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Birthplace of a champion


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#1 dmj

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 18:34

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Could you imagine that one of greatest drivers ever is born here, at such a romantic place, small old town sleepy on the top of a hill, above the morning mist?

But indeed he is - this is Motovun, Croatia, birthplace of Mario Andretti, also one of most beautiful places I ever saw... More pictures you can find here , if you wish. Whenever I visit that beautiful town again always I start thinking it must be one of the most unexpected, improbable places ever to give us a great driver. But certainly there are others too... I'd like to see pictures and links of such places here, even if this might be slightly OT...

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#2 Muzza

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 19:14

Hello, dmj,


Your postings about the Croatian side of motorsports are always interesting. Do you know if any Andretti family member still lives in Croatia?

It is a pity that the otherwise very good biography of Mario Andretti written by Gordon Kirby - of which I am fortunate enough to have a exemplar signed by Mario :D - calls his birth place "Montona, Italy" instead of "Montona, Italy - today Motovun, Croatia" (Kirby does explain that the city now lays in Croatian territory some paragraphs down the text, but the opening sentence is misleading).

I once worked with an engineer whose family name was Lucchesic - originally the name was Lucchesi, but the family moved from Toscana to Eastern Friuli and somehow ended in Yugoslavia (Slovenia) between the Wars. There their name was changed to Lucchesic, and they later immigated to Brazil - but I think a few family members remained in Slovenia, still using the interesting form Lucchesic as name.

Cheers,


Sal

#3 dmj

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 19:40

Muzza,

thank you for compliments. Whilst we don't have much to add to Motorsport history at least I do hope it is more or less always new to others here. I wandered about Andretti family too and no such surname I coul found here. But our local phonebooks list 13 persons named Andretic, most in Istria, albeit none in Motovun itself. Some of them might be Mario's relatives, it is certainly their surname changed. Actually I once met someone who claimed that Mario once drove him around along with a friend of his, Mario's relative. As I know Mario visited his birthplace only twice in last 30 years and I don't believe he ever spent much time in Croatia so let's say that story is very dubious. As for Kirby book, whilst misleading I can understand it: don't believe Mario is very keen on Croats, having been more or less forced to leave his birthplace in troublesome circumstances, after WWII, as well as many other Italian people. I know that such things happened after each war that led to a borderline change, anywhere in the world, but it's still sad. However, Motovun likes Andretti nowadays and a small exhibition on him is always on in local museum, along with equally impressive one about truffles (area being one of the most renowned truffle-picking centers of the world).