INDEX:
Monza
Montenero
Leghorn
Pescara
Grande Madonie
Medio Madonie
Piccolo Madonie
Favorita Park
Alessandria
Bergamo
Biella
Campione
Abbazia
Cozensa
Cremona
Florence
Genua
Lucca
Milan
Modena
Mugello
Naples
Pozzo
Tre Fontane-Rome
Littorio-Rome
San Remo
Turin
Varese
Mille Miglia



ITALY



AUTODROMO DI MONZA (I)

MONZA

Type: Autodrome + Speed oval
Length: 10.000 km (Italian GP 1922-28, 1931-33, Monza GP 1931-33)
                  4.500 km (Monza GP 1929)
                  6.680 km (Monza GP 1930)
                  4.310 km (Italian GP 1934)
                  6.890 km (Italian GP 1935 & 1936)
                  6.993 km (Italian GP & Milan GP 1938)
Location: North of the city of Milano, north-west Italy
Used: 1922 -

Monza is THE classic Grand Prix track!
      The first Italian GP was run in 1921 at Montichiari near Brescia. The next year the Milano Automobile Club decided to build a permanent race circuit to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the club. As the circuit also should serve the Italian automobile industry as a test circuit it was necessary to have road sections that permitted high speed running as well as sections that put steering and mechanical parts to test. After having considered several places near Milan including Parco Sempione and Via Gallarate the wooded royal park in Monza was finally selected.
      Founded in 1805 the royal park had witnessed the assassination of the King of Italy, Umberto I, by an anarchist in 1900. The Italian royalties did not want to have anything to do with the royal park any longer and it had been neglected for 20 years. The park was chosen as it was large (the fourth largest closed park in Europe) and was ideally positioned near Milan with good communications. The Board Chairman of the club, senator Silvio Crespi, and director Arturo Mercanti, assigned architect Alfredo Rosselli to build a 14 km autodrome in the park, the third of its kind after Brooklands (1907) and Indianapolis (1909). A company, S.I.A.S (Società Incremento Automobilismo e Sport), was founded to pay the 6 million liras needed for building the circuit with private capital.
      The first stone was laid by drivers Vincenzo Lancia and Felice Nazzaro at the end of February, 1922, but only a few days later work was suspended and new plans were made up for a smaller size circuit that would have less impact on the monumental value of the park. Work started anew on 15 May and only 74 days later, on 28 July, Petro Bordino and Felice Nazzaro made the first test run on the track. The circuit was officially opened 111 days after work had started on a rainy 3 September, when 100,000 spectators saw Pietro Bordino take the victory in a voiturette race. One week later Bordino won the second Italian Grand Prix on the circuit. Monza has, with four exceptions (1937, 1947-1948, 1980), continued to hold the Italian Grand Prix into the 21th century.
      In its original form Monza consisted of two parts: a 4.5 km speed loop with a track width of 12 m that consisted of two 1070 m long straights and two banked curves with 320 m radius rising 2.6 meter (~ 12°) above the ground, and a 5.5 km long road track, similar to the one that still exists. Used together they created a 10 km long race track.
      On the road track, the 9 m wide main straight led into the right hand Curva Grande with a radius of 303.4 m. The road narrowed to 7.5 m before the left handed Curva della Roggia (170 m radius) and widened again to 9.1 m for the two Lesmo curves with 98 and 100 m radius. The fast slight left handed Curva de Serraglia (radius 599 m) led the track under the speed loop on to Curva de Vialone, a 227 m radius left hander that was followed by the long straight that led to the last curve, the 180 degree Curva Sud with a 12 m track width and a 152.55 m radius, that took the cars back to the start and finish line. The straights were surfaced with tarred macadam while the curves were surfaced with tarred concrete. The full 10 km lap started next to the grandstand, the cars did the road circuit and came back to the finish but on the pits side, then continued into the oval, first the wide North Turn, then the wide South Turn and back to the finish but now again on the grandstand side where the time keepers were counting the laps. Opposite the pits was the main grandstand that held 3000 spectators and also a further six stands for 1000 spectators each. There were also open stands outside the speed loop curves, the south curve, and where the two tracks met.
