The most beautiful vintage car race in the world: the MilleMiglia runs along the roads of Lake Garda
Prestigious vintage car collectors meet every year in Brescia to race with Mercedes, Ferrari, Bugatti and Maserati towards Rome, in a great and elegant party for everyone
A grand and elegant parade of vintage cars ( 2022 Edition : June 15th )
The days of the Mille Miglia are days of celebration, joy and glamour: from all over the world come important collectors, VIP actors and actresses (in the last editions notably: Jeremy Irons, Adrien Brody, Paloma Picasso, Patrizio Bertelli, Stefano Ricci and other celebrated personalities).
Four hundred and thirty crews from forty different countries, at the wheel of cars from seventy-five different manufacturers will cross more than two hundred art and cultural attractions, in seven Italian regions: the Mille Miglia is a unique event in the world.
I remember even as a child, the passage of the Mille Miglia was a special day: "Today the Mille Miglia will pass by!" And when we heard the first engines roaring along the lake, we rushed curbside waving our flags, applauding the crews, and marveled at seeing these magnificent splendid objects of aerodynamic design and aesthetic elegance parading down the road.
Still today, the Mille Miglia parades, every year, on the lakepromenade of Desenzano right in front of our Hotel : secure a seat in the first row!
The history of the Mille Miglia, when a roar of engines shook Brescia on March 27, 1927
"Dominators of time and space," in just over twenty hours, less than a day and a night, the cars of the Mille Miglia covered 1700 km on the bumpy dirt roads from Brescia to Rome.
It was March 27, 1927, the people of Brescia were awakened by the roars of the Labda, of the Lancia team, and the O.M. 665 Superba, which at six o'clock in the morning bolted between the lime trees of Viale Venezia, achieving what no one would have believed possible until that moment: to cover more than 1000 miles in twenty-one hours.
At the start the first Mille Miglia
This was the start of the first Mille Miglia, a speed race through the streets of Italy, which thanks to its intrepid pilots, went down in history.
A total of twenty-four editions were made: from 1927 to 1957, the drivers with their roaring and flaming fast cars drove at rapid speed from north to south through Italy.
In those days, it was a very hard and dangerous race: a long route, on dirt roads, with cars that were at the dawn of mechanics and technology. There weren’t all the safety systems we have today; it was a challenge with oneself.
At their side, the landscape streaked quickly past them, too fast to be able to stop and observe, as the blurred lines and colors mixed into straight and direct lines, as everything vanished, houses, bell towers, churches, buildings, fields and woods, all swallowed up by those elusive thunderbolts that sped along the streets and squares.
Perhaps it was the danger, the audacity, or maybe the desire for glory that spurred these drivers to get behind the wheel every year, to put on those big glasses over their faces and those helmets, that today seem to us like headphones, and to fill their ears with the roar of their engines and their faces with the dust from the roads.
The race is not over
The people of Brescia and many Italians in general, have engines in their blood: the roar and the speed hold strong ties with the past and so in 1977 they decided to revive the Mille Miglia as a historical race, classified as a regularity race, and where only cars produced before 1957 and with all original parts, even the smallest bolt, can participate.
The old roaring ladies pull themselves up aglow, the headlights wink and the steering wheels seem to tremble at the idea of being able to retrace those roads that once saw them covered in the glory of the pursuit of the impossible. Still today, they will cross the most beautiful streets and squares of Italy, alive with spirit and celebration.