The 2015 Mille Miglia

Posted on June 28, 2015.

Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe Vignale
Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider Scaglietti
Ferrari 750 Monza Spider Scaglietti

Report & Pictures by Henk Brouwer 

After the first recreation of the Mille Miglia it has established itself in the years afterwards as the most glamorous and spectacular car event in the world. Every year in May, with the start of the “Rolling Museum” from Via Venezia, the Mille Miglia makes countless hearts beat faster. The hearts are those of everyone –  the organisers, press staff,  the local population, the marshalls,  the photo and TV teams,  the police, but above all those of the participants and their teams. Because whether you drive the Mille Miglia for the tenth time or for the first time, that heart beats faster!

On Wednesday it’s already buzzing within the Fiera di Brescia, where the technical inspection takes place. On the Piazza della Vittoria -in the historic center- the cars are sealed. The current organization has yet again changed a few things and the comments from participants were enthusiastic.

An early start from the Via Venezia and the first night in Rimini instead of Ferrara were the main changes. The see the entire field of participants drive through a city like Rome, with a check at the Olympic Stadium and an arrival at the Castel Sant’Angelo, is a breathtaking spectacle. Then they head north towards Siena then bend off to Pisa and Lucca, all places with beautiful historical centers. The finish of the first cars was around noon on Sunday, after a visit to Monza Autodrome.

The “Rolling Museum” included extremely wonderful Italian beauties like Alfa Romeo (47), Bugatti (19), Cisitalia (11), Ermini (3), Ferrari (just 17), Fiat (46), Lancia (31), Maserati (10) and SIATA (8). In addition, bodywork  related in particular to Fiat such as as Gianni, Giaur and Benedetti was in evidence. Of course also the English, German and French brands were represented.

Each year it’s so sad that some people who were invited as VIPs or to take the place of a rich daddy or friend drive irresponsibly among the participants in “their” expensive modern and fast exotic cars and possess very little sense of responsibility. With true contempt they bring themselves, but especially the participants, other road users but also spectators in great danger! They should be excluded, if only to get better pictures of the participants without an SLR on the rear bumper…

Nevertheles the participants are thrilled, showing it by greeting the public who sit on church stairs and many other places watching one “Museum piece” after another.  On the Via Venezia is the starting point at 2:30pm and the participants leave from the “start podium” in the direction of Lake Garda. In Desenzano there is a very enthusiastic audience, as every year, who watch the cars into the checkpoint. Then it travels through some small towns in the direction of Verona, Ferrara and Rimini on the eastern side of the region of Emilia Romagna. Due to the earlier departure, participants can continue driving to Rimini where the first car is expected at 10:15pm. Still very late, but at least it is no longer the case that the last participants hear roosters crowing the cars upon arrival.

Eventually the participants enter the historic center along Via Pian and wriggle the cars through the narrow streets and climb up to the Piazzetta del Titano, a very known square, where all participants have to do their utmost to get the turn on the piazza right the first time, otherwise all hell breaks loose from the bunch of spectators.  It’s still an art not to hit people at the exit, so crowded is it.

On Saturday the cars leave the region of Lazio and enter the beautiful Tuscany, where lunch is enjoyed in Cascina, just below Pisa. The world famous Pisa is visited and through some busy streets with the typical high density houses, which deprive the sunlight to the small streets, they drive through the gate of the Via Dalmazia to the sun-drenched Piazza dei Cavalieri. Next there’s the beautiful old town of Luca (founded 218 BC) completely surrounded by ramparts and then it goes to the last stop in Parma. From there to the finish line in Brescia and voilá … 1000 miles are done!

Juan Tonconogy and Guillermo Berisso, both from Argentina, are first place winners in their Bugatti T40 (1927). An awesome second place is for Andrea Vesco and Andrea Guerini in a Fiat Siata 514 Mille Miglia (1930) and third is another Bugatti T40 (1928), driven by Ezio Martino Salviato and Maria Caterina Moglia . Congratulations !

Every year there are complaints about the organization, the route and everything around it. But the essence is that the participants during a trip of 1000 difficult miles, through the beautiful and ever-changing environment of Italy, have the experience of their lives. The spectators had a good time, the world of hotels, restaurants and cafés all do good business. If that works, you should hear no  complaints afterwards…!

(To see many more of Henk Brouwer’s wonderful pics of this event go to our Flickr page)

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