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Anything to do in Italy?


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#1 David Birchall

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 19:06

I am off to spend a week in Rome, a week in Venice and a week in Florence leaving Vancouver on this coming Wednesday. Since my missus will be with me I will not be able to go off to visit race courses etc but any suggestions for historic motorsport related places to visit in the three places mentioned?
Thanks DB

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#2 Barry Boor

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 19:22

I'm sure the missus would be fascinated by the old Roman Caracalla baths. Well worth a visit. And it's just a coincidence that an old race circuit runs around it.

Do a search on this forum for Caracalla.

Edited by Barry Boor, 30 September 2012 - 19:22.


#3 PCC

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 19:28

Venice doesn't even have cars, so finding motorsport-related sites will probably be a bit tricky. But honestly, who needs cars when you have this:

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Have a wonderful trip!

#4 Barry Boor

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 19:30

Has the scaffold finally gone from around the Doges Palace?


#5 PCC

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 19:32

Has the scaffold finally gone from around the Doges Palace?

As of last May, there was no scaffolding on the Doge's Palace, but there was a fair bit on San Marco.

#6 Bloggsworth

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 20:19

As silly questions go, this one is a lulu... There's getting your camera nicked by a passing youth on a Vespa or Lambretta; getting your wife/girlfriend nicked by a henchman of Berlusconi's and dragged off to a bunga-bunga party in Tuscany; there's playing a joke on your friends by tilting your camera and photographing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, so that it looks vertical when you show the picture to your friends and say "Dunno what all the fuss is about..." Then there is eating a REAL pizza, or finding that no-one in Bologna eats spaghetti bolognese the way you've had it elsewhere; if you are lucky you might bump into the odd art gallery... Apart from that, there's naff-all to do in Italy.

Edited by Bloggsworth, 30 September 2012 - 20:20.


#7 GMACKIE

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 20:31

Despite what 'they' say...... when in Rome, DON'T do as the Romans do.

#8 ensign14

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 20:53

Venice doesn't even have cars, so finding motorsport-related sites will probably be a bit tricky. But honestly, who needs cars when you have this:

Posted Image

Have a wonderful trip!

Hm. Bit like Birmingham, but with fewer canals.

#9 Sebastian Tombs

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 22:44

As silly questions go, this one is a lulu... There's getting your camera nicked by a passing youth on a Vespa or Lambretta; getting your wife/girlfriend nicked by a henchman of Berlusconi's and dragged off to a bunga-bunga party in Tuscany; there's playing a joke on your friends by tilting your camera and photographing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, so that it looks vertical when you show the picture to your friends and say "Dunno what all the fuss is about..." Then there is eating a REAL pizza, or finding that no-one in Bologna eats spaghetti bolognese the way you've had it elsewhere; if you are lucky you might bump into the odd art gallery... Apart from that, there's naff-all to do in Italy.


+1 :rolleyes:

ST :wave:

#10 arttidesco

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 23:14

Last time I was in Rome was over thirty years ago when I was hitch hiking through on my way back to Germany so I can't help much there, but about 8 years ago I was kindly dragged off to Venice, by my allegedly better half at the time and observed as Jed Clampett had done many years previously 'it's flooded' so no cars.

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However there are some cool boats to look out for,

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and you never know when you might spot a rhubarb and custard Ruston-Bucyrus floating by ...

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or ingratiating a scene that has otherwise probably not changed much in a few hundred years.

Unfortunately I do not speak enough Venetian to obtain the chassis numbers of either of these timeless beauties.

Have a good trip David :wave:

Edited by arttidesco, 30 September 2012 - 23:15.


#11 john aston

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 06:50

If you organise your route creatively I would recommend a drive over the Raticosa pass- I did so in my 1 litre Panda hire car and enjoyed it hugely. Not sure front tyres did though. Maranello is definitely a must see- whatever your thoughts on modern day Ferraris it is a very special place and you never know what you are going to see driving flat out down the high street.Last time I went an F40 and a 250 Lusso were highlights.

#12 Terry Walker

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:17

I was in Rome last summer, loved it, loved Italy. Make sure you enjoy leisurely evening meals in trattorias, preferably outside where you can people-watch, and stroll along the Tiber. There were two or three street circuits in Rome you can walk around, Darren Galpins site has details. I know its a tourist cliche but go up the Spanish steps and along the top to Piazza del Popolo for view over the city. For a glimpse of more bohemian Rome, stroll through Trastevere's narrow lanes. While in Trastevere you might like to look into the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere--on the piazza of the same name. A drab, colourless piazza with a non-functioning fountain, a drab colourless church outside, but inside! Sumptuous eye food.

