Mille Miglia fever has returned to Brescia. The annual historic car race from Brescia to Rome and return to Brescia will be returning this evening to a packed crowd as the leaders start to arrive. I’ve visited the event over many years and it is well worth a visit this evening to see the italian car rally if you are in the area on holiday in Italy in your italian property. This years 2011 race has an interesting line up.
Italy is celebrating 150 years of unification.
A short history lesson:
The process of the unification of Italy is known as the Italian Risorgimento. Back in 1860 in Italy there 4 states namely the Austrians in Venetia, the Papal States, the new expanded Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In April 1860, separate insurrections began in Messina and Palermo in Sicily, both of which demonstrated a history of opposing Neapolitan rule. On May 6, 1860, Garibaldi and his cadre of about a thousand Italian “red shirts” volunteers (called I Mille), steamed from Quarto near Genoa, and after a stop in Talamone on May 11 landed near Marsala on the west coast of Sicily to “liberate” southern Italy and Sicily from the centuries old rule of the Bourbon kings from Spain. Near Salemi, Garibaldi’s army attracted scattered bands of rebels, and the combined forces defeated the opposing army at Calatafimi on May 13. Within three days, the invading force had swelled to 4,000 men. On May 14, Garibaldi proclaimed himself dictator of Sicily, in the name of Victor Emmanuel II of Italy. In less than a month, and against all odds, they had seized Palermo. The defeat of the 20,000-strong Bourbon army in Palermo sent a shiver up the spine of Italy and through the Bourbon monarchy in Naples, setting the stage for the unification of Italy and ultimately leading to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy (March 17, 1861) in Turin, Piedmonte.
The 150 year celebrations started this May 6th and will conclude next year 2011 with 150 years of the Kingdom of Italy. Even Ferrari has created a special logo which appears as from today on the F10s of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso: the three stripes of the Italian flag placed over the dates 1861>2011 are the symbol of the inter-ministerial committee to celebrate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Italian Unity.
The head of State, President Giorgio Napolitano, was on the defensive when he travelled to Genoa this week to honour the Thousand. “To celebrate the unity of Italy is not a waste of time or money,” he declared. He urged Italians to show “a stronger sense of Italy and of being Italian”, following the leader of the The Northern League, Umberto Bossi’s comments calling the celebrations “useless things.” The party’s newspaper demanded rhetorically, “The unity of Italy – what’s there to celebrate?” and described the birth of the unitary state as “contrary to nature and history.”
The celebrations will follow the route of Garibaldi. Here in Sicily of particular interest was the THE GARIBALDI TALL SHIPS REGATTA 2010 from Genoa to Trapani.
In Salemi, Napolitano will be visiting on Tuesday 11th May to open the new town hall and new mafia museum which is planned to attract new mafia tourism to Salemi the town of the 1 euro house regeneration project.