      From the beginning Monza had its fair share of fatal accidents. Among the better known, Ugo Sivocci crashed while testing the new Alfa Romeo P1 in 1923 and Count Louis Zborowski of "Chitty Bang Bang" fame died in an ill handling works Mercedes in 1924. The worst accident in the history of Grand Prix racing happened in the 1928 European Grand Prix when Emilio Materassi lost control of his Talbot when lapping a backmarker and crashed into the grandstand killing himself and twenty-seven spectators.
      No Italian Grand Prix was held in 1929 and 1930. Instead the president of the Automobile Sports Commission, Vincenzo Florio, organized a Monza Grand Prix with heats and final on the speed oval in 1929. In 1930 he introduced the 6,680 m track combination that would be called the "Florio circuit" after him (see map).
      The next three years the Italian Grand Prix was run on the original 10 km combination. The 1933 Monza Grand Prix run on the speed oval will always be remembered as the "Black Day of Monza" as it claimed the lives of Giuseppe Campari, Mario-Umberto Borzacchini and Count Stanislas Czaykowski.
      For 1934 a slow track variant with a U-curve and two chicanes was selected for safety reasons. The next two years the Italian Grand Prix was raced on the "Florio circuit" with four straw-bale chicanes added in an unsuccessful attempt to slow down the faster German cars. Back then Monza was much used for pre-season testing. During such a test in 1936 Auto Union driver Rudolf Heydel had a fatal crash. For 1937 the Grand Prix was moved to the slower Livorno track but next year it was back to Monza, this time using two chicanes on the "Florio circuit".
      After the 1938 race work began on an extensive rebuilding of the track including road resurfacing, pulling down the banked curves on the speed track, construction of a new 2,000 seat main grandstand in concrete and 30 pits built of masonry , adding a new entrance and construction of several other buildings. The backstretch was moved westwards and was connected to the main straight with two 90 degree bends with 60m radius known as the Curva Sud or Curve del porfido because of their stone paving. (Track length: 6300m)
      During the war Monza, as many other race tracks, was used for various purposes that had nothing to do with racing, but in 1948 the track was restored in less than two months and on 17 October the Autodrome Grand Prix was held on the track. The Italian Grand Prix was back the next year.
      In 1954 work was started to rebuild the circuit. A new 4.250 km high-speed oval was built with a 30° banking that increased progressively towards the top. The main straights were shortened and the Curva Sud was replaced with the Parabolica (Track length 5750 m). The speed oval came in disuse in the late 1960s. In 1972 two chicanes were added, one on the main straight and one at Vialone (Variante Ascari). Track length: 5775 m. The Vialoni chicane was eased in 1974 (5780 m) and in 1976 a third chicane was added at the entrance of the first Lesmo (Variante Roggia) when the main straight chicane was also rebuilt (5800 m). 1989-1990 the track got a new pit building with 48 boxes. In 1995 Curva Grande, Variante Roggia and the Lesmo curves were moved back to increase the safety zones (5770 m). In 2000 the main straight chicane was rebuilt and 10 m was added to Variante Roggia (5793 m). In 2001 the pit building was lengthened to 60 pit boxes .
      The Monza post war Grand Prix history is as bloody as its pre war history. Alberto Ascari crashed fatally during a private test run in 1955. "Taffy" von Trips and 14 spectators died after a crash between von Trips and Jim Clark on lap two of the 1961 Grand Prix. Jochen Rindt had a fatal crash when trying to race the Lotus 72 without wings during qualifying for the 1970 Grand Prix and Ronnie Peterson succumbed to his injuries after a multiple crash in the 1978 Grand Prix.
1929 GRAN PREMIO DI MONZA
1930 GRAN PREMIO DI MONZA
1931 GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA
1931 GRAN PREMIO DI MONZA
1932 GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA
1932 GRAN PREMIO DI MONZA
1933 GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA
1933 GRAN PREMIO DI MONZA
1934 GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA
1935 GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA
1936 GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA
1938 GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA
1938 GRAN PREMIO DI MILANO
See also Livorno


