John Paul II at Ferrari

On 4 June 1988, Pope John Paul II visited Maranello and the Ferrari factory: however, instead of using his usual Papamobile (Pope’s car), he was driven through town in a flaming red Ferrari.

4 June 1988. For Maranello it was an important date, the date of a special visit. The town of the Prancing Horse has been having distinguished guests for years, but this beats them all because the guest in question was Pope John Paul II.

Unfortunately, Enzo Ferrari’s health did not allow him to meet Pope Wojtyla, whom he really liked because as a young man, the Pope had worked as a labourer. They did speak over the phone. Just over two months later, at the age of 90, Ferrari died at his home in Modena.

Despite the absence of the Drake, Maranello welcomed John Paul II who also visited the Ferrari factory. He was fully in the spirit of the place: instead of taking the path and greeting the crowds in his white Papamobile, as he usually did, he asked to ride in a Ferrari that was immediately made available.




Gianni Rogliatti, “Maranello, Ferrari e… la sua gente”, Edizioni del Puntografico, Comune di Maranello