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Vintage Car Race Dubbed 'Most Beautiful Race In The World' Leaves Rome

Mille Miglia bade farewell to Rome in the early morning, in bright sunlight. Amongst the many small popular miracles ascribed to the Red Arrow is the unique ability to cut through the morning traffic on Rome's infamously busy ring-road, the Grande Raccordo Annulare. The passion is such that this year drivers were once again happy to forget the busy day ahead and enjoy the wonderful sight of the "travelling museum" going by. There were also admiring glances and great interest for Giulia and Stelvio: they belong to the official fleet of 30 vehicles which the brand is making available to the organisers as official cars. There could be no better way of getting first-hand experience of the Alfa Romeo DNA, steeped in history and competition and with the vigour of a legendary past, including unique records at the Mille Miglia. To mark the ninetieth anniversary of Alfa Romeo's first victory in the Mille Miglia, today sees the launch of the "Alfa Romeo: the Mille Miglia in 90 places" project, retracing history through some key locations. Road book in hand, the caravan headed for the Lake Bracciano Regional Natural Park and along the shores of Lake Vico, the highest of Italy's major lakes. It is more than 500 metres above sea level, and there was almost a bite in the air. The roads were an open invitation to the drivers to take every bend in the style required by the test stages held here and on Monte Cimino. The umbrella pines of the Parco de' Medici gave way to dense greenery along the roadsides and, after Viterbo, to the beautiful Tuscan hills. It would be impossible to provide a detailed description of every town the Mille Miglia crosses, but the festive mood that reigned in every single place was always unique and unforgettable. The first of these warm welcomes was on Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, at Ronciglione, and it included the irresistible, carefree, slightly gap-toothed smiles of primary school children in their blue and pink uniforms, waving Mille Miglia flags as the cars went by.