Saturday 24 October 2020 San Miniato was one of the intermediate stages of the famous car race, the Mille Miglia! Beautiful vehicles and vintage cars whizzed in all their beauty and power in the historic center of San Miniato, making the engines echo in the alleys of the village.
This famous car competition was organized by four friends from Brescia: Aymo Maggi, Franco Mazzotti, Giovanni Canestrini and Renzo Castagneto in response to the fact that their city had not been chosen to be the home of the Italian Grand Prix. It was a competition in which you had to travel from Brescia to Rome (and back) that was about 1000 miles long: the name was suggested by Count Franco Mazzotti after a trip to America and the very first edition took place on March 26, 1927 with the participation of 77 cars.
The Mille Miglia was a huge success and over the years it was repeated until it achieved the fame we know today: it became so important that the route was modified several times to let the cars pass by other Italian cities!
24 editions have been held since 1927 but not all continuous. In 1938 a Lancia Aprilia went off the road and killed ten spectators, including seven children, and injured many people: the then head of the government Benito Mussolini decided that speed races would no longer be held on public roads and in 1939 it was not organized .
The Mille Miglia suffered an abrupt stop between 1941 and 1946 due to the Second World War.The competition then resumed until 1957, the year in which another terrible accident occurred when the car with the Spanish driver Alfonso de Portago and the American co-driver Edmund Gurner Nelson on board broke a tire that caused it to skid. The vehicle crashed on the left side of the road where many spectators were gathered: the two drivers and nine spectators died, including five children as well as many injured.
Since 1977 the Mille Miglia has become a historical re-enactment where the cars that participated in the original race and were produced from 1927 to 1957 can join.