back in July I had the opportunity to visit Italy so this was the perfect chance to check out the Ducati factory. I was going to Florence and I was not sure when I was going to make it to Bologna which made it hard to plan a factory visit since you have to make an appointment for the tour.
The factory is only open during the week, so the one day I was free I decided to take the risk and drive for 2 hours from Florence to Borgo Panigale which is a neighborhood outside Bologna and where the factory is located just to try and get into the tour. Once I got to the factory though I received the bad news that the tour was fully booked, so it seemed like I was going to have to do with seeing it from the outside and just visit the Ducati factory store across the street.
I went back to Florence and changed my plans so I could go back and stay in Bologna for a few days; the idea was to try and spam the Ducati contact email hoping that people would get annoyed and let me in.
After lots of emails my strategy worked and I was contacted by someone... Success!!!!! Time to take the train from the city center to the factory. (You can find info on how to get to the factory Here).
For the second time I was there!
Once you get to the gate you show them the approval email, pay 10 euro and you are in (if you are a Ducati club member then you show your ID card and entrance is free).
For the first part of the tour you cannot take pictures. They walk you into the assembly line, you get to see the man and women that build your bikes right at work.. For the engines, each tech puts together an entire engine and that tech is completely and solely responsible for its performance. You Walk along the assembly line and see each aspect of the birth of your baby!!!
Some models like the monster and the scrambler though are assembled either in Brazil or Thailand, depending on your market. Only the engines are actually put together in Italy then shipped to said countries and mounted on their respective models.
Once you go through the assembly line, you get to see the GP team.. Well u get to take a quick glance through a tiny window.. But right next to it is the dyno and if you are as lucky as I was then you will get to see the new 1199R being tested woot woot.. That sound!!!
So now to the graphic part.. You walk up to the museum reception and the current model lineup is sitting there (well supposedly but there were only a couple).
Then there is a small room where you can take a look at the famous multistrada that went around the world.
As you walk into the museum, you start seeing the beautiful vintage bikes
Once the tour is over, you are free to walk around to take pics and shop at their souvenir store. I was a bit short on time so I decided to walk out and came across the employee parking!!
I am not going to lie, I was expecting more. I would say, seeing the place where your favorite motorcycle comes to life is an excellent experience but as a Ducatista my expectations were higher; especially when I had such a hard time being able to visit it.