Rome is fairly compact, at least inside the walls, so you can easily walk most places. The Metro is straight-forward but has a limited coverage. Lots of buses, and a tram service too, but that's also limited. Walking is cheap and unless you have wobbly legs, preferable. I walked for miles.

When you emerge from the Metro at Pyramide you will be mildly startled to see a very large marble pyramid built into the ancient wall. The pyramid is 2000 years old. Some wealthy roman was so impressed by the Egyptian ones he commissioned one of his own as his tomb.

If you are going to visit the Vatican museum, colosseum, or the catacombs and so on, you will probably have to take a guided tour rather than fly solo. The reason is that is the crowds are heavy, the tour guides have bought bulk tickets so you stream through the gates way ahead of the soloists. We had a superb guide for the Colosseum and Forum, Francesca from (I think) the Dark Rome outfit, who is a qualified archeologist, but given Italy's low archeology budget was working as a tour guide when I was there.



#13 Terry Walker

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:21

Oh, and carefully keep your wife away from Via Condotti, which ought to be renamed via Condetteri or street of Bandits. Stuffed full of VERY expensive designer shops, every megadollar name you ever heard of.

#14 Allan Lupton

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:41

If you organise your route creatively I would recommend a drive over the Raticosa pass- I did so in my 1 litre Panda hire car and enjoyed it hugely. Not sure front tyres did though. Maranello is definitely a must see- whatever your thoughts on modern day Ferraris it is a very special place and you never know what you are going to see driving flat out down the high street.Last time I went an F40 and a 250 Lusso were highlights.

I'd endorse that drive!
It also pays to remember that, as the Italian car designers never distinguished between shopping and racing, even a 1.1 Multijet diesel Panda hire car can feel quite sporty.


#15 Tim Murray

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:51

Obviously in Rome and Florence you'll be on or close to the old Mille Miglia course (as others have said) but don't forget that several times in the '30s the race also visited Venice, driving across the famous bridge across the lagoon to a control in the Piazzale Roma and back out across the bridge. So, assuming you're going to Venice by car, you'll have no choice but to drive on one of the old Mille Miglia routes.

#16 pinkypants

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:21

To be honest, I would say 2-3 days max in Venice before you could get bored. Buy a good map = 3 euros normally, most vendors near the station sell them.

Venice is very touristy, expensive and dirty tbh - you will need to pay to access most of the worthwhile stuff - like the museums. It's worth getting the museum pass rather than the Venice card, and they are worth the entry fee if you get the pass. Get the water boat to have a nice trip around Venice, it costs I think 7 euros for a journey each, but it's much, much cheaper than a gondola. Gondola ride's - well we were offered one (for 2 people) for 70 euros for 45 minutes, but we heard some Americans being charged 30 US dollars each (!!!) for half an hour. Prices vary considerably, so much sure you shop around and haggle if need be.

Food wise - I lived off pizza, restaurants are mainly over priced and of poor quality - although of course there are exceptions.

http://www.guardian....nice-food-italy

I went to 1. Arte della Pizza - very good quality food at reasonable prices. Pizzas are made fresh and to order, lovely stuff. If you are coming out of the train station in Venice, turn left and then left at the main walk way (lots of street stalls etc). About 2-3 minutes walk, you'll see a shop with a green gazebo cover (on your left). There's a walk way next to it, turn left down the walk way and follow it down until you see Arte Della Pizza on your left. Really nice pizza, staff really nice :)

There are also lots of supermarkets that are placed away from the 'tourist' walk ways they encourage you to use. During the day, use the map to venture off the tourist route and get to see the shops the locals use instead.

Be very careful about walking around at night, the alleys are dark and mostly not lit up apart from the main touristy walk ways. When we were there for the GP a few weeks ago, there were lots of street 'vendors' hassling people to buy knock off bags and sunglasses -prepare to be hassled!

If you're driving - it's two hours or so from Venice to Monza (beware of the tolls!) - I'm sure there must be a train from Venice station. Monza - great track, nice park around it - get to see the old banking. You could then get the train/drive into Milan (I'd recommend the train though) although that would be a long journey back to Venice!

