The historic appointment with the Targa Florio 2020 Classica is back! It is one of the most difficult and fascinating car racing in the world, with all the charm of the glorious past of the Florio’s: the famous family who was protagonist in the Sicilian history and economy for more than two centuries. The Targa Florio Classica is reserved for cars produced until 1977. In the other categories you can admire the most modern cars: the Targa Florio Legend (from 1978 to 1990) and the Targa Florio Gran Turismo (from 1991 to 2019). Very interesting will be also the Ferrari Tribute to Targa Florio, which will collect some of the owners of Ferrari. Also this year Palermo will be the key location of the event, hosting the arrival and departure ceremonies on race days.
Targa Florio 2020: the program
Thursday, October 15
The crews participating in the race will reach Palermo for the technical checks.
Friday, October 16
The historic cars will leave for Marsala and Campobello di Mazara, driving through the Salt Pans area, and then return to Palermo retracing the itinerary of Garibaldi and the Thousand. The locations involved in the race will be Monreale, Altofonte, Partinico, Castellammare del Golfo, Valderice, Trapani, Marsala, Campobello di Mazara, Mazara del Vallo, Castelvetrano, Partanna and Calatafimi.
Saturday, October 17
It will be the day of the Circuito delle Madonie, the mountains east of Palermo, crossing the villages of Caltavuturo, Polizzi Generosa, Collesano and Campofelice di Roccella.
Sunday, October 18
After the adrenaline of the previous days, there will be room for celebration and memory. The competitors who want to try the Favorita Circuit, in a race out of the ranking. The prize-giving ceremony of the winners will follow.
Participants and historic cars
The Targa Florio 2020 continues to be a successful event today: more than 100 crews are registered. The oldest car is from 1929, the Lancia Lambda VIII Series by Olindo Deserti and Maurizio Demarco. The winner of last year’s Targa Florio Classica, Mario Passanante, will also be present with the 1937 Fiat 508C. The Ferrari Tribute will allow to admire the models produced from 1991 to 2019: from the Ferrari 360 Modena to the Ferrari 812 GTS. In the Legend category will run instead the Ferrari GTS Turbo, of 1988, and 308 GTS, of 1980. The other car manufacturers represented are Porsche (with models 911 and 933), Jaguar, Mercedes, Austin Haley, Morris Garages, Riley, Maserati, Bentley and many others.
Targa Florio: the history
The competition is linked to the person of Vincenzo Florio, born in Palermo in 1833. A great sports lover who was one of the first car owners in the city: in his car fleet stood out the Mercedes 60 HP, which accompanied him in his first sports competitions and his successes.
It was Vincenzo Florio who traced the first route on a sheet of paper: Cerda, Caltavuturo, Petralia, Geraci, Castelbuono, Isnello, Collesano, Campofelice: a route free of level crossings, not far from Palermo, 146 km and 900 m long.
The first race took place in 1906 and the first headquarters was the Grand Hotel delle Terme in Termini Imerese. Vincenzo Florio had two large wooden sheds built, used as grandstands and boxes for cars, a wooden overpass to cross the road without hindering the race, a restaurant and a press room equipped with an international telegraph: it was something exceptional, because in 1906 the only international telegraph in Italy was in Milan.
Two music bands entertained the public while waiting for the cars to pass by. Florio had 400 meters of tracks built, connected to the railway line from Palermo to Messina: this facilitated the arrival of the public with the train from Palermo.
On the day of the first race there were about sixteen thousand people, the price of the train ticket was 13 lire and included round trip, return, entrance to the stands and a voucher for breakfast.
The Targa Florio became soon a meeting place for nobles and people of culture: a real social event with Donna Franca Florio, the Countess Morosini, the Countess of Mazzarino, Princess Lanza di Trabia and many other nobles.
Very famous are the names of the drivers who took part in this maifestation in the past: Ferrari, Nuvolari, Cagno, Nazzaro, Chiron, Masetti, Axari, Camopari, Lancia, Varzi.
And still today it is an event of great charm and an extra reason to visit Palermo and its surroundings!
Palermo Wonders: be ready for your perfect day!