Ferrari inaugurates a new chapter in the Cavallino restaurant breathing new life into the historic location opposite the entrance to the Maranello factory, thanks to the collaboration between Massimo Bottura and India Mahdavi. With wit and communicative joy, the restaurant is revived and reopened as a joyful, optimistic and friendly response to a year full of separations, and is an invitation to share and spend time together at the table.
The trattoria continues to preserve the emotions, successes and memories that have marked the history of the iconic car manufacturer, Cavallino has been a a prominent and iconic landmark of the Ferrari legacy since 1942. Here, Enzo Ferrari used to meet with staff, clients and close friends for lunch in the private room where he loved to watch the Grand Prix.
The contemporary reinterpretation of this space brings back to the forefront the authentic simplicity of a cult destination that is part of the Maranello legend. The Cavallino embraces a vision of hospitality to offer everyone the possibility to be part of the Ferrari universe, to breathe in the same atmosphere and the same ideals that have guided the founder and all those who have actively contributed to shaping the legend for almost 75 years.
Even the new concept of the Cavallino continues to preserve and celebrate the spirit and distinguishing characteristics of its territory of origin. The Modenese identity and a sense of belonging and friendliness will be felt in every room, every dish and every detail of an immersive project that embodies the precision and care displayed by the work of Ferrari, of the Osteria Francescana team and of India Mahdavi’s studio, all set in comfortable and welcoming surroundings.
Massimo Bottura, born and raised in Modena, a great admirer of Ferraris and an ambassador of excellence in his field, describes the Cavallino as “a new vision and a new way of bringing Modenese cuisine to life”. At the Cavallino, tradition is the focal point. “It's good, healthy cooking, with a story behind every dish; it's cooking you can't say no to”.
Cavallino has been completely renovated and redesigned by India Mahdavi and her studio, in order to revitalise its identity, design, interior architecture and garden, balancing comfort and taste to celebrate the delight of an Italian way of life. In the old farmhouse building, with its new red façade, the Iranian-French architect has played with the traditional decorative vocabulary of the Italian trattoria and all its architectural codes and furniture, inspired by the Ferrari world, by its spirit of conquest, its audacity and its joyful prestige.
From the entrance, the restaurant’s rooms are connected via a series of arches that carve the spaces with rhythm, giving energy to the perspectives. The floor is covered with traditional terracotta tiles, alternating between earth and ivory tiles in a chequerboard pattern, like a well-ironed tablecloth. Oak panelling on the walls where the tables lean and the bench backrests made of yellow leather with rounded and graphic shapes outline the rooms with delight. Also on the walls, rare celebratory collections of photographs, posters, souvenirs and memorabilia reveal the spirit of the place and the story behind Ferrari's incredible industrial and sporting adventure. The garden, redesigned with the help of Marco Bay, forms a patio like an open-air dining room in the shade of a pergola. Upstairs, a balcony borders two private lounges on a rooftop terrace.
The Enzo Room, with its poplar wood panelling, also draws on this story of emotion and passion. The founder used to sit here, in front of the fireplace, watching the races. India Mahdavi brings this intimate room back to life, through the creation of a private dining room breached by a large bay window, with movable wooden slats, opening onto a sunny driveway – as if Enzo Ferrari had just parked his car.
To restore the trattoria's modernity and infuse it with a new identity, India Mahdavi has revisited Ferrari's heritage and visual vocabulary. The firm’s logo, the Prancing Horse, was pixelized to create a unique identity for the restaurant. The pixelized Cavallino was applied on many surfaces and materials – on perforated metal for the entrance gate, glass mosaic on the walls, on the restaurant's wallpaper and even in the Burano lace that adorns the white net curtains on the windows, as in any self-respecting trattoria.
In addition to playing with the motif of Ferrari engines, which she arranged into small enfilades, India Mahdavi also designed a new leather seat, somewhere between a chair and an armchair, exclusively for Cavallino, open to the public from Tuesday 15 June.