The Bergamo Historic Gran Prix Roars around the City’s Walls
Photos by Christian Baumann, Controluce, for Petrolicious
The Bergamo Historic Gran Prix is like the city of Bergamo itself—small but very beautiful. The track, named “Circuito delle Mura,” follows the route around the ancient walls of Bergamo Alta, the city’s old town.
This year’s event began under less than favourable conditions as neither the weather nor Italy’s World Cup schedule cooperated. The day before the race, the climate swung from hot Italian summer to windy, rainy, and 20oC (about 68oF) very quickly. But worse yet, Italy was scheduled to play Brazil in a late match ensuring that every last Italian went to bed around 3AM. Fortunately, Italy also loves its cars, so nothing stopped the fans and participants from waking up early and coming out in force to enjoy this year’s exquisite collection racing in the Bergamo Historic Gran Prix.
The Piazza della Cittadella (a town square located just inside the northeastern corner of the walls and right off of the circuit) served as the paddock and it was here where the action was centered the morning of June 15. People strolled around, having a look at all the wonderful cars in the heart of medieval Bergamo, pausing for an espresso here and there. The atmosphere was enhanced by the location because it took place in the middle of this wonderful old town rather than at a remote track. All the bars, restaurants, and shops opened to greet those watching the race, enjoying conversation with the gentlemen drivers, or those who just wanted to relax and chill out with an aperitivo.
The race runs clockwise around the 2.9 kilometer (~two miles) perimeter of Bergamo’s walls just as in 1935 when racing legend Tazio Nuvolari won the race in his Alfa Romeo P3. Today’s Historic Gran Prix was revived in 2004 by Mr. Simone Tacconi and his team of car aficionados with great success. More than forty thousand spectators attended last year’s Grand Prix of Bergamo and the amount of fantastic cars is on the rise.
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