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Maremma 23th - 30th May, 2009

Once in a year the international Bugatti community comes together to celebrate their marque. In this special year with Bugatti celebrating their centenary it was the Italian Bugatti Club together with the crew of 2fast4you (including former Mille Miglia organizer Constantino Franchi) who invited the Bugattisti from all over the world to discover the beauty of the Maremma region in the Tuscany. No less than 119 Bugatti from 17 nations followed this invitation and found their way to the hotel Roccamare near Castiglione della Pescaia. This spacious area with two hotels and several separate bungalows was the ideal basis for the following daily trips into the surrounding region.

Having a fix point was part of the organization concept trying to create a very relaxing atmosphere, so no one had to worry about the trailer or the luggage. A further advantage of this concept was that the cars returned every evening to the same car park making it much easier for the owners or supporting crews to maintain them.

After the arrival of the crews during the day the event officially started on Saturday evening with a welcome cocktail and a dinner where old connections of previous meeting could be revived. So it was a short night for some of the participants.

The first trip on Sunday morning led to the Archaeological Park of Roselle where an old Etruscan City was visited. On these first miles the drivers found out what to expect the following days: small marvellous roads going up and down which was sometimes a challenge for the old radiators as it was very hot all the days. But as most of the cars where well prepared it was not a major problem and these are the roads where the cars could be enjoyed to the fullest. With a typical distance of 200 Km per day the stages where not too long, so the enjoyment did not turn into strain.

Worth mentioning is that there was no need of a road book as every junction was prepared with a sign by the organization, so the co-pilot could enjoy the landscape instead of being the navigator with the head in the book all the day.

Highlight of the day was the lunch break in the estate of Col d´Orcia. In the huge park there was enough space so that the cars could be parked in a very loose allocation instead of a strict line-up. Due to the heat the places in the shadow where preferred by the first ones to arrive. The buffet lunch was taken at a very long impressive table in the shade of Tuscan cypresses. After tasting the local food and wine the crews enjoyed some more miles before arriving back in the Bugatti village.

The first stop on Monday was the regional park of Maremma where the cars were parked near the beach, much to the amusement of the surprised holiday-makers. After this short stop the journey led through the mountains to the Castello ColleMassari where a cocktail was served. The lunch break was in the nearby winery whose modern architecture made a great contrast to the vintage sport cars.

After the return to the hotel the participants were invited to a Butteri horse show before the day ended with a superb dinner in an excellent Trattoria.

Tuesday was the day off where most the crews took advantage of the extensive relaxing possibilities in the hotel with its own beach and an outdoor pool.

In the evening the Bugattis set off for a visit to Punta Ala where the cars were lined up on the pier of the local yacht harbour before claiming up to the Italo Balbo Castle. The race cars parked directly in front of the small Castello from where one could oversee the whole region including the yacht harbour where the cars stood just minutes before.

Wednesday was one of the highlight of the meeting with its trip to the Isle of Elba. This must have been the most expensive cargo the ferry saw in its live with 119 Bugattis on board.

The cars took the coastal road around the west of the isle through the mountains. The road is sometimes very tiny and twisty so that it is hard work behind the wheel of the larger touring cars but it must be endless fun at the wheel of one of the smaller race cars. One can see why these cars were so successful at hill- climbs in their time. After 2 hours of best enjoyment the cars arrived at village of Marciana Marina where they were lined up at the seafront. After lunch the cars headed back to Portoferraio where they were once more displayed in the harbour. The crews used the time waiting for the passage back to taste Italian ice cream that was sold at the pier before boarding to the ferry. Back in the village the day ended once more sitting together over a friendly bottle of wine.

On Thursday the journey led to the winery of Moscatello. The Villa was reached through avenues lined by cypresses and unmade-up roads giving the Bugattis a step back in time. These where the roads every photographer was waiting for. After a buffet lunch in the Villa or beside the pool the next stop was the town of Massa Marittima, where the Bugatti were on Display on the Piazza del Duomo. The crews took a guided tour through the town or spend their time in one of the bars at the Piazza. 119 Bugatti on the Piazza was an unforgettable sight and attracted many visitors.

Friday was the last day that led the cars once more through the picturesque landscape of the Maremma region and headed to one of Tuscany´s greatest farmstead, Castiglion del Bosco. A last taste of the specialities of Tuscany before the journey ended in Roccomare.

In the evening there was a large farewell beach party in Punta Ala and it came to mind that a very special week came to an end. So one can´t wait for the next international meeting which will be 2010 in Austria.

Unfortunately on the first weekend of the meeting there was also the French meeting in Prescott (UK), an event we have reported from earlier this week. This and the weak pound prevented many British owners of Bugattis to find their way to Italy. Although Prescott is also worth a visit they have missed a superb event. For all those owning a Bugatti these meetings are a must, for those dreaming of a Bugatti it is one more reason to buy one.

The next event for the Bugattisti will be the meeting of the Club Enthusiasts Bugatti Alsace in Molsheim in September, celebrating once more the centenary.

Vive la Marque

Text and images
Peter Singhof  ...
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