1000 Miglia: before delving into the story of this wonderful vintage car race, which parades in some of the most beautiful Italian towns and cities, it is necessary to make a brief historical introduction to make you understand that what is today is thanks to its yesterday.
Brescia, the city that gave birth to it and which still brings this prestige to the world, this year is also Bergamo-Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023, and is preparing for an even more eventful event.
Brief historical introduction to the 1000 Miglia.
The 1000 Miglia was originally a famous Italian road speed car race which took place from 1927 to 1957. The race started and ended in Brescia, covering a circuit of 1,600 km (which corresponds to about 1000 miles), reaching Rome. It was one of the most prestigious and famous races in the motoring world, and is considered by many enthusiasts to be the most beautiful race in the world.
It provided for the participation of cars of all types, from the most modest utilitarian to the most luxurious and expensive sports car; it was also known for its spectacular route that crossed northern and central Italy between mountains and historic cities, such as Siena, Florence and Bologna.
The race was conceived and organized by four friends in response to the non-awarding of Brescia, their hometown, of the Italian Grand Prix, organized in the new Monza racetrack. The four, who later became known as the four musketeers of the Mille Miglia, are Count Aymo Maggi, pilot and financier, Count Franco Mazzotti, journalist, pilot, financier and president of RACI of Brescia, Renzo Castagneto, the true organizer own, and Giovanni Canestrini, the doyen of Italian journalists in the automotive sector.
The Mille Miglia was interrupted in 1957 due to a tragic accident in which the Ferrari driver Alfonso de Portago lost his life, together with his co-driver and nine spectators. After that accident, the race was canceled for safety reasons, but in 1977 it was reinstated as a historic race, open only to vintage cars that meet the eligibility criteria (i.e. only cars manufactured before 1957 that had participated -or were registered- in the original race).
The 1000 Miglia today.
The 1000 Miglia today is a regularity race reserved for historic cars which is held annually in the month of May, with start and finish in the city of Brescia. In fact, the competition recalls the legendary original 1000 Miglia and follows its route.
Unlike the original race, the 1000 Miglia Storica is not a competition of speed, but of regularity. This means that the drivers must complete the course in the allotted time, maintaining a pre-established average speed and respecting all traffic rules. The winner is not the fastest driver, but the one who was able to manage his car in the best possible way and respect the lap time in the best possible way.
The 1000 Miglia Storica began in 1977, twenty years after the last edition. The goal was to recreate the atmosphere and emotion of the original race.
Every year it attracts numerous enthusiasts from all over the world, both riders and spectators. The race is also an important occasion to admire some of the most famous and rare historic cars in the world, coming from every continent.
A curiosity. In the 1987 edition, victory was achieved by a Formula 1 driver: Alessandro Nannini, who will remain, to this day, the only professional driver to win a 1000 Miglia.
1000 Miglia 2023: the stages of Lake Garda.
Every year the 1000 Miglia passes through some of the most beautiful villages of Lake Garda, not always the same. This year the departure from Viale Venezia in Brescia will be on Tuesday 13 June 2023 at 12:45 and during the afternoon the historic cars will parade through the center of Desenzano del Garda, Sirmione and Verona to conclude the first stage in Cervia-Milano Marittima .
They will then return to Brescia on Saturday 17 June 2023 for the award ceremony from 4.30pm.
Below you will find the route in detail and the complete program:
All wonderful images are by Martin Frederick Ball (Ig @martinball_).
See you next time dear Outdoors!
Silvia Turazza – Garda Outdoors editorial staff