Across the southern hills of the Dolomite Mountains of Italy, north of a line drawn between Schio, Marostica and Bassano del Grappa, lie some of Europe’s most beautiful and challenging roads…long and fast sweeps coming down from 3,000 meters, medium speed twists across alpine meadows, and tight up-and-down hairpins reminiscent of the Futa Pass and the Targa Florio. This is paradise for car testing, especially when the self-appointed local guardian closes a stretch of these tight twists and turns, and the local officials quietly look elsewhere. Rev up the Porsche engine and go to work!
Stefano Chiminelli is one of many serious vintage car enthusiasts who live in the northeastern part of Italy. This area conceals a treasure trove of motoring history, a legacy of the wealth, which came from the area’s reputation as the home of Europe’s finest gold merchants and craftsmen. When hard times hit Italy in the last century, that wealth was converted into cars, which went into hiding before and during two World Wars. As Italy’s greatest car manufacturers reside in the north, this was neither surprising nor difficult, and thus the northeast continues to hold many of these treasures. Classics abound, and the population appreciates and celebrates them, with historic events a regular feature of these provinces.
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