Mille Miglia 2019: The "world's most beautiful race" lives up to its billing
The 1000 Miglia is a photographer's dream, combining rolling Italian countryside and beautiful traditional architecture with painstakingly restored vintage cars of the highest caliber actually being driven in all kinds of weather.
The turnout for this event is truly gob-stopping. Hundreds upon hundreds of absolute dream machines from as far back as 1923, each in the sort of condition you'd expect if they were sitting in the Mullin Automotive Museum, and the absolute cream of the most desirable autos of their era. And they're alive, and running, and driving through streets that are even older and more majestic and lived-in.
The 2019 route starts and finishes in Brescia, which sits in the triangle between Milan, Venice and Bologna. Over four days, it winds its way out to the eastern coastline, then down through Assisi to Rome, then back up through Siena, Vinci and Florence to Bologna, before passing back through Modena's Motor Valley and back to the starting point.
Putting a thousand miles on the clocks of these venerable old machines is not something the owners do lightly, and the 1000 Miglia team takes seriously its responsibility to make this a road trip for the ages. Each major stop is a red-carpet celebration of motoring history, and a magnet for crowds.
Indeed, the crowds that come out to line so much of the route are treated to an exceptionally up-close view of a parade of cars that were almost as rare and noteworthy nearly a hundred years ago as they are today.
And if it's a treat to see these things out on the road and being treated like the high-performance race cars many of them were in their day, it's even more amazing to see them persevere as the weather turns nasty. Some have the luxury of being able to put a roof up, others, not so much – and the final day looks like a long one for those that haven't come prepared with raincoats and visors.
At the end of the day, though, the Mille Miglia is a race, a combination of time trials, time controls and average trials with a history that goes back as far as 1927, when some of these cars were brand new and others hadn't even been conceived.
This year's winners: Giovanni Moceri and Daniele Bonetti in #59, an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SSA built in 1928. Second place was a nearly identical Alfa a year younger, and a 1927 Bugatti Type 40 filled out the podium.
Do yourself a favor, jump into the gallery and enjoy our favorite shots from the 2019 Mille Miglia – race aside, it looks like the road trip of a lifetime.
Source: Mille Miglia