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The Ninth Terre di Canossa is Ready to Go


11-14th April 2019 - the “Terre di Canossa” is ready to fire up its engines again! The event will follow an itinerary  crossing the delightful roads of Emilia, Liguria and Tuscany and offer the same, unrivalled combination of sport, passion, scenery, culture and unforgettable evening entertainment. This year, the focus will be predominantly on the mountains: there are challenging mountain passes to cross before the crews can explore the fascinating roads through Garfagnana and finally reach Versilia’s enchanting coastline. There will certainly be art towns and cities, marvellous countryside, ancient castles, rolling hills, and some gorgeous new locations chosen as the backdrop for one of the top rallies in the international panorama of classic car events.

The numbers of foreign crews are once again on the up, confirming the trend of recent years, who will be coming from across Europe and further afield, representing 78% of the registered competitors. As a result, the Terre di Canossa comes second only to the Modena Cento Ore in Italy in terms of the event with the highest percentage of foreign crews, even topping the Mille Miglia.

The organisers had to bend the 100-crew rule so that at least a few more of this year’s many applicants could take part and, as usual, registrations closed ahead of time when the maximum number of crews was reached, pointing to its unmitigated popularity.

Twenty-nine teams are represented in the competition. Swiss team Amici senza Frontiere is the most numerous with 9 crews at the starting line, followed by international Retro Rally Group and Team Grancevola from Britain.

The IX edition

This year, the rally will follow an itinerary of around 650 km, including sixty five challenging timed trials and six average speed trials with secret passage times.  But the Terre di Canossa is not just a race; it’s primarily a winning combination of fantastic cars and gentlemen drivers who come here from all around the world to enjoy this unique opportunity to get a unique Italian experience, combining adrenalin from the competition with the delight of the best Italian food and wine, and the chance to explore the areas en route. The fatigue at the wheel is abundantly compensated by the time set aside for more convivial moments.

Some of the most popular attractions in previous years have been included in the programme for the ninth rally: the departure from the splendid Liberty city of Salsomaggiore Terme, the passage through the centres of Pisa and Lucca, the Trofeo Forte dei Marmi and the Trofeo Tricolore, reserved for non “professional” drivers, who are always welcome to take part, the “Pre-War Cup” reserved for older classic cars, and the hugely popular sunset beach party at Forte dei Marmi, the pearl of Versilia.

There are lots of new additions that the organisers have included to astonish experienced competitors. They include dinner on Friday in the majestic setting of Malaspina Castle at Massa, an imposing fortress whose ramparts offer fantastic view over the city below and the Tyrrhenian sea at sunset, and lunch on Friday held in the elegant location of Magnani Rocca Foundation, generally known as Villa dei Capolavori on account of its magnificent art collection on display: Cezanne, Titian, De Chirico, Canova and many other great artists, which the crews will be able to visit.

There has also been plenty of space assigned to the challenging stretches in the mountains with a new itinerary along the winding roads through the forests in Garfagnana, and the white marble quarries in the Apuan Alps, with a drive through the centre of Carrara.

Lunch on Saturday will be held in the charming location of the Renaissance Tuscany il Ciocco Resort SPA for the first time, in the heart of Garfagnana.

As usual, the race will come to a close in Reggio Emilia but the Trofeo Tricolore will be held in the city centre, the birthplace of the Italian flag, for the first time.

This year, the first crew aged under 30 will receive an award, showing that the Terre di Canossa is also attracting younger drivers.

The Terre di Canossa 2019 in numbers

  • 105 crews at the starting line and the event sold out as usual
  • 16 countries represented, with crews coming from across Europe and places further afield, like the United States, Argentina, Qatar and Russia.
  • 650 kilometre route
  • 65 timed trials
  • 6 average speed trials
  • 2 Trophies reserved for “non professional” drivers
  • 9 editions of the event
  • 78% participants from abroad
  • 40% women competitors
  • 0 residual emissions of C02
  • 27 car manufacturers present
  • 29 teams represented
  • 19 pre-war cars in the race
  • 350 people involved, providing various services for the organisation of the rally: the members of Scuderia Tricolore, the Canossa Events team, rally personnel, timekeepers, photographers and cameramen, the Police officers….

The route and the programme

On Thursday 11th April the crews will arrive at Salsomaggiore Terme for the technical and administrative checks and the cars will park up along the lovely streets in the old town centre for the general public to see from the afternoon to the morning after. The gala dinner designed by Michelin star chef Massimo Spigaroli will be held in the Salone Moresco, a gem in Liberty style.

Starting from 9.30 a.m. on Friday 12th April, the cars will be presented to the public in front of Berzieri Spa. The rally will depart at 10 a.m. with the cars heading towards for Autodromo di Varano de’ Melegari where a series of time trials awaits them on the racetrack. From here, they can enjoy the drive through the Apennine hills, crossing Passo della Cisa to Berceto and Borgo Val di Taro and stopping for coffee and Amor biscuits. Then they will cross Passo della Cappelleta, heading down to Massa and imposing Malaspina Castle. As usual, the crews will stay overnight at the best hotels in Forte dei Marmi.

On Saturday 13th, after setting off from Forte’s central Piazza Marconi, the route will explore Tuscany’s spectacular scenery and some of the most famous art cities in Italy. The cars will parade through the heart of Pisa and then pass through Lucca’s lovely old town and parade on its old city walls. The route continues along the spectacularly exhilarating roads through Garfagnana, crossing Passo del Vestito with its gorgeous and unique views of the white quarries and passing under ancient tunnels carved out of the rock, and driving through the centre of Carrara, a town frequented by artists since antiquity. The day’s driving comes to a close at Forte dei Marmi, the pearl of Versilia, with the Trofeo Forte dei Marmi.

As always, the evening will culminate with the ever-popular Beach Party with live music on Bambaissa beach starting at sunset, for an unforgettable evening.

On Sunday 14th, the crews will experience the challenging roads of the Apuan Alps and after driving through Sarzana town centre, will test their skills behind the wheel on the bends leading up to Passo del Cerreto. The rally will terminate in Piazza del Duomo in Reggio Emilia with participants competing for the Trofeo Tricolore. Lunch and the awards ceremony will be held in a location linked to the passion for classic cars: Ruote da Sogno

An “international and pink” edition

As well as the very high numbers of competitors coming from abroad, there is also another impressive number: 40% of the competitors are women, without any need to set a “quota” for ladies. The Terre di Canossa is a dream come true: a challenging race as well as a chance to see the sights, an opportunity enjoyed equally by the most determined drivers as well as those who want to treat themselves to an extra special vacation.

A Green event

The organisers have reconfirmed their eco-friendly outlook by deciding once again to implement a CarbonZero protocol this year, requiring measures to be employed that can help reduce the impact on the environment, calculating the residual emissions of climate-altering gases. These emissions are then entirely compensated by planting trees in the Tuscan Emilian Apennine Mountains.