Yesterday the 1000 Miglia caravan threaded its way down the Italian peninsula from Milano Marittima to Rome, to the halfway point in its 37th re-enactment.
The warm welcome from spectators was generously repaid by the beauty of the cars from the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo and the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio models in the official convoy.
The pace of the event gave participants time to soak in the beauty of the landscapes along the route, Italy's most beautiful medieval towns and the timeless appeal of the capital itself.
At the head of the standings, the all-Alfa Romeo duel between the Vesco-Guerini and Moceri-Bonetti teams continues
Follow this link for the report clip.
Even before a hazy sun rose over the Adriatic Sea, the caravan was already on the move. The weather was mild and fatigue was not yet starting to bite: ideal conditions for the drive to Rome, the halfway point of the 1000 Miglia. A glance at the road book reminded us that the distance in itself - 571 kilometres - was not daunting, but the average speeds required were slow: drivers spent many hours at the wheel, from the sunrise start to the sunset finish. However, the thrilling beauty of the sunset over Rome was ample reward for a long, tiring day.
Propelled by spectators' enthusiasm and the Alfa Romeo 2.9 V6 Bi-Turbo
All roads lead to Rome and along the roads of the 1000 Miglia the enthusiasm of the onlookers never ceases to surprise. People eagerly await, thrill to and celebrate the cars' passage at any time of day, as the caravan seems to be propelled from one mediaeval town to another by onlookers who sometimes just gaze in wonder and are sometimes more active in their response. At traffic lights, drivers are quite often asked to up the engine revs and roar the engine in the name of a spectator's loved one: this year this applied not only to the historic collection but also to the official convoy of Alfa Romeo Giulia and Alfa Romeo Stelvio cars, also in the Quadrifoglio trim, including the 'Alfa Romeo Racing' special editions. While the paintwork inspired by the C38 competing in Formula 1 was recorded in photos taken by thousands of smartphones and cameras, the roar of the 2.9 V6 Bi-Turbo excited and delighted even the least expert.
Creativity and beauty in ancient towns and on four wheels
Active participation is found, on the other hand, at junctions and roundabouts, where groups of people point out the route, which is already well signed, as if eager to become more involved in a show that passes through enchanting locations every year. How could anyone not be inspired by Urbino, one of the most important centres of the Renaissance? Time was very short, but there were also few regrets, because Urbino ushered in the fourth sector and Corinaldo, one of Italy's loveliest towns, and Fabriano, a UNESCO creative city. This creativity is an Italian heritage, also expressed in the Alfa Romeo cars of past and present which drive along via Cavour to piazza Garibaldi.
The magic of the 1000 Miglia
In Umbria, as always, natural beauty prevailed: after Assisi, drivers could see green countryside through their windows and hear a silence only broken by the gentle rustle of vegetation and the roar of engines. Time-keeping was a constant but did not prevent participants from enjoying the views and appreciating the beauties of the landscape. The caravan paid its respects to Todi and reached Terni before the sun went down. It entered the Lazio region in the twilight, passing through Rieti and on to Rome in the sixth sector. There was traffic on the roads, but the traffic police and wardens escorted and directed the competitors with patience and courtesy. The 1000 Miglia is a big party for everyone, and overtime is worked with a smile. After all, it is not every day that the 1928 6C 1500 SS, the 1956 1900 SS and the 1954 1900 Sport Spider are on parade at Villa Borghese: another stroke of 1000 Miglia magic.
Rome, 17 May 2019