The Autodromo at Monza, the Automobile Club di Milano, the streets of Monte Carlo. All the icons of motoring will feature in the eleventh historic re-enactment of the Milano - Sanremo Cup, of which Pirelli is gold sponsor. From 28 to 30 March, nearly a hundred classic cars registered between 1906 and 1976 will compete over ninety timed trials and six regularity trials along a route crossing Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria, with the finish line in the Principality of Monaco. But this is not so much a race to be first as a catwalk for wonderful vintage cars and their drivers along nearly 700 kilometres of elegance and memories, with unforgettable Italian landscapes and not-to-be-missed cocktail parties.
Just like the Milano - Sanremo Classicissima di Primavera, the first of the five classic races in the cycling season, the first edition of the motoring event between the Lombard capital and the Riviera of Flowers dates back 113 years. In 1906 a group of gentlemen drivers organised a competition between wealthy men who wanted to race their cars to the Ligurian sea.
Suspended during the Second World War and then - for good - in 1973, from 2003 to 2011 it turned into a historical re-enactment for collectors and enthusiasts, to be revived once more last year thanks to sponsors like Pirelli and new investors coordinated by the Equipe International agency.
The appointment on 28 March will be at the Autodromo di Monza, the Temple of Speed, where the cars will warm up in the morning watched by the public, proceeding firstly through the centre of Monza and later through Milan for the traditional parade in the Quadrilatero della Moda, fully reflecting the noble and refined spirit of the Milan - Sanremo. The official presentation will take place in Via Montenapoleone. The actual race will set off on 29 March from the Automobile Club di Milano, in Via Marina, to then wind through towns, mountains and along the sea. On the first day the cars will pass through Vigevano and Pavia before heading into the Val Borbera. As is traditional the finishing line of first stage will be in Rapallo, where the cars will parade along the picturesque promenade. On Saturday 30 March they will climb to the Faiallo and Sassello passes, snaking through the Colle d'Oggia and the Colle del Melogno, arriving in Sanremo in the afternoon. This year, however, the teams will not stop in the City of Flowers but will continue (for the first time in the history of the Milano - Sanremo) to Monte Carlo. Here they will attend a gala dinner at the Hotel Fairmont, a fitting conclusion to a race rich in speed and glamour.
From the 5.7 kilometres of the Monza Eni Circuit (where a tribute to 60 cars of great historic interest will be held) to the roads that host the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, the Milan - Sanremo fuses the passion of historic car collectors and strengthens the bond between two historic motoring locations.