A visit to Villa d’Este makes a perfect stop on any driving tour of the Italian Lakes, the Alps, or even a trip down to Supercar Valley a few hours to the south.
It’s held in Cernobbio on the south-western shore of Lake Como. This year’s event started on Friday night with an open-air screening of The Great Gatsby in the grounds of the neighbouring Villa Erba: check the website nearer the time for plans for next year.
On the Saturday, the cars are displayed at Villa d’Este itself, but it’s strictly invite-only: don’t bother trying to blag your way in. But Villa Erba hosts the motorcycle concours that day, along with stands and displays from the event sponsors: chiefly BMW. And on Sunday the 50-odd cars in the main event move to Villa Erba: they’re on display all morning and from around 2pm are fired up and driven past the main grandstand.
The commentary by the urbane, multilingual Simon Kidston is largely in Italian but you can follow the action with the thirty-euro (!) book. The entry price is much more reasonable: just €14 this year, plus €6 for parking, and no need to book in advance. Few events other than Goodwood allow you to get so close to such extraordinary metal.
(Ben, that glass of cold beer looks particularly refreshing. Have posted pictures in expectation of your expenses claim… Ed.)
Photography: Richard Pardon