Honestly, I’m not even a “car person”. But I had so much fun seeing the Mille Miglia Italy that we went back a second time! Just another good excuse to go to Italy, eh?
There is a Mille Miglia both past and present. Let me tell you about it. We’ll start with the past… It was an open road race that took place every couple of years between 1927 and 1957. The name tells you part of the story….
What is Mille Miglia race
It was a one thousand mile race through Italy with famed sports cars and drivers. The race was banned in 1957 when there was a terrible accident that killed the driver and navigator and twelve spectators.
The race has been revived, now called the Mille Miglia Storica. It is more like a parade of cars now, taking place over three days with stops and parties along the way. It starts and ends in Brescia, traveling to Rome and passing through scenic landscapes and cities.
The route changes from year to year. So check their website for information on the year you want to see it. We saw the start in Brescia one year, and saw the cars “vrooom” the Duomo in Florence another.
What cars qualify for Mille Miglia Italy
The number of cars that participate is set at 375. The vintage cars must have been built between the 1920s and 1957.
They always get more applications than there is room for. According to the 1000Miglia website, this “allows the organizers not only to select cars that are the most significant in the context of the race history but also to offer spectators a cavalcade that is almost unique, portraying thirty years of the evolution of motor racing, from 1927 to 1957.”
We heard that for cars to participate now, they must have been types that actually took part in the race, but I can’t verify that.
And let me tell you, you get some great cars! Cars that I never heard of. If you want to see what we’re talking about, check the website for registered cars for any given year of the event. You car lovers will be drooling over cars like early Alfa Romeos, Bugattis, Maseratis and Ferraris. But what about cars like Cistitalias, Stanguellinis, Lagondas and Talbot Lagos?
Where does the race start ?
Brescia gets very crowded for the day of registration and the start of the race. If you want to stay in the city, make your hotel reservations well in advance.
We stayed outside of town. We only had to walk about 10 minutes to get from the parking garage to the square where cars were registering. You can see the cars close up. Most of them are parked on the side streets all around the square.
The race starts in the early evening, only going far enough to get all the cars out of town. We got a nice little outdoor table at a restaurant on the route and watched the cars parade out…. There is much “ah-oooouugahing” of horns and vroooming of engines…. All great fun.
Pick a town, any town on the route, and you can enjoy the cars passing through like we did in Florence. We even had a driver jump out of his car and give us his camera so we could take a picture of him in front of the Florence Duomo…. How much fun is that?!?
Scheduling a fun event like the Mille Miglia Italy into a vacation will keep you from getting sensory overload with too many museums and churches… Whether you’re a car enthusiast or not!