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Mille Miglia

Giarratana’s route

Mazzotti and Giarratana made stops in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, Firenze and Siena, gathering up the interested and a small crowd of fans.

«But it is undeniable that the enthusiasm for the first Mille Miglia was created with this type of light propaganda, for which the Isotta Fraschini served its purpose, with the big letters Mille Miglia written on its side panels. One mustn't forget that we had tens of thousands of leaflets with instructions for the public. We had itineraries, roadmaps and gadgets, all of which could have helped us to sell our idea.

In Rome, the idea was to win over our indecisiveness. S.E. Turati immediately received us to tell us of the Ministry of Interior's unwillingness to help. Naturally, I protested, certain that if things had gone as planned and set out during the first half of the race, a Mille Miglia victory was assured.

I added that I was ready to guarantee this myself. Turati simply noted that my personal guarantee wasn't worth much, so to me it seemed natural that he would offer his, all the more so that the state leaders could have handled the situation on their own, while the Automobile Clubs would have given their technical contribution.

That same evening, Turati sent a memo to the state leaders and the next day the Ministry of Interior gave its authorization.

The return trip from the Adriatic was a sort of triumph, even though in the rush to race we were setting up appointments at strange hours. In Ancona, we met at two in the morning in the Automobile Club (keep in mind that it was impossible to respect times) until four o'clock to set up the road sign lighting; things had been done so well that the nighttime signs from Terni and Ancona left all competitors in awe. The same description of the race unexpectedly noted that for entire kilometers the population was on hand to witness the passages, as they carried torches that not only made it seem like a festive occasion but true daylight, just as our parents used to say.

In Todi Aymo Maggi met up with us and gave us his initial time from Brescia to Roma.

In Padova we ran into Castagneto, already on his third time round, writing notes about the racecourse that would then be printed in the brochure. (...)

Having begun with nothing we now found ourselves under full race organization. Five days were needed to push for the resolution, because the Ministry, Party Management and General Command of the Militia were not budging and the newspapers, according to my plan, were pressing.

Even the main organization in Brescia -relying completely on Renzo Castagneto - was working hard.

In fact, in Rimini there was a car with the young Bertoli, who was tending to the road signs, and three other small trucks. Further up, in Treviso, we encountered Cougnet who was inspecting the roadsigns already out.

Working in this way, day and night for ten days before the race, one could be certain that in no other country in the world would a similar race be possible and no nation would have seen a grander more interesting show».