other race tracks in the region offering driving experiences. You can find more info on the Motor Valley website.
On the top floor of the Museum, you’ll find a driving simulator where you can pick your favourite Lamborghini to drive around one of the world’s great race tracks.
Nick and I opted to drive a Huracan GT3 around the Monza circuit – and it was a disaster! Let me tell you, these things are hard to drive. We all crashed several times. So, we all decided to put our Lamborghini driving dreams on hold for now, and just learn to love these stunning cars from afar.
Interesting Lamborghini Facts
During our visit to the Lamborghini factory and museum we also learned some interesting facts about Lamborghini’s past and present. There are too many to list here, and I don’t want to spoil your visit, but here are my favourites!
-Ferruccio Lamborghini was never interested in racing
Many other Motor Valley supercar manufacturers, like Ferrari and Maserati, sold cars to fund their very own racing enterprises. On the other hand, Ferruccio Lamborghini was only interested in making good cars, and never participated in races.
-Lamborghini cars are names after famous fighting bulls
The Lamborghini logo is a charging bull, for two reasons – because Ferruccio’s astrological sign was Taurus, and as a response to Ferrari’s prancing horse. Ferruccio was also a fan of Spanish corrida, and named all his cars after fighting bulls. Have you ever wondered what Countach, Diablo, Reventon mean? They’re all famous bulls.
-The design of many Lamborghini is inspired by fighter planes
Some examples are the Aventador S and Huracan Performante. Designers also used snakes and spaceships as inspiration to create Lamborghini cars. Isn’t that cool?
-Lamborghinis are used in Italy to transport transplant organs
Lamborghini donated a number of cars to Italian police. Unlike in the UAE, where they are used as normal patrol cars, the ‘Italian police Lamborghini’ are mainly used to deliver organs to transplant patients.
-The Lamborghini Urus was create to satisfy taller customers
Besides the Lamborghini Huracan and Aventador there’s a third model currently being produced – the Urus. The Lamborghini Urus is an SUV, which attracted many criticisms by purists, on the basis that a supercar maker like Lamborghini shouldn’t be producing an SUV.
The choice to start making an SUV was merely commercial. Sports cars like the Huracan and Aventador are very low and not particularly spacious, making them uncomfortable for taller drivers – like NBA and American football players. The Urus is a lot better for them!
-Ferruccio Lamborghini’s granddaughter is a reggaeton superstar
Yes, that’s right! Elettra Lamborghini, famous in the latin and reggaeton circuit for songs like Tocame and Pem Pem, is actually Ferruccio’s granddaughter. Her middle name is Miura, in reference to one of Lamborghini’s most beautiful cars.
Practical Lamborghini Factory & Museum Info
-Address: Automobili Lamborghini, Via Modena, 12, 40019 Sant’Agata Bolognese BO
-How to get there by car from Bologna: take the tangenziale (ring road) until exit Borgo Panigale, then follow SP568 and SP255 to Sant’Agata Bolognese. Driving time is approximately 30 min, 34 km distance.
-How to get there by car from Modena: follow Via Nonantolana and SP255 to Sant’Agata Bolognese. Driving time is approximately 20 min, 18 km distance.
-How to get there by bus from Bologna: take bus #576 from Bologna station, until Sant’Agata, then walk to the Lamborghini factory. Travel time is about 1 hour each way.
-Museum Hours: 10 AM-12 PM, and 2.30 to 5 PM Mon-Fri (closed on weekends)
-Factory Tours: tours take place hourly between 9.30 AM and 3.45 PM Monday to Friday. Most tours are in English – make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment.
-Admission: €15 (museum entry), €20 (museum entry and guided tour), €75 (museum entry and Lamborghini Factory visit). The driving simulator is €25 extra.
Our visit to the Lamborghini factory and museum was sponsored by Turismo Emilia Romagna as part of the Social Travel Summit conference. We would like to thank iAmbassador and Motor Valley for the wonderful experience.