MONTENERO-Livorno (I)

MONTENERO

Type: Road course
Length: 20.1 km/22.5 km
Location: In the city of Livorno (Leghorn), Tuscany, Italy, and on the roads south of the city.
Used: 1921-1935

The city of Livorno was founded in 1017 as a coustal fortresses to protect Pisa. The idea to create a race course on the roads near the city to bring fame and tourism to the area was proposed in spring 1921 by Paolo Fabbrini, owner of the newspaper Corriere di Livorno. The idea was received by great enthusiasm and a committee was created to take care of the organization. The course got its name from the mountain Monte Nero, south of the city. The first Coppa Montenero was raced on September the same year and proved to be a huge success. For the next year the course layout was modified. A 22.5 km route was selected that took the cars up the mountains on a very long and hard course with narrow winding roads.
      1927 The Minister of Posts and Communications, and President of the Chamber of Deputies, Costanzo Ciano, later to become Benito Mussolini's son-in-law, donated a trophy for the event and from 1927 to 1939 the competition was known as the Coppa Ciano . After having been a local Italian affair in the 1920s the race became a part of the international GP calendar in the 1930s. The course had narrow roads, dangerous sections and lots of stone walls. It was therefore also slow and very unpopular by the drives.
      The course circled the Rotonda d'Ardenza and passed along the narrow streets of the Ardenza district of Livorno. Then it turned right and passed under the railroad before leaving the city, passing Villa St. Georgio, and starting to climb in long sweeps upwards towards Montenero. Leaving Via di Montenero for Via del Castellagio the road got steeper and narrower, climbing 100 m in serpentine curves, and then yet another 100 m before reaching the village of Castellagio at Monte Nero, 300 meters above sea level. There the road started to go downwards, first through the village and then over open terrain to a hairpin near Evangelisti. That curve would later be named after Tazio Nuvolari. A new sweeping section through woods and over open terrain with some great views followed by a new series of serpentines that led the course down to Romito and the coast where it joined the old Roman road Via Aurelia (originally built 241 BC!) The route continued along the coast back towards Livorno, passing Calafuria and Castel Boccale and doing a side trip through the narrow streets of Antignano before returning to the city and Rotonda d'Ardenza.
      For the 1936 race, for safety reasons, the Montenero mountain section was removed.
      Two drives dominated the event. Materassi was a four time winner in the 1920s and then Nuvolari won five times in the 1930s (icluding one victory on the shorter track).

See also Livorno.
1929 COPPA CIANO
1930 COPPA CIANO
1931 COPPA CIANO
1932 COPPA CIANO
1933 COPPA CIANO
1934 COPPA CIANO
1934 COPPA CIANO (Voiturette 1100cc)
1935 COPPA CIANO


LIVORNO (I)

LIVORNO (I)

Type: Road course
Length: 7.218 km /5.80 km (1938)
Location: In the city of Livorno (Leghorn), Tuscany, Italy, and on the roads south of the city.
Used: 1936-39, 1947-53

