Mille Miglia – 1000 Miles

16 May

For the first time ever, the famous Mille Miglia open-road endurance race is coming through Cortona. If you are a car lover, or just a fortunate spectator, this will be a spectacular treat.

The race took place in Italy 24 times from 1927 to 1957 (13 before the war, 11 after 1947). From 1953-57, the race was also a round of the World Sports Car Championship. Today’s local paper proclaimed that this is the first time the event will come through Cortona,



and posters are all over town.


The race was banned after two fatal crashes in 1957, killing both drivers and many spectators. From 1958 to 1961, the event resumed as a rally-like roundtrip at legal speeds with a few special stages driven at full speed, but this was discontinued also.

In 1977, the Mille Miglia was reborn as a “race” for classic vintage cars produced pre-1957. The round trip route is Brescia-Roma-Brescia, similar to that of the original race, and takes several days to complete. 

Here is the route, published by the Mille Miglia official site:

Below are some excerpts taken (and translated) from an email I received this morning detailing some of the logistics. I imagine the times are estimates based on weather conditions and traffic. What is significant, however, is the sheer number of cars, upward of 600, expected to move through the streets of Cortona tomorrow.

Cortona for the first time in its history will be a stop in this race. Everything is ready in the city to welcome this historic passage. About 600 cars will participate in the Mille Miglia 2018. 30 Super Car Mercedes, 100 Super Ferrari Cars and 450 historic cars. Among these, 70% are made up of foreign crews and many famous people. The passage will last for four hours.

In Cortona the reception will be special: the cars will start arriving in the city between 12.30 and 13. The approach path will … enter the city from Via Dardano, Piazza Signorelli, stop for stamping in Piazza della Repubblica and exit from Via Nazionale.

Among the well-known characters at the start, Coldplay bass player Guy Berryman, Oscar winner Adrien Brody, Dutch prince Van Oranje, Piero Pelù, Spanish singer Alvaro Soler and former Formula One driver Giancarlo Fisichella, actress and model Francesca Chillemi, the patron of Prada Patrizio Bertelli.

Per Mayor Francesca Basanieri, … The Mille Miglia is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most famous and celebrated car races in the world, and having brought it to Cortona, even if only as an intermediate stage, is a very important result.

If you would like more info, from the years of history to this year’s event, this site is well worth visiting: 

As for me, tomorrow will be a photo-op dream.

Just hope the weather cooperates! Stay tuned.


8 Responses to “Mille Miglia – 1000 Miles”

  1. Connelly, Vincent J. May 16, 2018 at 10:23 AM #

    You should try to get a poster for framing and posterity!

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Debra Kolkka May 16, 2018 at 11:22 AM #

    This race is stunning. It came through Bagni di Lucca a couple of years ago and was wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lyn Douglas May 16, 2018 at 1:44 PM #

    What an exciting day for Cortona. I was in Arezzo when the giro d’Italia came through and the atmosphere was fantastic. Enjoy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Royce Larsen May 16, 2018 at 10:34 PM #

    Thank for the update in the
    Magic place of Cortona
    I am sure your camera is poised
    For the event.
    Look forward to seeing more

    Liked by 1 person

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