La Dolce Veloce

La Dolce Veloce


Article: Jeff Israely • Photo: Nostalgic

I’ve never seen Tuscany looking so good. The difference this time is not where I’m going, but how I’m getting there. Today, it’s a cherry red 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider 1600 Veloce that I’m tooling around in for a tour of Chianti’s sloping vineyards and sleepy hamlets. The Giulia is a vintage convertible dream, with rounded lines that undulate like the Tuscan hillsides and an engine throb that blends with the rustle of cypress trees. So when slowing to a gentle stop near a 10th century cobblestone abbey. I couldn’t help but feel like my four wheels were actually improving the scenery. Walter Laimer and Gert Pichler, northern Italian buddies who once led Tuscan bike tours, offer four-day, all-inclusive guided Alfa tours that start around €2,000. “With cars today you’re shut off from the surrounding environment, “says Laimer. “You lose the real sense of driving. “Their German-based company, Nostalgic, simply drops the key in the client’s palm and hands over a map and guidebook. “There are people who have the money and the desire but not the knowledge or the time to own a classic car,” notes Pichler. “Now a businessman in London gets on a plane and three hours later he is driving a vintage Alfa Romeo through the hills of Chianti.” It’s almost hard to stop for lunch.