Line of red cars on road during 2021 Mille Miglia

The 2021 Mille Miglia

The route of the 2021 Mille Miglia followed the traditional track of “the most beautiful race in the world,” going counter-clockwise from Brescia to Roma and back. With overnights in Viareggio and Bologna, and scheduled stops for food and timing checks along the way, the 2021 Mille Miglia rolled along some of the same Italian roads as the original 1927 race.

The Mille Miglia is as much a rolling museum as it is a car race. 375 entered autos, manufactured between 1927 and 1957, covered 1,618 kilometers (1,005 Roman miles) over four days. The sporting and technical checks at Piazza Vittoria in Brescia, the day before the official start on the road, were the first opportunity to see these amazing classic cars in all their glory.

Photographer in red hat taking photo of red classic car on red carpet at 2021 Mille MigliaRed was the dominant color in Piazza Vittoria, the day before the official start of the Mille Miglia.

Red 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Spider Vignale beneath clock tower during 2021 Mille MigliaA priceless, nearly perfect 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Spider Vignale beneath the clock tower in Piazza Vittoria.

Italian police officers standing near cars at 2021 Mille MigliaItalian police are there for security, but they’re also part of the scenery at Piazza Vittoria.

The gods of motor racing provided perfect weather for the departure from Brescia. After more than a year of suffering through the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, northern Italy welcomed the return of the Mille Miglia to the traditional schedule in the month of May.

Airplanes flying colors of the Italian flag before start of 2021 Mille MigliaItaly’s iconic aeronautic demonstration team, the Frecce Tricolore, fly the colors of the Italian flag above Brescia’s Piazza della Loggia before the start of the 2021 Mille Miglia.

Red 1947 Cisitalia 202 SMM Spyder Nuvolari during 2021 Mille MigliaA 1947 Cisitalia 202 SMM Spyder Nuvolari rolls down the hill from the Castello di Brescia in the opening miles of the 2021 Mille Miglia.

Red 1950 Ferrari 275 Sport/340 America during 2021 Mille MigliaA local policeman holds the crowd as a 1950 Ferrari 275 Sport/340 America passes through Brescia.

Sign explaining road closure for 2021 Mille MigliaClosed roads, classic cars—possibly the best way to spend a day in Italia.

In the fading light of the first day on the road, the cars of the Mille Miglia climbed toward Passo della Cisa, the highest point on the 2021 route.

Four classic cars on country road during 2021 Mille MigliaFour of the oldest autos in the Mille Miglia: a 1929 O.M. 665 SMM Superba 2000, followed by a 1925 Bugatti T35 and two more 1929 O.M. 665 SMM Superba 2000s on the road to Passo della Cisa.

1939 MG TB leading 1951 Fiat Topolino during 2021 Mille MigliaA 1939 MG TB leads a 1951 Fiat Topolino at the Passo della Cisa checkpoint in the 2021 Mille Miglia.

Sign showing curve in road near 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Super Sport during 2021 Mille MigliaThe sign points toward a challenging road ahead for the driver and navigator of this 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Super Sport Zagato.

Man pushing 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America Pininfarina during 2021 Mille MigliaWith a long line of cars ahead, some drivers chose to shut off their engines rather than run the risk of overheating. This 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America Pininfarina gets a push from the navigator on the way to the checkpoint.

White 1938 BMW 328 on road during 2021 Mille MigliaA 1938 BMW 328 cruises through a curve toward Passo della Cisa.

The final day of the 2021 Mille Miglia started in Bologna, with a stop in Verona to soak up the scenery of the Arena, rest the cars, and replenish the crews before the final push to the finish in Brescia.

Men leaning on 1954 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Sprint Touring during 2021 Mille MigliaThe crew and the car—a 1954 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Sprint Touring—pose in front of the Arena di Verona.

Pro racer Katarina Kyvalova in mirror of 1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre Open Tourer at 2021 Mille MigliaPro racer Katarina Kyvalova and the Arena di Verona, in the mirror of a 1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre Open Tourer on the final day of the 2021 Mille Miglia.

1934 Lancia Augusta during 2021 Mille Miglia#82, a 1934 Lancia Augusta owned and driven by Italian car collector and restorer Corrado Lopresto, has a history of racing success. This is the car that won the 1936 Targa Florio.

Red 1954 Maserati A6 GCS/53 during 2021 Mille MigliaCrowds line the cobbled road as this 1954 Maserati A6 GCS/53 rolls along in Verona. This car competed in the 1955 Miile Miglia.

1956 Porsche 356 A 1600 during 2021 Mille MigliaArrivederci, Verona. Car #375, a 1956 Porsche 356 A 1600, rolls out of town toward the finish of the 2021 Mille Miglia.

375 automobiles started the race in Brescia. Four days later, 341 crossed the finish line. At the end, the driver and navigator with the fewest time deviations through the control sections is declared the winner of the Mille Miglia.

The team of Andrea Vesco and Fabio Salvinelli, in this red 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider Zagato, were the winners of the 2021 Mille Miglia. It’s the second consecutive victory for Vesco and the ‘29 Alfa, and his fourth win in the last six years. Can he do it again?

The 2022 Mille Miglia begins in Brescia on June 15.

2021 Mille Miglia Gallery

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