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Mille Miglia

Brescia and Monza

Brescia in the twenties

In any case, in Brescia, the future founders of the Mille Miglia were more interested in sports rather than politics, in particular, racecar driving, obviously. Maggi and Mazzotti were just adolescents when, in the early 20s, Renzo Castagneto took part in the organization of the great racecar sporting events: the first Italian Gran Prix of 1921 and the 1923 Gran Prix. Both were disputed on Brescian soil on what is known as the Fascia d'oro circuit. In conjunction with the automobile races of 1921, airshows, boating and motorcycle competitions were also being held, livening up the Brescian tradition of major events during the century's first decade.

These races permanently marked the soul of the three Brescians, so much so that it brought them together five years later for the notorious encounter at Canestrini's home.

The racetrack of Monza

In 1922, after the first edition on Brescian soil the previous year, the Italian Gran Prix was disputed on the Monza racetrack Italy's first, real circuit. A particularly spiteful controversy brewed between the Brescians, who felt robbed, and the people of Milan, asserters of the necessity for a permanent circuit.

Arturo Mercanti, the secretariat of the Automobile Club of Milan and advisor to the National Sports Commission, wanted and built a structure within the Monza Park.

He was the first to hint at the need for a closed circuit, unphased by the temporary road conditions, and even to realize that something of such proportions could not be done in Brescia but only in Milan. He came to be hated by his fellow Brescians. Yes, because Mercanti, the organizer of the famous weekly air and automobile racing events, was himself a Brescian.