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As much respect as we have for Mario Andretti, he'll always be "Mario" and not "Il Commendatore." Enzo owns the recognition from the Italian government. Nevertheless, they're still handing out Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana-ships, and the 66-year-old auto-racing legend is up for one, to be presented by Antonio Bandini, Consul General of Italy to New York (a title which must be pronounced with much gesticulating with the hands and consumption of the pasta). It goes down on October 23rd at the Columbus Citizens Foundation, 8 E. 69 St., NYC. Show up in your vintage Indy, F1 or NASCAR firesuit of choice, blow kisses, and fistfight effigies of Burt Reynolds. [Thanks to Scott for the tip.]

Now One Without the Sunglasses: Mario Andretti at the 2006 Bullrun Kickoff