Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Bologna’s Ducati Museum

From the TMO Bologna City Guide

Guide to The Ducati Museum – Bologna

Were Emilia-Romagna to declare independence from Italy in the morning, in one fell swoop Italy would lose the vast majority of its luxury car and motorcycle production. Emilia-Romagna is one of the richest regions in the country, in part precisely due to the fact that Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, and Ducati are all produced in this flat,efficient, and ironically enough staunchly socialist region.

A flickr’s eye view of The Ducati Museum

Photos on flickr with the tag ‘ Ducati

While Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati are reachable from Bologna, none are actually in the city (there’s an organised day-trip that can bring you to all three, and back to your hotel). Ducati, on the other hand, is 100% Bolognese. It’s an easy trip out to the motorbike factory in the working class neighbourhood of Borgo Panigale, where there’s a small but well curated museum for visitors.

Ducati history

The Ducati story starts back in the 1920s, and oddly enough in the field of radio transmission. The Ducati family, along with other local investors, set up the Societá Radio Brevetti Ducati to develop industrially various patents registered by Adriano Ducati in the field of radio transmission – don’t forget that Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of the telegraph was from Bologna.

The company expanded during the 1930s, and the first Ducati factory was established in Borgo Panigale, Bologna. The second world war proved a disaster for the company, as its factory was razed to the ground during heavy allied bombing. Bad news for radio, perhaps, but good news for motorbike enthusiasts, as the brothers Ducati spent the immediate post-war period looking to develop into different markets. Like Fiat, Ducati immediately saw the need for cheap and efficient transport in a country rapidly industrialising, and so the Cucciolo was born – a world famous small motor that could be attached to a bicycle. It’s popularity was almost instant, and soon the Bolognese company was developing its first small motorbikes and scooter (like the cruiser and the tourist).

From humble beginings the company built up, with the help of engineers like Fabio Taglioni, who brought technical knowledge, innovation, and avant-garde design to Ducati. By the end of the 1950s orders were coming in from all around the world, including top racers like Englishman Mike Hailwood. From the ’70s onwards the company had become an established name in design, power, and class.

The Museum in Borgo Panigale provides an interesting way to look into the history of both a city and country, with various models on display in a series of rooms, taking you through from the Cucciolo (puppy in Italian) to the latest in their racing bikes, including the Desmosedici GP07 model which helped Australian Casey Stoner to win the MotoGp world title in 2007.

Museum info

Museum and factory tours
Ducati factory and museum tours need to be booked and conducted by a Ducati guide.


From Monday to Friday:

9.15 – 11.00 – 13.45 – 15.30

Saturday – only guided museum tours are possible:

10.00 – 11.00 – 12.00

On Saturdays, guided tours of both the factory and museum are reserved exclusively to DOC groups.

For further information contact:+39(0)51 6413343 or visit the website