The Lamborghini factory tour was beyond awesome and I don’t usually care how cars are made! Unfortunately, they don’t allow pictures in the factory so I can only try to describe what we saw.
When we entered the gates, we were greeted by a gentleman in a very nice black suit. Like how many car manufacturers do you know have their greeters/guards, whatever they are, dressed in practically a tuxedo?
Once inside, I noticed the factory floor was cleaner than my kitchen floor (I hate to admit). All the 1,400 employees were wearing Lamborghini uniforms that consisted of well-fitting polo shirts and black pants. (Yes, there was some eye-candy with a lot of young Italian men in the factory!)
Here’s an orange Lamborghini for the Oregon State fans.
We learned that they like to hire young people right out of high school or college so they can train them for specialty areas like engines, brakes, upholstery, etc. The employees are treated very well, as they start at 8:00 am, get two 11 minute breaks (yes we were told 11 minutes exactly – not 10 or 15, but just 11 minutes) along with a lunch hour, and all the production lines close down promptly at 5:00 pm. No weekends to work.
As we passed each production line and watched the employees at their craft, they seemed happy and enjoying their work even though they were being “timed.” What I mean by that is there is a schedule that so many cars need to be completed in a day (12 on one line and 6 on another) and each stage of the production line takes X amount of time, so it is a very well-organized process that keeps everything moving in a precise time. There are large count-down clocks all over the place that keep track.
Lamborghini SUV – no side mirrors, just cameras.
The upholstery area got my attention where they actually examine each piece of leather or fabric by hand and mark the areas with flaws. Our naked eyes could not see the flaws that were picked out by some of their experts. When making the seats or other leather covered parts of the interior, they cut around those flaws so every piece of the leather is high quality. They don’t use lasers to cut, they actually use knives that are replaced daily. What do they do with the scraps? They recycle for shoes, purses, and other leather goods. (Mike we tried to get you a pair of Lamborghini leather shoes in the gift shop but couldn’t find them in your size.)
The two countries that purchase the most cars are China and the USA. All the cars they make in this facility are pre-sold. They said while the factory workers don’t know who the owners of the cars are, they know the country the car will be shipped to so they can put proper country-appropriate mechanisms in them. A comment was that car orders from China often request flashy colors and sparkles on the body of the car. Every owner even has a choice of colors for the brake calipers! Seriously now, who the heck cares what color the brake calipers are as long as they work to stop the car!
One of Ricardo’s choices to ship home. Although any of the cars we saw today would do! Let’s see, if we sell the house, the furniture, antiques, jewelry, our two current cars, and drain our bank account we might be able to afford one of the simpler models, and we’d have to live in it. Since these are all custom made, I wonder if we could add a shower feature?
This Centurian is one of only a dozen made to celebrate 100 years. It had its own guard standing by and no one was allowed to touch it. It is worth about 5 million euros so calculate that into dollars!
When a car comes off the assembly line, there are many inspections including a driving test out on the street. Just so happens our hotel is on the line of the test drive, so we’ve seen a couple of the test runs drive by each day. Beg as he might, Ricardo could not get a test ride.
Italy’s version of “World of Speed” in their museum.
Balsamic vinegar tasting in Modena today. We visited this villa a few years ago and tasted their balsamics. Truly a taste sensation!
Antimo provided a picnic in the vineyard of balsamic grapes. Fresh parmesan cheese, thinly sliced Italian meats, a beautiful salad (greens, peaches, almonds, tomatoes and some sprinkles of balsamic vinegar), and fresh fruit. Oh wait, we had wine too! Gads, how will we ever go back to our old ways of lunching without a glass or two of wine?
Picnic Antimo style.
Love this salad!Who can resist fresh parmesan cheese straight from the parmesan cheese farm today and Italian meats?
If you’ve been following my travel blog for awhile you will remember two years ago when I detailed how balsamic vinegar is made. Here is a snippet from that blog:
Balsamic vinegar is made from trabiani grapes. This vinegar is treated and processed the traditional way which allows them to earn a certification – much like wine. What was fascinating in this attic is that there are barrel groups starting small and moving up to medium large size. Apparently a family buys this group of barrels when a child is born and fills them with their cooked grapes that ferment in the barrels. Some of these barrels are hundreds of years old and very coveted because they hold the flavor and color that adds to the vinegar quality.
The barrels are actually open at the top so the air can flow. They cover the hole with a family cloth. These barrels are kept in the attic because it is hot in summer and it helps with fermentation and in the winter when it is cooler, it can rest. If you want to sell your vinegar publicly you have to wait 12 years. Once a year they have to top off the barrels because they lose 10% of the volume per year. That process was funny to me because they take from each successive barrel to the next and then put the recent year’s harvest in the biggest barrel. They do that to balance the flavors of old and new.
We were told that balsamic vinegar was used as medicine back in the day (an aspirin of sorts), as well as for paying the doctor, etc.
I could have drank a bottle of it to try to get rid of this cold, however…
More details on the villa – famous people like Mark Zuckerberg have visited. A movie from 1976 that starred Robert DiNiro, Donald Sutherland, and Burt Lancaster titled “1900” was filmed inside and outside the villa.
We were allowed to take pictures, but not allowed to say where this villa is as it is David’s personal residence and not open to the public. Here are a few pictures from today.
Dog friends or friends who like dogs, do you see these unique pieces from the Art Deco era of the 1920’s?
Even if you don’t like this breed of dog, the art is timeless (and probably priceless)!The villa had original frescos inside and out that are well preserved today. Magnificent!
Tree lined driveway that seems to go on forever. What a welcoming site this line of trees is to the visitors of this property.
Packing tonight for a travel day tomorrow to Manduria….. Did we really buy that much wine and balsamic?