Nostalgic Tour around Targa Florio
This tour around the renewed Targa Florio classic car rally takes you to the north-west of Sicily. Palermo, capital of the largest Mediterranean island, is the starting point of this event. Unlike similar rallies such as Mille Miglia and Gran Premio Nuvolari, the modern Targa Florio is not driven as a circuit itinerary, but with daily laps starting and ending in Palermo. That said, we will offer you insights into an exciting southern city which struggles to leave its notorious past behind, headed by four-times mayor and renowned Anti-Mafia-expert Leoluca Orlando. Changing hotel on the third day of the tour, you will be able to enjoy amenities of the noble beach town of Cefalú and its sandy beaches.
Classic car tour to Targa Florio in Sicily
Winding mountain roads and picturesque coastal villages
We will pick you up at Palermo’s Falcone-Borsellino airport and accompany you to the vibrant heart of the capital. After check-in at your hotel, we will introduce you to our Alfa Romeos and off you drive on a first lap of journey towards Mondello, and back. Later on the day, we will be heading towards Piazza Verdi to see the official opening ceremony of Targa Florio, a great moment for gear heads to meet with cars and drivers alike. After that, we will host a welcome dinner in a traditional restaurant downtown.
Getting up early today will pay off. The first part of our itinerary follows the coast north-west past Castellamare before arriving in Erice. This peculiar village, perched high above a hill, counts a number of cultural legacies of the different centuries, from Phoenicians to Greeks, from Romans to Saracens. There will be plenty of leisure time for a stroll through the picturesque alleys, before driving on to a meeting point with the Targa Florio cars near Segesta, whose ancient temple is worth a photo stop as well. Tonight, after returning to our hotel in Palermo, we will enjoy an extensive guided visit there.
After check-out and luggage service, our drive will follow the official Targa Florio route to the east, into the Madonie mountains. Prior to that, we will pay a visit to Monreale cathedral just outside Palermo. First leg of journey will follow a beautiful coast road past Capo Zafferano, before arriving in Campofelice. From here, countless bends wind up into the mountains up to 2,000 mts elevation. Several of these roads had once been owned by the Florio family and were part of the original Targa Florio’s ‘Circuito delle Madonie’. Lunch break will be in Castelbuono with its narrow old town and numerous chapels, churches, and monasteries. It is here where we are supposed to meet the Targa Florio rally cars driving through. Later in the afternoon, we will make it to Cefalú, Palermo’s favorite beach location. The beaches here are considered among the nicest all over the island, and the Tyrrhenean Sea should still allow for bathing temperatures.
On our last driving day, we will again engage in the beauty of the wild, rugged Madonie Natural park mountains and gorges. The sharp uphill curves are the natural environment for light sports cars such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider. After getting to Petralia Soprana, the area’s highest village, we will be returning to Cefalú during the early afternoon, in time for the airport transfer to Palermo, or, why not, your individual tour extension on this mysterious and beautiful island.
* sharing a double room/ sharing a car.
The program for Targa Florio 2019 has not yet been finally decided, so there may be changes in the program for this trip as well, since we want to make sure that we can ride with Targa Florio in a convoy.
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One of the oldest endurance races around the world, the Targa Florio was founded in 1906. It would eventually become one of the biggest races until the mid-1920s, long before 24 Hours of Le Mans, or the Mille Miglia, had been established. The Florio were an extremely wealthy family in Sicily, friends with royal families in Europe and owning widespread businesses ranging from tuna fishing and conservation to liquors (the famous Marsala di Florio), tourism and chemistry. Based in Palermo, the Florio’s extensively contributed to the boom of their home city during the Art Déco period.
Vincenzo Florio had a great passion for automobiles and racing. He actively took part in various races in Italy and France. In 1906, it was Vincenzo Florio who organised the first endurance race across the Madonie mountains, an elevation up to 2,000 mts some 100 kms east of Palermo. Quickly, the ‘Targa Florio’ with its 70 km circuit, disputed over three laps, became a venue which attracted Europe’s racing elite. During the first decades Bugatti, Alfa Romeo and Maseratis would dominate the race, while after WWII, victories would be battled between Ferrari and Porsche. The later, actually, became the brand which could collect most victories throughout the race history dating from 1906 through 1977, when it was banned following a fatal crash. The 911 Porsche with the removable hard top would be named after the Sicilian race.
Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is situated in the north-west of the island and is the largest and most important city on the island. To the modern visitor, the city founded 800 b.C. by the Phoenicians, offers a number of impressive sights (7 among them on the UNESCO world cultural heritage list). Over the centuries, Greeks and Romans, Saracens, the Hohenstaufen Dynasty, Normans and Spanish have left their traces. Hohenstaufen’s Friedrich II. would upgrade his favorite residence city with splendid buildings. As mentioned above, during the second half of the 19th century, the richness of the island was reflected in numerous Art Déco and neoclassical buildings including Teatro Massimo, one of the largest opera houses of the continent.
The Madonie Natural park, where the Florio family owned extensive estates and forests, and where they built the first roads, are a perfect setting for an endurance race. In these days, Madonie are a hiking paradise and home to more than 60% of all Sicilian flora and fauna.
- Transfer Palermo Airport (PMO) to the hotel and back as well as on location
- Nostalgic Alfa Romeo classic car for self-drive including full comprehensive and passenger insurance, and fuel
- 3 nights accommodation incl. breakfast in 4-star hotel “NH Hotel Palermo“
- 1 night accomodation incl. breakfast in a 5-star hotel in Cefalú
- 1 dinner and 1 lunch
- Admission fees, guided sightseeing according to itinerary
- English speaking guide and service team during the complete trip
Not included in the arrangement:
- travel to Palermo (PMO)
- meals unless otherwise indicated