For the 1936 Coppa Ciano race, for safety reasons, the Montenero mountain section of the course (See Montenero track) was removed.
      On this course variant, rather than circling the rotunda the cars went through a hairpin and returned back on the west side before moving left and into the Ardenza district. Instead of climbing along Via di Montenero the route took the cars along the railroad before passing over it on the way through Antignano along the main street. South of Antignano after a sharp turn it joined the old race track back towards Livorno. That left a track length of 7.218 km and it was also the track configuration used when the track hosted the 1937 Italian Grand Prix, probably in attempt to give the Italian cars a better chance against the German cars than on the fast Monza track.
      In 1938 the track was shortened again to 5.8 km. The last 5.8 km variant skipped the south part of Antignano, instead crossing the district from east to west along Via dei Bagni.
      The last Coppa Ciano before the Second World War was held in July 1939, Costanzo Ciano having died a few weeks earlier. That race, like many other Italian events in the late 1930s was run to the voiturette formula.
      In 1947 an attempt was made to resurrect the Montenero Circuit but the race was not a financial success. After a minor race in 1953 the track was closed down.
1936 COPPA CIANO
1936 COPPA CIANO (Voiturette)
1937 GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA
1938 COPPA CIANO
1938 COPPA CIANO (Voiturette)
1939 COPPA CIANO (Voiturette)
See also Montenero & Monza


PESCARA (I)

PESCARA

Type: Road course
Length: 25.80 km ? (25.579 km?)
Location:
Used:

1930 COPPA ACERBO
1931 COPPA ACERBO
1932 COPPA ACERBO
1933 COPPA ACERBO
1934 TARGA ABRUZZO (Sports car)
1934 COPPA ACERBO
1934 COPPA ACERBO (Voiturette 1100cc)
1935 TARGA ABRUZZO (Sports car)
1935 COPPA ACERBO
1935 COPPA ACERBO (Voiturette)
1936 COPPA ACERBO
1936 COPPA ACERBO (Voiturette)
1937 TARGA ABRUZZO (Sports car)
1937 COPPA ACERBO
1937 COPPA ACERBO (Voiturette)
1938 COPPA ACERBO
1938 COPPA ACERBO (Voiturette)
1939 COPPA ACERBO (Voiturette)

GRANDE CIRCUITO DELLE MADONIE - Palermo (I)

GRANDE CIRCUITO DELLE MADONIE

Type: Road course
Length: 148,823 km (original), 146,0 km (1931)
Location:
Used: 1906-1911, 1931

1931 TARGA FLORIO

MEDIO CIRCUITO DELLE MADONIE (I)

MEDIO CIRCUITO DELLE MADONIE

Type: Road course
Length: 108 km
Used: 1919-1930

1929 TARGA FLORIO
1930 TARGA FLORIO

PICCOLO CIRCUITO DELLE MADONIE (I)

PICCOLO CIRCUITO DELLE MADONIE

Type: Road course
Length: 72 km
Used: 1932-1936, 1951-1977

1932 TARGA FLORIO
1933 TARGA FLORIO
1934 TARGA FLORIO
1935 TARGA FLORIO
1935 TARGA FLORIO JUNIOR (Voiturette 1100cc)
1936 TARGA FLORIO (Sports car)
See also Favorita park


FAVORITA PARK - Palermo (I)

FAVORITA PARK

Type: Park circuit
Length:
Location:
Used:

1937 TARGA FLORIO (Voiturette)
1938 TARGA FLORIO (Voiturette)
1939 TARGA FLORIO (Voiturette)
1940 TARGA FLORIO (Voiturette)
See also Madione


CIRCUITO DI PIETRO BORDINO - Alessándria (I)

ALESSANDRIA

Type:
Length: 8 km
Location: Near the city of Alessándria, between Torino and Milano, northwest Italy
Used:

1929 CIRCUITO DI PIETRO BORDINO
1930 CIRCUITO DI PIETRO BORDINO
1931 CIRCUITO DI PIETRO BORDINO
1933 CIRCUITO DI PIETRO BORDINO
1934 CIRCUITO DI PIETRO BORDINO

BERGAMO (I)

BERGAMO

Type: Street circuit
Length: 2.92 km
Location: In the town of Bergamo, 40 km north-east of Milano.
Used: 1935

Track description: Piazza S. Agostino - porta S. Agostino - porta S. Giacomo - Colle Aperto - la Boccola - mura della Fara - Piazza S Agostino.
1935 COPPA CITTA DI BERGAMO

