Mille Miglia first time in Milan

Famous road race passes in front of Milan’s Duomo.

For the first time since its inauguration in 1927, the world-famous Mille Miglia race of classic and vintage cars will offer a colourful spectacle in the centre of Milan on Saturday 19 May.

The 450 historical cars of 73 marques from 34 difference countries will parade through the city to their check-point on Piazza del Duomo during the final leg of the 1,743-km race, on their way back to the finishing line in Brescia, from where they had started out on Wednesday.

The procession will leave the motorway and follow Corso Lodi and Porta Romana to the cathedral, where competitors will pass the check-point between 10.15 and 13.30. They will continue via Piazza Cavour, Porta Nuova and Viale Certosa towards Brescia.

The Mille Miglia was held as an endurance race on public roads 24 times from 1927 until 1957, when two fatal crashes caused the race to be banned. It resumed the following year for another three events along the same route, from Brescia to Rome and back, in rally format and at legal speeds, interspersed with some full-speed stages on suitable tracks.

In 1977, the event returned to the roads as the Mille Miglia Storica, a regularity race for classic cars built before 1957 which had taken part in the original races. Still running at legal speeds, the fascinating caravan of rare vehicles, with their crews often in period costume, takes two days to make its way from Brescia to Rome and two more days for the return trip along a different route.

Earlier, starting at 09.00, another 130 more modern cars will register at the Piazza Duomo check-point for participation later in the day in the Ferrari Tribute and Mercedes Benz Challenge spin-off events in Brescia.