The Great Alpine Journey has begun

The fourth edition of the Coppa delle Alpi kicked off from Piazza Unità d’Italia at 7.30 a.m. this morning under a clear sky, which together with the sea on the horizon provided the setting for the start of the Great Alpine Journey. Kicking off the race was the roar of Stefano Ginesi and Susanna Rohr’s 1934 Fiat 508 S Balilla Coppa d’Oro, the first car to leave the square and take the Coastal Road along the Gulf of Trieste. From the heart of the City of Coffee, the frontier between Latin, Slavic and German culture, the cars headed inland to enter the Doberdò Lake nature reserve, a rare example of a Karst lake, where the first Time Trials of the race were held.

Having crossed the Slovenian border, the Bainsizza Plateau hosted the first Average Trial, after which the crews continued to climb northwards for another twenty kilometres to Tolmino, Alpine Town of the Year 2016 for Biodiversity, where a Passage Control was held. This was followed by another Average Trial on the banks of the River Isonzo, famous for its emerald green colour. Having crossed the Moistrocca Pass, the convoy finally arrived among the sloping roofs surrounded by the Triglav Park of picturesque Kranjska Gora, the location of the first lunch in the race and the first part of the Grand Tour’s themed itinerary. After a welcome from Mayor Janez Horvat, the team of experts selected by 1000 Miglia met Luka Vrancic, from the Kranjska Gora Tourist Office, as a representative of local institutions: the topic discussed at the table was Sustainable Tourism Projects.

Luka Vrancic: “The purpose of the Alpine Cup is the same as the one we have here in Kranjska Gora and that we try to pass on to citizens and tourists, namely to protect nature (…) I represent tourism in this Slovenian part of the Alps, and we are dealing with the problem of the imbalance between people leaving and tourists arriving, we need balance also because nature is changing. Before there was a long winter, we need to strengthen the tourist offer in the summer, we are surrounded by the only Nature Park in Slovenia and you can go on fantastic hikes and bike tours”.

The crews left for Cortina at 2 p.m. with the sun shining that seemed like summer.