Edited by pinkypants, 01 October 2012 - 08:24.


#17 Hamish Robson

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:30

Between Florence and Venice stop in at Ferrara, it's beautiful. And of course you could divert to Maranello - the Galleria di Ferrari (maybe not called exactly that) is brilliant, and you can go and look at the factory, test track and Villeneuve memorial. Last time I was there was around ten years ago and we were overtaken by several Enzos being taken on a gentle test drive.

Take some time between Rome and Florence, Tuscany really is as beautiful as "they" say.

#18 Parkesi

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:40

Hello David - what a nice problem you have! As already mentioned if you have a rental car there are some interesting spots:
Roma * Vallelunga Race Track, 30 km north, www.vallelunga.it
* Museo Taruffi in Bagnoregio, 130 km north, A1 Viterbo, www.museotaruffi.it
* Ferrari Store Roma, Via Tomacelli 147 (centro), www.storeferrari.com / store locator
Florence * 1 lap of the old Mugello Circuit, 30 km north, including the Passo della Futa of Mille Miglia fame (see memorial).
The anticlockwise track counted towards the 1965 - 1967 World Sportscar Championship season.
In Scarperia the new Mugello Track, www.mugellocircuit.it
Venice: * Ferrari Store Venice, Calle Mercerie San Marco 782, www.storeferrari.com
* Museo Bonfanti, Bassano del Grappa, 80 km northwest, www.museobonfanti.veneto.it

Buy "Autosprint", weekly / every Tuesday to see all the "eventi" (races/rallies) in Italy,
maybe you meet Kubica somewhere winning another national rallye on his way back to Formula 1!

Two more advices:
* don`t bother to ask Italian people where to find your destination.
In order to make "bella figura" they will send you anywhere never mind if they know the answer or not...
* often in the window of closed shops you find a note "ritorno subito" (back in a minute).
Which means the guy is next door sipping espresso or the shop is closed down forever...
Enjoy your trip! Andreas



#19 fausto

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:06

David, if you are still in Italy on october 20-21 and not too distant from Imola you may find this interesting http://autodromoimol...-...etail&id=40 :)

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#20 Spaceframe

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:33

I am off to spend a week in Rome, a week in Venice and a week in Florence leaving Vancouver on this coming Wednesday. Since my missus will be with me I will not be able to go off to visit race courses etc but any suggestions for historic motorsport related places to visit in the three places mentioned?
Thanks DB

It depends somewhat on your means of transport - if you are travelling by car, I can fully recommend SS65, the old main route between Bologna and Firenze. It is part of the Mille Miglia route, taking in the Futa Pass as well as the already mentioned Raticosa.

Yout wife might not appreciate the road being an old race route, but she will surely enjoy the breathtaking views - not the least the view over Firenze.

There are a few motor racing museums worth visiting in Emilia Romagna - the Ferrari museum in Maranello, obviously, but since Maserati and Lamborghini also originates from the Modena/Bologna area you should be able to find museums dedicated to these two marques.

A final piece of advice: If you're going from a city centre to visit another city centre (for example if you want to visit Verona during your stay in Venezia), go by train. It's cheap, runs on time and you want have to deal with limitations on car transport in the centre of the cities - there is a hefty fine, if you drive where you aren't allowed, and the local authorities use tv-surveillance to enforce the limitations on car transportation.

#21 Paolo

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:54

In Venice don't forget to visit the Canal Grande, which once hosted the famous Venice Grand Prix.

Alas, a problem with road repairing led to the impossibility of a repeat event.

Details here:




#22 alansart

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:53

Take some time between Rome and Florence, Tuscany really is as beautiful as "they" say.


Tuscany is stunning. Earlier this year I went to a friends wedding held in the hills about 50 miles south of Florence. Amazing :)

Florence is busy but full of fabulous architecture. The 436 step climb to the top of Il Duomo is worth it for the view alone.
http://www.flickr.co...157623062320198

Pisa is smaller and well worth a visit just to see the tower.

Can't help with motorsport but driving through Florence is the nearest I've got to a FF1600 race for years :eek:


#23 Stefan Schmidt

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 13:12

It's not on the road to Rome but you must visit Modena!



#24 David Birchall

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 15:16

Many thanks to all who responded-even those who didn't get the irony...
I think I will just print off the entire thread and take it with me! :wave:



#25 Stefan Schmidt

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 16:54


Don't forget Borgo Poncarale, where the great Bruno Jack O'malley was born...