CIRCUITO DE BIELLA (I)

BIELLA

Type: Street Circuit
Length: 2.216 km
Location: City of Biella, Piemonte, 80 km north-east of Torino (Turin).
Used: 1934-35

Track description: Start on Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Via Antonio Bertodano,Via della Repubblica, 12m downhill on Via Cernaia, turn to north and following Via Cernaia to the hairpin at Via Milano corner, 12 m uphill on on Via Gugliemio Marconi, Viale Giosué Carducci, Viale Giocomo Matteotti, back to Piazza Vittorio Veneto. (Note, modern street names, some of them have probably been changed since the 1930s)
1934 CIRCUITO DI BIELLA
1935 CIRCUITO DI BIELLA
1935 CIRCUITO DI BIELLA (Voiturette)

CIRCUITO DI CAMPIONE D'ITALIA (I)

CAMPIONE

Type: Street Circuit
Length: 1.116 km (0.693 mi)
Location: On the streets of Campione D'Italia, an Italian exclave within Switzerland.
Used: 1937, 1946

1937 CIRCUIT OF CAMPIONE D'ITALIA (Voiturette)

CIRCUIT OF CARNARO - Abbazia (I)

CARNARO

Type: Road course
Length: 6km
Location: Preluk, between Rijeka (Fiume) and Opatija in Croatia.
Used: 1939

Satellite picture indicate track length probably closer to 5.5 km than 6 km.
1939 CIRCUIT OF CARNARO (Voiturette)

COSENZA (I)


Type:
Length:
Location:
Used:

1935 COPPA MICHELE BIANCHI

CIRCUITO DI CREMONA (I)

CIRCUITO DI CREMONA

Type: Road course
Length: 62.94 km
Location: On the roads east of the city of Cremona, Lombardy, northern Italy.
Used: 1923-24, 1928-29

The course went anticlockwise in 1923, 1924 and 1928, clockwise in 1929.
1929 CIRCUITO DI CREMONA

FIRENZE (I)

FIRENZE

Type: Street circuit
Length:
Location:
Used: 1937

1937 GRAN PREMIO DI FIRENZE (Voiturette)

CIRCUITO DELLA SUPERBA - Génova (I)

CIRCUITO DELLA SUPERBA

Type: Street circuit
Length: 3,036 m
Location: On the coast some 2 km east of downtown Genoa
Used: 1937, (1940)

Track description: The main grandstand and start were located on Corso Italia between Via Tommaso Campanella and Via Don Giovanni Minzoni, where also a pit with 20 boxes was built. From there the course went anticlockwise on the following streets: Corso Italia, Boccadasse, Via Oreste De Gaspari, Via Tommaso Campanella down to a hairpin behind the grandstand leading back via Via Don Giovanni Minzoni. Then it continued along Via Piero Gobetti, Via Roselli Nello e Carlo, Via Piave and finally along Corso Italia back to the start/finish.
1937 CIRCUITO DELLA SUPERBA
1937 CIRCUITO DELLA SUPERBA (Voiturette)

CIRCUIT OF LUCCA - Toscana (I)

LUCCA

Type: Street circuit
Length:
Location:
Used: 1935-1938

1935 COPPA EDDA CIANO/CIRCUIT OF LUCCA
1936 COPPA EDDA CIANO
1936 COPPA EDDA CIANO (Voiturette)
1937 COPPA EDDA CIANO (Voiturette)
1938 COPPA EDDA CIANO (Voiturette)

PARCO SEMPIONE - Milano (I)

MILANO

Type: Park circuit
Length: 2.57 km
Location: In Sempione park in central Milano, northwest Italy.
Used:

1936 CIRCUITO DI MILANO
1936 CIRCUITO DI MILANO (Voiturette)
1937 CIRCUITO DI MILANO
1937 CIRCUITO DI MILANO (Voiturette)

CIRCUITO DI MODENA (I)

