Mille Miglia vintage car rally returns to Rome

Italy's annual vintage car rally rolls into Rome on 17 June.

The 2021 edition of the Mille Miglia rally will see more than 400 classic and vintage cars travel from the northern Italian city of Brescia to Rome and back again this week.

One of the world’s oldest car rallies, the Mille Miglia began in 1927, taking place 24 times until 1957 and bringing international fame to luxury sports cars such as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati and Porsche.

The 2021 competition will follow the traditional route, from Brescia to Rome and back, with legs in Viareggio and Bologna, but this year the rally will take counter-clockwise directions compared to previous editions of the original speed race.

From Brescia, the crews will head towards the Tyrrhenian coast and stop in Viareggio, leaving the next day for Rome.

Mille Miglia in Brescia, October 2020. Photo credit: Artyart / Shutterstock.com.

The third leg will start there, go up north and end beyond the Apennines, in Bologna. The fourth and last leg, from Bologna, will take to the traditional arrival in Brescia.

Designed exclusively for classic and vintage cars, the 1,800-km Mille Miglia has been a regularity race since 1977, meaning that it is more of a rally than a contest, with precise average speeds maintained throughout.

Teams come from all over the world, and the race is only open to cars produced before 1957 and selected from the models which took part in the original race.

Mille Miglia. Photo credit: Zakrevsky Andrey / Shutterstock.com.

The round-trip route between Brescia and Rome is similar to that of the original race, with the cars leaving Brescia on 16 June.

The cars are expected to arrive in Rome on Thursday 17 June at about 21.15 on Via Veneto - where car fans traditionally gather to admire the spectacle - before the rally continues its journey back north the following day at 06.15.

For those wishing to catch a glimpse of the cars passing through Rome after Via Veneto, the traditional route usually passes through: Piazza Barberini, Via del Tritone, Via del Corso, Piazza Venezia, Via del Teatro Marcello, Via Petroselli, Piazza Bocca della Verità, Via del Circo Massimo, Viale Aventino, Piazza di Porta Capena, Viale Terme di Caracalla, Via Cristoforo Colombo, Viale del Pattinaggio and the Viadotto della Magliana, until the rally arrives at the Sheraton Hotel.

Commuters in Rome should note that the cars' arrival will result in the closure of Via Veneto and the re-routing of numerous bus services.

For full programme details, in English, see the Mille Miglia website. Cover photo: Zakrevsky Andrey / Shutterstock.com.

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