Mille Miglia, the most beautiful race in the world told in a nutshell

History and curiosities about the Mille Miglia, the car race that has turned into a race for vintage cars, without losing its charm. An evocative competition, which takes place between Brescia and Rome, along a path of about 1600 kilometers through central Italy.

Mille Miglia is perhaps one of the most evocative names in motoring, especially in Italy . It entered the common language as a symbol of a race with epic contours , a race that perfectly mixes sporting spirit, passion for engines and extravagance. Not surprisingly, the Mille Miglia is considered one of the most beautiful races in the world and every year attracts hundreds of drivers and enthusiasts from all over the world. But how was this famous appointment born? How has it evolved over the years? What curiosities does it hide?

The history of the Mille Miglia: yesterday and today

The best thing to do to tell the Mille Miglia is to start from its history , which is a characterizing element. The life of this car race can be divided into two major phases: that of the actual race and that of the historical re-enactment . The first phase goes from 1927 , the date of the debut edition , to 1957 (with two pauses, in 1939 and between 1941 and 1946). In recent years the Mille Miglia is characterized as a long distance car race , which begins and ends in Brescia , crossing along the route of about 1600 kilometers (equivalent to 100 imperial miles) most of central Italy, up to Rome . The idea of organizing it stems from a protest linked to the failure to assign the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix to the city of Brescia, which instead went to Monza and its National Autodrome . A disappointment from which a fantastic story was born. The second life of the Mille Miglia , on the other hand, began in 1977 and continues today. The event has turned into a historical regularity race in stages , which sees fascinating vintage cars parade along a route that traces the original idea and goes from Brescia to Rome and back. The goal is to complete it in a set time, without anticipating and without delaying.

5 gift ideas for car lovers

7 things to know about the Mille Miglia

Already from these brief historical notes it is possible to guess the uniqueness of the Mille Miglia, which from a simple car race has been able to transform itself into a myth. To get to know it even better, here are seven things you absolutely need to know.

Who invented it

The creators of the Mille Miglia were Giovanni Canestrini, Franco Mazzotti, Aymo Maggi and Renzo Castagneto , renamed “the four musketeers”. Of this poker of aces, however, the most active promoter of the race was certainly Castagneto, then president of the Automobile Club Italia of Brescia.

Where does it start and where does it come from

As mentioned, the Mille Miglia kicks off in Brescia , where the arrival is also fixed. For the Lombard city, the race is a historical symbol of great value, an event around which the whole city colors and comes alive. The beating core of the whole event, from the earliest years, is Piazza Vittoria .

What is the race course

The route of the Mille Miglia undergoes small changes with each edition, going to touch different locations in central Italy. The immovable fixed points, however, are the length, which must be around 1600 kilometers , that is a thousand imperial miles, and the passage through Rome .

Which historic cars can participate

Only historic cars produced before 1957 and of which at least one example took part or was registered in the original Mille Miglia can participate in the current version of the Mille Miglia.

How many cars participate

There is no minimum or maximum number of participants allowed . The car record at the start was recorded in 2017, on the occasion of the race that celebrated the 90th anniversary of the first edition of the Mille Miglia.

How and what to win

As this is a regularity race, the first prize goes to whoever deviates the least from the established travel time. Arriving early or late, in fact, involves the assignment of penalties. Whoever collects fewer penalties is the winner and wins the first prize, symbolic but very prestigious: a cup that faithfully reproduces that of the classic Mille Miglia .

When the Mille Miglia 2022 will take place

The 2022 edition of the Mille Miglia will be number 40 since the race was reborn as a historic car race. The competition will take place from 15 to 18 June . In first stage , the competitors will start from Brescia and arrive in Cervia – Milano Marittima; in second stage they will cross central Italy, passing through San Marino and Norcia and landing in Rome; in third , instead, they will go up north through Tuscany, until reaching Parma; finally, in the fourth will compete in tests in the circuit of varano de ‘Melegari, to then reach the Autodromo Nazionale Monza via Salsomaggiore and Pavia.

Gift ideas for Formula 1 fans