Auto Race Tour of Italy
Study History along Italy’s ‘Mille Miglia’ Circuit
The Mille Miglia is a 1,000-mile race path that forms a figure-8 loop from Brescia to Rome and then back to Brescia through Siena, Florence and Parma. This unique endurance race originated in 1927 with Italian automobiles like Ferraris and Lamborghinis. The race was banned in 1957 after several fatalities. In 1982, it was revamped as a 4-day road rally to celebrate the golden age of Gran Turismo (1957-1957).
While you won’t actually be racing, you can experience the adventure and thrill of the Italian Gran Turismo racing circuit. The first leg of the tour takes you from Brescia to Bologna where you’ll visit the Autodromo International Enzo e Dino Ferrari racing venue. This massive raceway features a full schedule of racing with everything from cars and motorcycles to bicycles and BMX.
From Bologna, you’ll visit the seaside resort town of Rimini where you can soak up the scenery along the Adriatic Sea. Journey through the Apennine Mountains to the Gothic and neo-classical architecture of San Marino. Visit the Three Towers of San Marino, which features panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The Maranello Rosso Ferrari Museum features vintage sports cars, Ferraris and Formula 1 cars, as well as photos and memorabilia relating to Enzo Ferrari, Carlo Abarth and celebrities like Marilyn Monroe.
The ancient city of Rome gets a day of its own. You’ll visit sites such as the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City and the Castel Sant ‘Angelo. Pay a visit to the Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi racing circuit, which is the former home of the Rome Grand Prix. It’s used as a test circuit by a variety of Formula One teams.
From Rome, you’ll journey past Tuscan vineyards and villages to Siena and Florence where you’ll visit the Romanesque-Gothic Duomo di Siena and the Piazza del Campo. The Torre del Mangia offers stunning views of the region. Stroll across the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence. This medieval stone bridge spans the Arno River and features shops along the way.
Known for Italian sports cars Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, Modena is often called the Supercar Capital of the World. The Enzo Ferrari Museum features photos, film and memorabilia of the famed car designer’s life and work. You’ll also visit 14th and 18th-century paintings and sculpture at the Galleria Estense and the Romanesque Duomo di Modena.
You’ll get a taste of Italian culture at the 19th-century Teatro Reggio opera house. Next, you’ll visit the Palazzo della Pilotta, which has antique books and manuscripts, a restored Baroque-style stage in the Teatro Farnese and frescoes of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Parma is famous for Parmesan cheese and Parma ham, so you’ll be visiting local restaurants and cafes along the way.
Back in Brescia, the Museum Mille Miglia is the perfect way to tie up your whirlwind Italian road trip adventure. You can see vintage cars from private collectors at this historical and archaeological site. The museum is on the grounds of the historic Sant’Eufemia monastery. Wind down and spend time strolling and admiring the architecture and atmosphere of the Piazza della Loggia, a Renaissance square dating to 1433 that is near restaurants and the Palace of the Loggia.
The Worldwide Navigators Difference
Your adventure to study history in Italy takes you past sprawling vineyards and ancient ruins, through mountains and cobblestone streets and along coastlines and raceways. From Brescia to Rome and back again, Italy’s Mille Miglia gives you a unique perspective of northern Italy’s landscape and culture blended with its past, present and future contributions to architecture and automobiles.
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