A hotly debated topic: the Mille Miglia route 2017

As we draw closer to the start date, as always the third week of May, more and more details about the 2017 edition of the Mille Miglia, one of the best loved classic car events in the world, are surfacing.

The 2017 MM will be the 35th commemorative edition and will also celebrate the 90th anniversary of the very first race, back in 1927. The formula will be the same as in recent years, with the cars driving from Brescia to Rome and back in four days (from Thursday the 18th to Sunday the 21st May).

Some numbers

According to the organizers, in total, 695 applications to register were submitted, for 440 available places. The requests came from 41 different countries. The route for the 2017 event will take the drivers through more than 200 villages and towns, seven Italian regions and even a foreign country: the Republic of San Marino.

The Mille Miglia route 2017

The route picked by the organizers is, as always, one of the most hotly debated topics. In the past, the route for the real race editions would often vary, and the same is happening today with the commemorative event. There are various reasons for altering the route, some linked to technical needs and others, quite simply, to the wishes of sponsors.

Day 1, Thursday: after the cars set out from Viale Venezia in Brescia, they will head for Lake Garda and then Verona, before continuing eastwards to Vicenza, finally finishing the first stint in Padua, definitely a more northeastern location than usual.

Day 2, Friday: From Padua, the cars will not, as usual, make for the Adriatic coast, but will remain more inland, driving across Ferrara early in the morning. This will be a novelty for this town, which is more used to welcoming the convoy of cars in the evening. They will then head south to Ravenna and San Marino before driving through Urbino, in the Marche region, passing through the amazing Gola del Furlo, and then entering Umbria, where they will take in the towns of Gubbio, Perugia and Terni. This long day’s driving will end in Rome.

 

Photo gallery courtesy of Massimo Delbò.

Day 2, Friday: From Padua, the cars will not, as usual, make for the Adriatic coast, but will remain more inland, driving across Ferrara early in the morning. This will be a novelty for this town, which is more used to welcoming the convoy of cars in the evening. They will then head south to Ravenna and San Marino before driving through Urbino, in the Marche region, passing through the amazing Gola del Furlo, and then entering Umbria, where they will take in the towns of Gubbio, Perugia and Terni. This long day’s driving will end in Rome.

Day 3, Saturday: The cars, leaving the capital, will immediately make for the ring and then head north, following the usual route through Tuscany. This is by far the most fascinating part of the tour, which will see them driving through Ronciglione and Viterbo before doing the Radicofani hillclimb and then crossing Siena, with the magical drive through Piazza del Campo. After Siena comes the main novelty of the 2017 tour: instead of driving towards Florence through the Futa and Raticosa Pass, the cars will go in a northwesterly direction, taking in Montecatini and Pistoia, before heading north through the Abetone Pass, making for Reggio Emilia, Modena, and finally Parma. It is not unprecedented for the MM race to skip the direct drive from Florence to Bologna. This has already happened both in real and commemorative editions in the past and so this cannot be said to represent a break with history. On another hand, from the drivers’ and public’s point of view, the drive through the Abetone pass will be like having a cup of still water after tasting a glass of champagne: Abetone, compared with Futa and Raticosa, is less challenging, less beautiful to drive through and less interesting to look at.

Day 4, Sunday: Already on the flat land of northern Italy, the convoy will move from Parma to Cremona and Mantua, beautiful and romantic cities, before heading to Brescia. In a break with the tradition of recent years, Monza and its banked curve will not be part of the itinerary, but in compensation for this the crews will encounter more picturesque scenery and less traffic on their approach to Brescia.

Visual of Mille Miglia route courtesy of Mille Miglia.

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