I don’t really consider myself a ‘car person’ but there is something undeniably awesome about a Ferrari. Her smooth curves, her speed, the Vrrroom vroom of her purring engine and her $240,000 price tag. A beautiful machine, a true piece of auto art, the Ferrari is a universal symbol of luxury and status. As any mid-life crisis business man can attest – all problems are solved behind the wheel of a Ferrari.

One of six “Global Insiders” (travel experts hand picked by Celebrity Cruises and Travel & Leisure Magazine), I found myself in the charming port city of Villefranche as part of a six day Celebrity cruise through Europe. They organized an exclusive tour called “Pure Adrenaline: Ferrari in the Cote d’Azure” which allows tourists to actually drive a Ferrari! Ummm….yessss!

I met my guide Stephano, who tossed me the keys and invited me to take the wheel. I slipped into the driver’s seat, inserted the key, turned on the engine and let our a nervous giggle. It’s not everyday you get to drive such a coveted car through the French Riviera.

I eased out of the parking lot and onto the city streets. Heads turned as I drove cautiously through downtown Villefranche, snaking my way across the countryside. With tight mountainside curves and hairpin turns, the roads is this area are a drivers dream. At 490 horsepower, this F430 Spyder convertible has a 4.3L V8 engine and takes only 3.9 seconds to reach up to 100km (around 60miles) an hour.

A Ferrari is fast and furious. You feel the power as you overtake the open road. Plus the views along this drive are spectacular, with sparking blue Mediterranean waters, terraced terracotta rooftops and picturesque photo ops of Nice and Cannes. It’s an exhilarating experience that brings you through the French countryside and makes you feel like a real baller. For more info on Celebrity Cruises and their exclusive tours, check out http://www.celebritycruises.com

(photo credit: Mark Tomaras http://www.marktomaras.com)