Gary's F1 Monza trip - Gran Premio D'Italia 2009

Trip Start Dec 10, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Sunday, September 13, 2009

One of the attractions for us in moving to Spain, was to be able to easily access and explore Europe and also to be able enjoy the big events that take place. So, Wednesday night (after a:  should I go/not go conversation)....I booked myself a ticket for the Friday morning to Bergamo, Italy via Ryan Air. The city of Bergamo is about 40mins away from Monza - my ultimate reason for see the Italian F1 race.

Just a small bit of history - this was the 80th year that the race has been held here....the last 60 years under the FIA banner.

Bergamo was only a 90 minute flight away........and Bergamo is an incredibly beautiful town.  I stayed in the upper part (the old part) of the town in a hotel dating back to the 14th century....yes it has recently been renovated. Cobblestone streets, lots of nice (expensive!)shops, plenty of churches, fashionable people, fantastic cafes & was great to be back in Italy again (the last time being some 14 years ago).

Saturday and Sunday was spent at the race track of course and pleasingly there was good walking access right around the track.  I loved it.... the combination of lots of history together with the passionate Italian's (lots of Ferrari supporters of course), made for a charged  atmosphere; the added bonus of exciting racing, with loads of other entertainment - it was awesome!

Sat in the Parabolica grandstand which gave me spectacular views of the cars as they break from over 200mph to enter the high speed parabolica curve....see the pics. Met up with some South Africans at the track who were only too happy to tell me about the rugby game.....

Met a Kiwi.....(or the nearest thing to)....after the race on Sunday  - I went to a bar in Bergamo and met a pilot named Gary from Christchurch originally (now living in Ireland) and his partner, Christine .....weird huh?  Anyway - spent the rest of the night chatting away to these guys.

So, what can I say, the smell of 'rocket fuel' and burning rubber, the pocket somewhat lighter and the taste of Italy still lingering - what a way to spend a week-end!
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Jason McFee on

Thank you for this article, I quote every tip you gave about the GP in Monza, that's a "must see" show.
Just be careful with the hotels in the area, they apply very high pices during that period, so don't book a close one.
I stayed in Sesto San Giovanni at the "Grand Hotel Barone di Sassj", excellent rooms, good prices (I met Jackie Stewart at the reception!!!)

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