MODENA

Type: Street circuit
Length:
Location:
Used:

1934 CIRCUITO DI MODENA
1934 CIRCUITO DI MODENA (Voiturette 1100cc)
1935 CIRCUITO DI MODENA
1935 CIRCUITO DI MODENA (Voiturette)
1936 CIRCUITO DI MODENA
1936 CIRCUITO DI MODENA (Voiturette)
1938 CIRCUITO DI MODENA (Voiturette)

CIRCUITO STRADALE DEL MUGELLO (I)

MUGELLO

Type: Road course
Length: 64.8 km
Location: On the mountain roads north of Mugello valley, between San Piero a Sieve and Firenzuola, Tuscany, between Bologna and Firenze (Florence).
Used: 1920-69

This is the circuito vecchio - the old Mugello circuit, not to be confused with the circuito novo - the new Mugello circuit, built in 1974.
1929 CIRCUITO DI MUGELLO

POSILLIPO / CIRCUITO DI NAPOLI (I)

NAPOLI

Type:
Length:
Location:
Used:

1934 CIRCUITO DI NAPOLI
1937 COPPA PRINCIPESSA DI PIEMONTE
1937 COPPA PRINCIPESSA DI PIEMONTE (Voiturette)
1938 COPPA PRINCIPESSA DI PIEMONTE (Voiturette)
1939 COPPA PRINCIPESSA DI PIEMONTE (Voiturette)

CIRCUITO DEL POZZO - Verona (I)

POZZO

Type: Road course
Length: 12.343 km (7.67 mi)
Location: Southeast of Verona, northern Italy
Used: 1926-1929

1929 CIRCUITO DEL POZZO

CIRCUITO TRE FONTANE - Roma (I)

TRE FONTANE

Type: Road course
Length: 13.05 km
Location: Near the Tiber river, 10 km south-west of Forum Romanum
Used: 1928-1930

1929 REALE GRAN PREMIO DI ROMA
1930 PREMIO REALE DI ROMA

LITTORIO - Roma (I)

LITTORIO

Type: Road circuit with bankings
Length: 4 km
Location: Around Rome old airfield, near Tiber river. 7 km north of Forum Romanum.
Used: 1931-32

1931 REALE PREMIO DI ROMA
1932 REALE PREMIO ROMA

CIRCUITO DI SAN REMO (I)

SAN REMO

Type: Street circuit
Length:
Location:
Used:

1937 CIRCUITO DI SAN REMO

PARCO VALENTINO - Torino (I)

TORINO

Type: Park circuit
Length: 4.1 km (1935)
                2.92 km (1937)
Location: Valentino park, next to river Po in downtown Turin.
Used:

1935 GRAN PREMIO DEL VALENTINO
1937 GRAN PREMIO PRINCIPE DEI PIEMONTE/GRAN PREMIO DEL VALENTINO
1937 CIRCUITO DI TORINO (Voiturette)

CIRCUIT OF VARESE (I)

VARESE

Type: Road course
Length: 3.31 km
Location: 1 km NE of town center of Varese, 40 km north-west of Monza.
Used: 1935, 1938

The 1935 event was a sports car race.
1938 CIRCUIT OF VARESE (Voiturette)

MILLE MIGLIA (I)

MAP COMING UP

Type: Public Road
Length: ca 1000 Roman Miles
Location: Italy, Brescia-Rome-Brescia
1939 :Held on a course between Tobruk and Tripoli
1940 :Held over a short course around Brescia
Used: 1928 - 1957 (-1961) (1982-)

1934 MILLE MIGLIA (Sports car)
1935 MILLE MIGLIA (Sports car)
1936 MILLE MIGLIA (Sports car)
1937 MILLE MIGLIA (Sports car)
1938 MILLE MIGLIA (Sports car)
1940 MILLE MIGLIA (Sports car)


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© 2014 Leif Snellman - Last updated: 05.09.2014