Drive Tastefully: Lago Maggiore Is One Of The Best Ways To Experience Italy
Photography by Armando Musotto
For many, driving a classic automobile through the most historic and picturesque locations in Italy is just a dream. It is one of those “one-day” types of items that are relegated to a bucket list. Drive Tastefully: Lago Maggiore led a group of classic car enthusiasts on the trip of a lifetime. It was more than just driving, new friends were made, the finest foods were tasted, and instant memories created.
Lorenzo and Olivia Studer
1966 Corvette Stingray 427
“I have been following Petrolicious since the first videos, the Lago Maggiore Rally was a beautiful rally where I made beautiful friendships and spent unforgettable moments.”
After all, the best part of a Petrolicious Rally is the fellow participants you will meet. Each driver was as unique as their car, and even though they all went the same way, each one had a different experience.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the automobiles that were on the trip, it is only on a Drive Tastefully trip that you will find a Mazda Miata mixing it up with a 1958 Ferrari 250 GTR. Nearly every marque we love was represented, from a glorious Jaguar XK C Type to a 1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super and a Lancia Integrale. Every car had a story and an owner who wasn’t afraid to drive it as meant to be driven.
Each location was carefully chosen to appeal to the motoring enthusiast. The first stop that evening was Officina Milano, a motorcycle and cars inspired cocktail bar. As they prepped for the upcoming weekend, the drivers dined in a courtyard surrounded by vintage cars. Early the next morning, everyone met at Lùbar, a breakfast spot that’s built in the Villa Reale di Milano, a royal mansion of Milan, which also includes a gallery of modern art. All the cars from the rally were lined up as a delicious breakfast was served. After a quick briefing, they headed south, towards Voghera, a historic town of the Lombardy region.
Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evolution 2
“I loved the well-chosen routes and stunning locations. The Petrolicious team is exceptionally professional, trustworthy, and respectful. What stunned me was that even a car mechanic was part of the rally – just in case any technical eventualities are taken care of. The idea to unite all world-renowned cars for a rally is thrilling. Thank you, Petrolicious & Drive Tastefully, I will be back!”
The next stop was Piazza Duomo in Voghera, where they parked near a church that dates back to 1605. The rally caused quite a stir as the local residents crowded around to check out some of the rare machines that had arrived in their town. After a quick espresso, the rally raced off in search of open roads. They roared through the hills of Oltrepò Pavese, the wine region of South Lombardy, and on to a lunch destination at Borgo Santuletta. This location was the site of a beautiful farmhouse and a small winery established in 1850.
Mark and Sarah Woodrow
1970 Datsun 240Z
“I had a European trip planned, and as soon as I realized I could combine it with the Petrolicious rally, I had to join. We drove all the way from London, and I knew that while there would be some amazing cars, the event would be all about the driving and sharing the experience with other enthusiasts. No standing around and just looking at static cars. It was all about meeting other people, hearing their stories, sharing their cars and company over the weekend. After all, that’s what it’s really about.”
Then they headed north, towards Lago Maggiore, to drive across the Ponte delle barche, an extraordinary bridge that crosses the Ticino river. The bridge is constructed entirely of boats, one to the other, connected by a platform, was first built in 1374 by the noble Visconti family. Between the cars and this unique bridge, the crossing was quite an event.
The rally went from noble bridges to places of worship. The Abbazia di Morimondo (Morimondo Abbey) is an example of Cistercian architecture evolved towards the gothic style, built in 1182. Everyone sipped on espressos and marveled at the centuries-old architecture. The final stop for the day was to be the stunning Lago Maggiore, specifically in the town of Stresa, which is on the west side of the lake. The drivers shared adventures from the day and spent the night at Palazzo Villa Aminta, right on the lake.
BMW 3.0 CSL
“The spirited drive in Oltrepo’ Pavese following a Zurich registered Alfa GTV 2000 was mega!”
The following day the rally commenced on the famous mountain pass of the Mottarone. After a quick coffee, of course, it was on to a beautiful scenic road that overlooks seven lakes from that region. It was a picturesque moment at every turn.
The rally headed south from there towards Casale Monferrato, the wine county of the south of the Piedmont region. Every turn, there was a new sight to see as they carved through the hills to Colle Manora, a winery owned by Giorgio Schon. In addition to being a winemaker, Giorgio is also a passionate automobile enthusiast and ex-racer who most recently competed in Peking to Paris.
Porsche Boxster 982 Black Edition
“Apart from the obvious superb locations and the driving, it’s been heartwarming to meet such wonderful like-minded tasteful owners and making life long friendships hopefully.”
After their appetites were satisfied, they drove towards Arese, for the final stop: The Alfa Romeo Museum. It was a rally where the focus was more on making new friends and enjoying the cars doing what they were meant to do: Drive Tastefully.