#26 PCC

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 17:03

To be honest, I would say 2-3 days max in Venice before you could get bored.

Well, it does depend on what interests you. If you like great art and architecture, 2-3 decades would not be enough to take it all in.

#27 David McKinney

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 17:14

In Venice don't forget to visit the Canal Grande, which once hosted the famous Venice Grand Prix.

Alas, a problem with road repairing led to the impossibility of a repeat event.

Details here:

There was a real Venice race in 1946 and 1947, but as it was called the Circuito Lido I guess it was held on the dry side of the lagoon

#28 Stefan Schmidt

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 17:26

Well, it does depend on what interests you. If you like great art and architecture, 2-3 decades would not be enough to take it all in.


:smoking:

#29 Barry Boor

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 18:51

Yes, David, I have the circuit map from those races.


#30 David McKinney

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 19:58

(I found it on Google Earth before posting :) )

#31 ensign14

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 21:03

There was a real Venice race in 1946 and 1947, but as it was called the Circuito Lido I guess it was held on the dry side of the lagoon

I bet it caused quite a splash.

#32 PCC

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 23:06

If you do somehow get tired of Venice's art and architecture, you can always drop in here:

Posted Image

#33 David Birchall

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 00:42

Is that Sonny Boy Williamson on the left?

#34 PCC

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 00:54

Is that Sonny Boy Williamson on the left?

Are you suggesting that Sonny Boy Williamson was reincarnated as one of the knock-off bag salesmen mentioned earlier?

#35 David Birchall

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:01

Well, I'm sure it beats picking cotton...


Totally OT, I recall seeing SBW in about 1965 playing in the "Angel" pub in Godalming--at one point I made eye contact with him and I don't know who was more amazed- me thinking "I'm looking at an ex slave (sic) black man playing the blues" or him thinking "Who the f**k are all these white kids an' what the f**k kind of dancing is that ?"

Back to Italy!

Edited by David Birchall, 02 October 2012 - 02:12.


#36 PCC

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 14:30

I am off to spend a week in Rome, a week in Venice and a week in Florence leaving Vancouver on this coming Wednesday.

How was your trip?

#37 David Birchall

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 17:05

That is remarkable! I just checked in for the first time since returning.

Our trip was fantastic-unfortunately the memsahib was loath to drive in Italy so we went by train and bus but still it was wonderful. As a result I saw none of the motorsport related sites that people suggested. However, we are going back and this time will probably rent a house and car and do some of thse places.

Rome was terrific-but nothing had prepared me for the masses of people on scooters apparently intent on killing themselves! Pretty young girls carving through traffic like budding Valentino Rossies. And NO road rage! Everyone carves everyone else up and it is expected and accepted-very much the opposite of N.America.

Venice was lovely--sort of a Gothic Disneyland really--but so crowded. I feel sorry for the Ventians, they never have a time when they have their city to themselves. It was the only place we visited were you were not guaranteed a good meal in a restaurant also-probably as a result of the crowds of tourists-"what does it matter if you please them all-there will be another 50,000 tomorrow".

Florence/Pisa/|Sienna/Lucca were beautiful. The people friendly and helpful. Tuscany really is the place to live. We were in a small hill town overlooking Florence when there was a commotion in traffic-lots of horn blowing which is rare in Italy I found. Round the corner came The Fiat 500 Club of Italy, out for a Sunday drive. None of the "keep it quiet and hope they don't notice" of most car clubs. These people wanted to be seen! They blasted through town waving and honking and an hour or so later returned and parked outside a bar/cafe. Moments later the Carrabineiri turned up-bikes and cars-but there was no problem. Both they and the residents of the town wanted to see these little beautifully turned out Fiats and there were smiles and photos all round

Thanks again to all those who responded the my request. :)

#38 D-Type

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 22:28

Was that Topolinos or the postwar Cinquecentos? Or both?

#39 David Birchall

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 00:44

Very post war--I would think about 1970. They had beautiful paint jobs but there was no attempt at originality in some of them-Italian hotrods - they were the only example I saw of Italians love of cars--lots of smiles and interest :)

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#40 Paolo

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 14:18

Very post war--I would think about 1970. They had beautiful paint jobs but there was no attempt at originality in some of them-Italian hotrods - they were the only example I saw of Italians love of cars--lots of smiles and interest :)


In Italy modifications are hell to get, these times; paranoid laws.