Italia still top trumping the field

Back in the day what passed for children’s entertainment was a card game of car specs which invariably was won by Ferraris… and guess what Italia is still top trumping the field.

There’s great excitement among petrol heads that the Prancing Horse has got off to a flier in this season’s Formula One.

And nowhere more so than in northern Italy’s Motor Valley of Emilia Romagna.

Where they are tightening every nut and bolt in readiness for three major motor events this spring.

Yes, that’s Formula 1 this month but also MotoGP and the Motor Valley Fest in May.

With direct flights from the UK, motor fans looking for an adrenaline break this spring should look no further than Emilia Romagna.

Home to Ferrari, Maserati, Ducati, Pagani, Dallara, Energica and Lamborghini.

Tthis is where those with diesel in their veins come to race and play.

Bologna will hum to the sound of engines from April 22-24 for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

When the famous Imola track will thrum as Charles, Carlos, and er Lewis, Max and the cast will fill the grid.

They’ve been racing F1 there since 1980.

Although Old Man Enzo Ferrari first identified it as an ideal place for motor racing as far back as §948.

For these insights and more before the action starts at the anti-clockwise track check out the Maranello Ferrari Museum.

A parade of cars

On the grid: For the grand prix

After a hybrid version last year, the Motor Valley Fest is returning this May 26-29 with a four-day event displaying the most beautiful cars of the past, present and future.

Hosted in the UNESCO-listed city of Modena, this year’s edition (the fourth) will feature racing demonstrations.

And track tests (both classic and motorsports), promoting the best of Made in Italy.

Historic: The Italian streets

There will be supercar and hypercar displays.

As well as the opportunity to test drive some of the region’s most iconic cars, such as a Ferrari or Maserati.

It’s maybe best if I don’t tell them that a Fiat 500 got the better of me in the French Riviera a few years ago.

Get on your bike

Corner boy: And lean on me

Of course there are those who swear that four wheels are two too many.

And again Italy boasts its share of top motorbikers with Valentino Rossi the living God.

The MotoGP runs at the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riveira di Rimini (phew!) from May 2-4.

Additionally, the nearby Riviera Di Rimini in Emilia-Romagna region is a big draw for Italian holidaymakers.

And those visiting from abroad, offering the option to spend time on the beach.

Road trip

Fiat boy: In the French Riviera in a Fiat 500

Off the tracks, motor fans can make the most of their cars and the region by taking a road trip.

Along the thousand-year-old Roman road, the Via Emilia – which gives name to Emilia Romagna.

The Via Emilia covers 165 miles from Piacenza (west) to Rimini (east), on the Adriatic coast.

And it is known as one of the most stunning in the world.

This trip will allow visitors to discover distinctive spots within the region of Italy, including Parma, Modena and Bologna.

Along the Via Emilia, motor fans will be able to taste some of Emilia Romagna’s delights.

You’ll feast on Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and sample the balsamic vinegar of Modena.

And the fizzy Lambrusco – only when not driving.

And on foot

Resting those feet: On the Via Francigena

If you want to savour the grape, I’d recommend on another trip to Il Bel Paese the Via Francigena, the route from St Francis of Assisi’s town to Rome.

The last 100km of which I walked, fuelled on vino rosso, into the Vatican City.

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