Villa d’Este brings up all those romantic images of Italy. The villa itself is 145 years old and surrounded by a private park and overlooks Lake Como—you know, the place where George Clooney has a house. It’s all very fancy like and the perfect place for a “competition of elegance,” a Concours d’Elegance, if you…
Good morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know.
The first time you see an original Fiat 500, it’s hard to believe that it’s a real car. It’s as small as a toy. But see a Cinquecento in its element, cutting through the tiny Italian streets for which it was designed, suddenly the shape makes perfect sense.
Italy. A country of great food, great culture, and great driving. Well okay, two out of three isn’t so bad. In the five days I spent in Tuscany I fell in love with the country that gave us gelato, bolognese sauce, and of course, some of the best dream cars ever made.
For decades, the most extreme cars you could buy from Italy came from two companies: Ferrari and Lamborghini. And they’re still incredible, no doubt. But these days one upstart automaker makes cars so insane they make the old guard look like they’re cranking out economy cars. Welcome to a rally for Pagani owners.
There are faster roads. There are more famous roads. But I don’t think there are outright cooler roads than this one, the Strada della Forra, so very close to fame.
Rome, Italy is as much of a “car city” as New York- it’s a real pain to park and the roads are rough, but there are a few diehards with sweet rides crammed into back corners of cobblestone streets. Also, every little econobox from Europe looks fresh and exotic if you’re used to American traffic!
No longer are mere cities banning Uber (hi Austin!), now the entire country of Italy has banned the ride-sharing app following a court ruling that it constituted unfair competition to the country’s existing taxi associations.
A big mean cruise ship physically crushed a sweet and fine marina of lil’ boats in Messina, Italy recently, totally sweeping it over with its propeller wash alone.
Agusta Westland’s AW-609 tilt-rotor crashed in northern Italy
today, killing both pilots onboard. The crash occurred about 30 miles from the company’s airfield in Cascina Costa. The cause of the crash remains unknown at this time. The aircraft involved was the second AW-609 prototype built back in the early 2000s.
For years, there was a rumor that Volkswagen wanted to buy Alfa Romeo from Fiat after acquiring Lamborghini in 1998. That didn’t happen, but it seems like they managed to turn their Spanish brand Seat brand into something sexy enough for Italians. Even the Carabinieri.
After yesterday’s Catalina catastrophe, I began to wonder what the biggest floatplane ever built was. Not a flying boat, where the aircraft’s fuselage also serves as a monohull with pontoons providing sea-keeping stability, but literally a plane attached to floats. Then I came across the obscure Italian-built CANT…
I’m hoping you’re not getting sick of me talking about my Mille Miglia trip to Italy, because there’s still some really important stuff you need to know about: like how the port-potties at the finish line of the Mille Miglia have shifters.
Recently, I was in Italy to take part in the Mille Miglia, and, of course, I was surrounded by some of the most amazing cars I’d ever seen. That’s why it was so important for me to get out and cleanse my palate with some really awful shitboxes, and, thankfully, Rome did not disappoint.
There’s a place in this world where cars have a holiday dedicated to them. And it’s a genuine holiday. Not the lame-ass British ‘holiday’ that’s just a jaunt to some tepid seashore, but holiday as in people stop all the normal rules of life and celebrate. The place is Italy, and the holiday is the Mille Miglia.
Before the Mille Miglia race actually begins tomorrow, the cars all have to go through a process of scrutineering, which is basically just making sure they’re actually road legal. It’s like going to the DMV. Actually, since going to the DMV is like a little jaunt to hell, the Mille Miglia is like the DMV in heaven: no…
From someone who still doesn’t entirely know how.
Watch what looks like the happiest moment in this pizza guy's life; handing a fresh pie straight to Pope Francis as he rolls through Naples in his bulletproof G-Wagen. Also, an errant soccer ball penetrates the papal motorcade's remarkably weak security.
Italy is a magical place, full of Italians and Piaggio Apes. And if you have no idea what a Piaggio Ape is, that is terrible. Because it's a delightful little three-wheeled pickup, and when fully loaded every sad little attempt to get up a hill is the silliest goddamn thing I've seen all morning. Until it flips.