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A historic tour through Italy.

Thursday, May 6th, 2010 ~ Alfa Romeo museum in Arese (Milan).
After a long trip we arrived in Pero yesterday. This is a small suburb to the northwest of Milan. We spent the night in a very nice hotel. This morning we went to the Alfa Romeo museum first. We have been here a couple years ago, but as we were near Milan again it was an easy decision to go there again.
The museum (free entree) was as desolate as a few years ago. Still there a numerous fantastic cars located on several floors in the museum. There were a few empty spots, as these cars are standing in Brescia at the moment, to take part in this years Mille Miglia. After hanging around a couple hours we left the museum and headed in the direction of Brescia.

Thursday, May 6th, 2010 ~ Brescia.
Early in the afternoon we arrived in Brescia, where we first visited the Mille Miglia museum in this city. We didn't enter the museum itself, because there was already enough to see at the central square of the museum. A couple team were already preparing themselves for the race.
After a while we went to the city center of Brescia. At several squares you can see the participating cars from the years 1927 until 1957. The atmosphere was really nice and relaxed so you could take a closer look at the cars. From time they started their engines and you saw cars passing by. At one of the squares we also saw the cars from the Alfa Romeo musuem lined up. Nice thing is that our Dutch Prince Bernhard Junior is among the participants of the Alfa Romeo museum team.
We also saw numerous Ferrari's throughout the city. This was because they participate in a special Ferrari Tribute to the Mille Miglia. The Tribute is organised by Ferrari and contains 120 cars from 1957 until today. The cars drive the same route and one hour preceding the official Mille Miglia. The weather today was really nice (sunny and a nice temperature) and the atmosphere was relaxed. During the afternoon we spotted a couple brand new Alfa Romeo Guillietta's. The organisation of the Mille Miglia drives these cars. Later on we even spotted a stand where you could take a closer look at the car (even sit in it).
Because the official start of the Mille Miglia cars (375 in total) took place later in the evening and the first car would arrive in Bologna close to midnight, we decided to leave earlier. This way we were able to drive a part of the route together with the Ferrari's of the Tribute. This was a great experience! The whole event is a national party, there were standing lots of enthusiastic people along the road waving and cheering to the cars. The police officers and volunteers were also waving the cars through and motivating them to keep up the speed (yeah, in Italy such things are still possible!). Around 10 o'clock we found an hotel near Modena to spend the night.

Friday, May 7th, 2010 ~ Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola.
Today we woke up early to go first to the circuit 'Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari' in Imola. In the past the Formula 1 races of San Marino took place at this circuit. Now the circuit was fully reserved for the Mille Miglia. Each car is supposed to depart from the pitlane and do a lap on this track. It's a nice experience to hear the cars accelerating out of the pitlane.

Friday, May 7th, 2010 ~ Mountain pass near San Marino.
Leaving the circuit in Imola we drove on via Rimini towards San Marino. On our way to this little country we saw the car of Prince Bernhard Jr. standing along the road. Later on it appeard that they had a car damage and couldn't finish the race. That is such a pity of course! In the surrounding area of San Marino there are many interesting mountain roads. At a certain moment we parked the car to let a few cars pass. This gave us the opportunity to take a lot of great photos and enjoy the sound of the cars.

Friday, May 7th, 2010 ~ Spoleto.
The cars of the Mille Miglia had a break in the city of Urbino. This gave us the chance to overtake a large part of the cars, so we ended up quite in front of the first cars again. In the early afternoon we arrived in Spoleto, a real nice and typical Italian city on the top of a mountain. The cars had to drive through this city to collect a stamp. Because all the cars had to stop here, we had enough time to photograph nearly all the passing cars. After a while we saw some Dutch participants passing, including the well-known Dutch couple Jan Lammers (race driver) and Chris Zegers (actor) in their Porsche 550-1500 RS (1955).
Leaving Spoleto we headed south, were we drove over the Terminillo mountain pass. Driving this pass was a special experience, as first we saw some snow along the mountain slopes. The further up we came, the more snow was there. From a certain point we saw snow walls of meters high. There was also very thick fog at the top of the pass. You could barely see the tiny rear lights of the Mille Miglia cars in front of us. The temperature outside also dropped to just a few degrees above freezing point. Imagine how the situation is for all the participants in small open cars. In history when the Mille Miglia was still speed-based this must have been a real special experience. Once in Rieti we parted from the route and headed to Terni to get ourselves a night in a hotel.

Saturday, May 8th, 2010 ~ Mountain pass Radicofani.
All cars of the Mille Miglia started in Rome early this morning. We got back to the route a little later, near Viterbo. The route goes up north and along Radicofani. There is a nice mountain road which the participants had to take. We drove in from the opposite direction and foudn ourselves another nice spot to photograph and film the cars. You can take a look at the videos by clicking the following links: video 1 and video 2.

Saturday, May 8th, 2010 ~ Siena.
We continued our way to Siena, to see the cars cross the famous Piazza Del Campo in the city center. Because the cars had a break in Buonconfento, this gave us once again the opportunity to overtake many cars. Siena self was really nice. The weather was great and the atmosphere perfect. The accompanying photos and videos (video 3, video 4 and video 5) express the situation perfectly. That is really exciting!

Saturday, May 8th, 2010 ~ Maranello and Pista di Fiorano.
We took the Autostrada to get as quick as possible from Siena to the route even north of Firenze. The route here is really great with two mountain passes: Passo della Futa and Passo della Raticosa. Soon after we arrived in teh surrouding of Bologna from where we headed in the direction of Maranello, the headquarter of Ferrari. We went to the circuit 'Pista di Fiorano' just outside the village. All the participants drove a lap over the test track of Ferrari. The cars finally drove via Parma and Cremona to Brescia, the well-known finish location of the Mille Miglia. We spent the night in an hotel near Modena, the same as where we spent the second night. After a couple exhausting but fantastic days we drove back to the Netherlands on Sunday.
Going to the Mille Miglia is a real must-do for everyone who likes historic cars, challenging (mountain) roads and these typical Italian cities and panoramas!