|Once again we've taken the opportunity to stay a week longer in the Italian Lakes so I've put together a short Diary of our trip, I'll also post all the pictures up with links asap
Our trip this Year was marred by some early casualties, in Simon's case literally when a Week or two before departure he snapped his achilles tendon, very painful and rendering him immobile for 9 Weeks!. In addition it was unfortunate that Ton and Veerle had to drop out of the plans to deal with some things at Home, Ton had spent many hours organising the Tuscany part of our Holiday and we are hugely grateful for his efforts, by my reckoning when he comes next year we owe him more Beer than he can drink!
It was a surprise coincidence that this Years tour began at the same time as Ferrari were to celebrate their 60th Anniversary at the Fiorano Circuit in Maranello. Much reorganisation, planning and negotiation ensued and fortunately we were able to gain two day passes for all of the Ferraris to park at the Circuit and be on the 'inside' for the event
Katy and I were fortunate to receive an invitation from Dick Lovett & Ferrari GB to travel down on Wednesday 20th June with their group via Germany and Austria, a great opportunity to join 38 other Ferraris including 3 Enzos, 2 F40s 1 599 and a myriad of other tipos.
|The Weather was kind as we set off to join the Group at Chilston Park Hotel in Kent then on via Eurotunnel to our 1st stop at the Reims GP Pits. I'd never been before and as many others have said there is a great feeling of history as you walk around|
On then to our 1st night at Baden Baden, for some strange reason we completely failed to take any photos!. The next morning a long drive to Austria, we are initially slowed by shocking conditions, the picture below of John Reaks F40 and an F430 tells all as we climbed into the clouds!
|Such were the conditons that we abandoned the opportunity to drive the planned Mountain passes and headed down on the Motorways through Switzerland, a good plan as it transpired as many of the group were held up by a nasty accident on the pass above Seefeld delaying them by many hours.
The Dorint Hotel, Seefeld is fantastic and the staff excellent, they even washed all the Cars!
|The weather was much better in the morning giving us a chance to take the Mountain roads in the Dolomites on our way to the Maranello region|
|So onto Reggio Emilia to stay for our last Night of the Ferrari GB tour as we are due to join our Tuscany group and some other UK owners/ enthusiasts in Fiorano for the Saturday night. Up early in the morning to go to the staging post before being led into the Fiorano circuit as part of the final leg of the Worldwide Baton tour|
|On to Fiorano Circuit to join an estimated 2,000 Ferraris! A few pics below inc Circuit entrance, Enzo's House and a stunning 250LM, too many pictures to do justice here so click HERE to go to the photo gallery of the trip down and Fiorano. We meet up with most of the Group at the circuit and then on to the Hotel for a few beers and Dinner|
|Sunday morning a few of us go back to Fiorano for an Hour or so to soak up a last bit of 'Ferrari' before Andrea, Rachael and Alessio join us in their Maserati and we head South on the Mountain roads used by Ferrari to test their (our!) Cars. We stop for a 'substantial lunch' organised by Eugenio, it turned out to be up a rough mountain track meaning he scored the first penalty and had to buy the 1st Beers in Tuscany!, Our newest member Alessio was enjoying himself though..ahh!|
|Sunday afternoon we arrive in Tuscany, I am simply staggered by the breathtaking scenery, there is something very special about this place|
|Monday is spent relaxing by the Pool building up the energy reserves for the planned drive on Tuesday (many thanks to Eugenio for the preparation and road book work for these).
Tuesday dawns and Katy and I find ourselves a little late on parade! and miss the advance party, we take a more direct route, finding 4 Miles of loose surface was not in the plan and subsequently a filthy Car shows that Eugenio was not alone in finding bad roads! , we should have turned back! eventually joining them at Radicofini to find MarkP nursing a wounded arm after engaging in some Archery!
|Wednesday we went to Siena, a beautiful City, spent some time exploring then found a nice place for lunch in the main square and then early afternoon headed back to sit by the Pool|
|Thursday sees another great drive out organised by Eugenio with great roads interspersed by a few stops to visit some beautiful buildings and sites, Alessio looking cool, Patrick perhaps less so :)|
|Marc's approach to Car photography is to sneak up while they're not watching!|
|Friday, we are honoured to be allowed to drive our Cars inside the City walls of San Gimignano and park up for a few Hours (well it cost us €19 each and we had to bribe the Mayor with Dinner!)|
|Friday Night we have our special Florentine Steak night and say good by to some of our Group, Przemek & Wiesia, Marc & Zoe and Mark & Debra are heading home first thing in the morning before we rise!
Saturday morning we decide to go to Volterra, a small but stunning City, it seems as with much other local history that torture and incarceration were in abundance! whilst walking around we come across the main fort, still used as a prison today
|And so to the end of a great tour, we've had a brilliant time with great company, driving, food and wine....... can't wait for the next one
There's more of the Tuscany pics HERE
There's some video coming soon too so watch this space for the link