These tractors sit parked in a line at Hombre, the organic dairy featured in the Massimo Bottura episode of Chef’s Table, that makes Parmigiano-Reggiano just outside of Modena. Behind them, the building houses the Collezione Umberto Panini, a museum with an astonishing collection of vintage Maseratis, including an immaculate 1953 A6GCS Berlinetta, and other cars. The whole balcony is covered with a dizzying array of motorcycles and mopeds. Incongruous, perhaps, but the combination of timelessly beautiful sports cars and the King of Cheeses is quintessentially, almost comically Modenese.
Dingy old tractors are less sexy than shiny cars and three-year aged cheese, but I love these machines for their unadorned functionality. They provide a charming and fittingly rustic contrast to the fancy refinement inside the museum. Seeing them all together heightens the differences in their design, even enhancing an appreciation of their anthropomorphic personalities.