Over the course of three days, more than 80 Ferraris travelled on the stunning yet demanding roads of the historic Targa Florio race. In search of this Italian island's complex charm
Elegance, competition, history and exclusivity: once more, the Ferrari Tribute to the Targa Florio event has given all participants a taste of all the unique qualities of the world of Ferrari. Eighty teams from all over the world came together between 10 and 13 October along the route of the historic Sicilian race, which saw Ferrari triumph on more than 30 occasions in various categories.
The teams included many first-timers, overflowing with excitement and enthusiasm, as well as an all-female crew, and more than 20 different Ferrari models, including the 458 Speciale and Speciale A, the 488 Pista Piloti, the 488 Pista and Pista Spider, the 430 Scuderia, the 599 GTO, the F12tdf and above all the Ferrari Enzo. And a real treat for collectors, too - a 250 GT Berlinetta SWB from 1961. For three days, the brightly coloured cars stood out against the magnificent landscapes which formed the backdrop for the regularity rallies, as the teams were cheered on by an audience intoxicated by the engines' roar.
The welcome event was the first thrill of many to come, with dinner under the magnificent frescoes of Palazzo Mazzarino in Palermo. The following day, the first stage of the race had everyone realise the extent of the spectacular adventure they had begun. The route crossed Sicily from the Tyrrhenian Sea at Palermo to the Strait of Sicily at Siculiana, on the opposite bank, winding its way through the island's rainbow-coloured inland countryside. Along the enticingly sinuous roads, the team passed through groves of oranges and lemons to the arid interior lands, with their villages miraculously perched on the rocks.
The teams also took a spectacular break at the temples of the Magna Graecia in Agrigento. The second stage of the event did not disappoint either, pitting modern Ferraris against one another along the demanding routes of the 1930s Targa Florio race, between Cerda and Castelbuono, conquered by legendary racing drivers like Tazio Nuvolari. The teams stopped for an idyllic lunch in Cefalù, in the shade of the Norman cathedral surrounded by the lanes of the old Arab village, looking out over the blue of the Mediterranean.
The last day of the event was entirely dedicated to the fascinating architecture of Palermo, as the cars crossed the ancient Parco della Favorita and enjoyed lunch and the prize-giving ceremony at the historic Teatro Massimo, the splendid building by architect Giovan Battista Basile dating back to the end of the nineteenth century. Its beauty and location have made it one of the most beguiling theatres in Europe.
A worthy conclusion to a unique tour that has indubitably had many of the teams sharing the sentiment expressed in the famous remark by Frederick II of Swabia, who reigned over the island in the 13th century: "I don't envy God's Paradise, because I very happily live in Sicily".