Every year during the month of May takes place the historical Oldtimer Race Mille Miglia, starting from Brescia in northern Italy to Rome and back. As the name indicates, the race is of approximately 1000 mile length, which are covered in 4 days, from Thursday to Sunday.
To participate in the most beautiful oldtimer race of the world (it. “la corsa più bella del mondo“) – as Enzo Ferrari called it, is required the complete documentation of the FIA Heritage, Fiche CSAI or FIVA including photos. Moreover, the models should have been built between 1927 and 1957 and during these years, at least once have taken part in the original Mille Miglia car race.
If you are the owner of one of these cars, it is possible to get registered until a few months before the race start on the official web site 1000 Miglia and pay the registration fee (2015: € 7,000) and hoping to be drawn (otherwise the fee will be paid back). The participation includes 4 days of race including board and lodging for 2 persons, evening dinners and complete service and transfer of the car.
In 1926 Aymo Maggi di Gradella, Franco Mazzotti, Renzo Castagneto and baron Monti founded the Mille Miglia motor race, from Brescia to Rome and back; in total 1,600 kms that is 1000 miles. The first Mille Miglia Motor Race took place on March 26th, 1927 with 77 participants and this was the beginning of the yearly race. When in 1938 during a heavy car accident 10 people died, the race was prohibited. After the end of World War II the Mille Miglia started again, but when in 1958 during the race 12 people lost their lives, the race was banned again.
For the 50th anniversary, in 1977, the Mille Miglia took place again and between 1982 and 1986 the race took place every two years. In 1986 the Mille Miglia Oldtimer Race started to take place yearly and because of the always growing interest, the number of participation cars was limited to 375.
This year, the Mille Miglia takes place from Thursday, 14th until Sunday, 17th May, 2015. The first race stage starts on Thursday, 14th May in the early morning from Brescia and goes to the Garda Lake, passing through Sirmione, Peschiera until reaching Verona, then Ferrara, Ravenna and in the evening to the final destination Rimini.
On Friday 15th May, the second race day, the route goes over San Marino along the Adria Coast to the Marches stopping in Senigallia, Macerata, Ascoli Piceno, Teramo, Rieti, to finally reach around 9 p.m. Rome, Castel Sant’Angelo (Vatican).
After a short night, the 3rd race day starts at 6 o’clock in the moring and will be probably the hardest day for the participants. It goes from Rome back towards north, over Viterbo to reach Tuscany, to Radicofani and from there through the beautiful Orcia Valley, the Crete Senesi to Buonconvento and Siena. From Siena, the voyage continues towards north-west, probably passing through S. Gimignano, Volterra until reaching for lunch break Cascina and from there over Pisa, Lucca in the mountain regions behind Lucca to Bagni di Lucca, over the Abetone Pass – hopefully the weather will be kind – to reach Reggio Emilia and finally Parma, where the first cars are expected around 9 p.m.!
On Sunday, the last day of race, the participants start at 6.30 a.m. in Parma to reach Brescia around 1 p.m. for lunch…
What from the pictures seems to be so fantastic, the oldtimers driving over narrow winding roads in the midst of the beautiful hilly landscape, possibly with sun can become for participants really difficult. These beautiful old cars can’t be driven easily and breakdowns during the journey are quite normal. Furthermore, the participants need to master some exercise.
The Mille Miglia oldtimer race goes from northern to central Italy, passing through completely different climatic areas, from sunny summer weather to cold winter weather with snow and ice in the mountain areas, everything can be found in just one day. Considering all this, the 4-day participation at the Mille Miglia is somewhat heroic and I would call it the “Eroica a quattro ruote“- the four wheel heroic race….