When the world’s most beautiful race rolls into Roman streets!

If a trip to Italy especially Rome is always an enticing one, I could not have asked for a better reason to have planned one in May. Quite honestly, it was indeed a surprise that it turned out to be one such sweetly timed plan that fell in place for one awesome experience. 

There is an old motto that says ‘Its fuel rather than blood flows through the veins of the people who come from Brescia’, a beautiful city in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy. This clearly depicts the Brescians innate passion for racing dating back to the nineteenth century. With a rich history of having held the first ever ‘speed race’ and motoring passion, many automobile manufacturers were found in Brescia.  These races became bigger and better over the years and attained much popularity.

As the history narrates, on January 18, 1927, the preparations for the first Mille Miglia Cup began to take place. From that day on, the name ‘Mille Miglia’ along with ‘Red Arrow’ trademark have remained the inalienable property of the Brescia Automobile Club. The first race took place during the month of March in 1927, which was won by Minoja-Morandi OM 655 Sport ‘Superba’. 

The founder Giovanni Canestrini in his book states the history of 1000 Miglia, as a description of the memorable incident that occurred on December 2, 1926, the day that has since been officially recognized as the birth of the Mille Miglia.  It narrates how a group of Brescians arrived to his home in Milan on Via Bonaventura Cavalieri, which included Franco Mazzotti, Aymo Maggi, Renzo Castagnet, (the other three musketeers) and his friend, Flaminio Monti. The rest of the story is history as it came to be known as ‘Mille Miglia Cup’ – the most beautiful race in the world. And it was quite an incredibly interesting history learning for me as someone who was very keen to know when this all started.

The incredible racing event has been bringing together exceptional personalities to the world of sport. And here I was absolutely lucky and super excited to be in Italy on time to witness it all. The re-enactment of the Mille Miglia currently, is an event in a class of its own. Mille Miglia combines tradition with innovation, and vividly colours that combination with creativity, elegance, beautiful scenery and the Italian way of living. This plethora of rich elements makes the Mille Miglia a symbol of Italian excellence all over the world.


This clearly makes visiting Italy during this grand racing event most unforgettable. The beautiful narrow roads play the lucky ‘red carpet’ for all the awesome ‘vintage-to-contemporary’ cars to roll on. The hardcore racing fans line up on either side, especially at the crossroad junctions and turns to get a good look of these amazing beasts whizz past. And I was also at one of those junctions strategically closer to a traffic signal, as it drizzled on and off adding to the cool of a spectacular evening.

Some of the best classics ever made in the history of car making from the iconic creators such as Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Bugatti, Porsche, Austin Healey, Aston Martin all racing down the streets of Rome, can anyone ask for more. Specially for the car and auto sports lovers, this exciting event makes it a perfect time to visit Italy. 

For me, this turned out to be one unforgettable experience standing in awe watching these beauties roll by, sometimes even forgetting to click pictures. 

As for those planning a trip post this Great Covid Pause, be there on time to pick your spots in the historical streets of Rome to witness what is truly ‘the most beautiful race in the world’.

Pictures – irk99 | www.instagram.com/irk99

San Gimignano & Siena – A walk through history for the best of tuscany

There will be mornings when you get up with the urge to simply indulge. Walk through the cobbled historic lanes of Italy, shop at a slowest possible pace, step into beautiful vineyards to savour some world class wines and bite into freshly made, award-winning gelatos all day long. And that’s living life “king’s size”!

We went on a gourmet trail through San Gimignano and Siena, the most gorgeous Italian destinations that treasure the magical beauty of medieval history by proudly portraying the splendours of a wondrous past. These places easily make it to the ‘must-see’ list for the discerning traveller, with an irresistible urge to indulge.

Shopping through centuries old walls

An ancient beauty

According to fascinating legends, this uniquely beautiful town has its history dated back to 63 B.C. and the first mention is stated to have appeared in the documentation during 929. With such an incredible history, this place seem to have emerged as a result of a two young brothers who built castles here after they escaped from Rome as they were implicated in a conspiracy.   

Carved lanes between the towers…

San Gimignano, declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO is a city of beautiful towers. As you walk through the beautiful lanes carved between the towers as many as 14, the story unfolds to enlighten you as they are once symbols of power and wealth of their inhabitants. It’s a perfect scene for beautiful vistas, numerous streets and piazzas, centuries old walls with unaltered sight of medieval magic.

Lookin’ out…in leisure

With around 8000 inhabitants now, this Commune lives on agriculture and wine production. Every bit of the complex history about this awesome town is sure to awe every traveller. And if you are more of an ‘inquisitive’ kind like me, San Gimignano is the place for some amazing medieval ambiance that is treasured for centuries.

For the world’s best gelato!

Remember this indulgence, halt only to sniff in the aroma of fine wines from breath-taking vineyards and for a regular dose of salami, gourmet cheeses and a mind-boggling selection of bruschettas.

World’s best gelato
…indulgence

And the most exciting part of the ‘urge’…the hunt for the best and the original gelato in the land of gelatos! Gelateria di Piazza is one place that can’t be missed for its marvellous creations. A favourite among celebrities across the globe, each flavour here is unique and is crafted in the original gelato-making tradition. From cream drizzled with saffron and pine nuts to pink grapefruit, raspberry and rosemary to blackberries and lavender…the list is enticing and endless. No wonder the boards on these outlets claim winners of the Gelato Ice Cream World Championships!

Medieval Magic

Think of a most beautiful medieval city, a world famous (Palio run) horse race around the spectacular piazza and the very place you enjoyed watching in the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace, it is Siena. With rich and interesting Roman history, Siena sits pretty over three hills and right at the heart of city is Piazza del Campo that is marked by the red tower, Torre del Mangia. Quite interestingly, we get to see the tower from different angles depending upon where you are walking from towards the Campo. 

Piazza del Campo…as it rains
…a view on a rainy day

As a testament to some brilliant Romanesque architecture with influences from French Gothic and Classical styles, the Siena Cathedral (Duomo of Siena) stands tall with all its glory. With a most fascinating facade, this Cathedral built in 12th century is a beautiful example of sienese workmanship. The pillars with angels, the alter and the grand dome with a gilded lantern like a golden sun shining in, this structure epitomises what we witness inside the Cathedral. Overall, the fascinating facade, the bell tower that is strikingly captivating and the incredible interiors makes Siena Cathedral a ‘must visit’ when you are on a day trip to Siena.    

a 12th century masterpiece 

Siena and San Gimignano…without a doubt is where every traveller walks into history, gets to taste some world’s best gelato and soak in the beauty of these quaint destinations.

Pictures – irk99 | www.instagram.com/irk99