From 27 to 30 April 2023, more than sixty crews from Europe and the United States took part in the thirteenth edition of the Terre di Canossa, held along spectacular routes throughTuscany and Liguria.
The curtain has come down on this latest edition of the traditional regularity event dedicated to classic and modern cars, which combines competitive spirit with a uniquely intense and original experience of the best that Italy has to offer. Combining the thrill of a hundredth-of a-second challenge through breathtaking landscapes and exploring cities of art and the best food and wine, enriched as always by the care and attention paid to every detail, made these days, organized by Canossa Events, another unforgettable experience. The outstanding quality of the cars and the origins of the participants underline yet again how the spring rally through the heartland of Matilde di Canossa has now become a must, not only for European regularity rallyists but also for rally enthusiasts from overseas.
The 2023 edition featured a new format that saw the focus shift between Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi, but still kept the focus, as per tradition, on the characteristic stages that distinguish the Terre di Canossa: from the spectacular Cinque Terre to Lucca, from Pisa to the Arsenal of La Spezia, from the unique scenery of the Marble Road to the Garfagnana and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. A total of 600 kilometers were covered over three days, with the final rankings decided on 25 grueling time trials and five average speed trials.
“I would like to begin by thanking our participants, who converged from Europe and the United States to immerse themselves in the kaleidoscope of experiences of the Terre di Canossa, including good food and excellent company, striking locations and breathtaking views, adrenalin and relaxation,” said Luigi Orlandini, President and CEO of CanossaEvents. “A special applause goes to all the administrations and territories along the route that are always so helpful and enthusiastic in welcoming our event, which went off without a hitch, thanks also to the hard work of the Traffic Police escort riders. And I sincerely thank all the staff and race officials for their tireless support!”
An edition characterized by exclusive experiences and unforgettable moments for participants, along a magical route through places steeped in Italian history.
• Day 0 – This year’s Terre di Canossa started in spectacular Viareggio, a town famous throughout the world for its colorful Carnival. The Cittadella del Carnevale, where accreditation and scrutineering were held, was the ideal setting to welcome the crews for this new experience. The opening evening was held in Forte dei Marmi, at the exclusive Antica Segheria inside the Henraux Spa, where guests enjoyed dinner in an evocative location surrounded by exquisite marble and granite.
• Day 1 – The 2023 edition of the “Terre” officially started from Piazza Marconi, right in the center of Forte dei Marmi. In keeping with tradition, the Tricolor was waved by Luigi Orlandini, President and CEO of Canossa Events, who greeted the crews ready for the start. The stunning racing cars took off to discover the marble road and the towns of Massa and Carrara, then on to Liguria, where they paused for a brief stop in Sarzana, a 16th-century gem, before passing through the impressive Military Arsenal of La Spezia. After lunch in Portovenere, a romantic coastal town, the cars drove to Lerici, a delightful seaside village, via the scenic route that skirts the Cinque Terre. The stage finish and display of the cars on the Viareggio seafront brought the day to a close.
• Day 2 – The second day saw the participants head inland to Castelnuovo Garfagnana, in the heart of the Garfagnana, an idyllic green and unspoilt valley crossed by the River Serchio and surrounded by the Apuan Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. Next, the cars tackled the first mountain passes, crossing the Passo delle Radici (1,589 meters), the highest inhabited pass in the Apennines, and the famous long road pass of Abetone (1,388 meters) on the northern edge of the province of Pistoia, on the border with Modena. The participants then continued their journey through Pistoia and Montecatini Terme towards Lucca, one of the most beautiful art cities in Tuscany, characterized by its immense historical and monumental riches. The cars paraded along the famous 16th-17th century walls surrounding the medieval town center, opened exceptionally for the event, after passing through the splendid Piazza Napoleone. The second stage ended with the return to Forte dei Marmi, and the customary beach party at Bambaissa, the famous beach club of the Augustus Hotel & Resort.
• Day 3 – Sunday 30 April saw the final stage of the 13th edition of Terre di Canossa. After the last start from the Versiliana Foundation in Pietrasanta, the crews tackled the pass of Monte Serra, the highest peak of the Monti Pisani, the promontories that act as a natural border between the cities of Lucca and Pisa. From here, they arrived in Pisa, one of the most famous and admired Italian cities in the world, with its historic Leaning Tower and unparalleled artistic and architectural heritage. After a stop in Piazza dei Cavalieri, participants explored the wonders of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a visit to the enchanting garden of the Comel Foundation, a stone’s throw from the world-famous Tower. The final stage of the route and of this three-day race along Italian roads led to the Cittadella del Carnevale in Viareggio – a space created in 2001 that houses the Carnival Foundation and the hangars where the spectacular Carnival floats are built – where the final lunch and the prize-giving ceremony took place.
The race and the podium
The winner of the Terre di Canossa 2023 was the crew of Nicolò Mion and Alessandra Baldovino in a 1959 Triumph TR3. Meanwhile, Luigi Mion and Emanuela Marcolini in a 1954 Jaguar XK 120 OTS SE took the second step of the podium in the overall final ranking, followed by Ubaldo Bordi and Daniela Apetrei in a 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia SS. The modern cars ranking was won by Tommaso Bardelli and Giorgio Urlo in a McLaren 720S.
The women’s cup went to Holly Shandy at the wheel of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce and Camilla Wilson in an MG MGA 1500, while the special Scuderia prize went to the Retro Rally Club. Zeno Mion and Matilde Minotti, in a 1936 Riley Sport Nine, racked up the trophies, winning not only the Under 30 and Pre-War prizes, but also the average speed trials. Special prizes were awarded to Dominic Rowe and Nick Deacon in a 1957 AC ACE Bristol and Steven Sharp and David Slade in a 1964 Aston Martin DB 5. Crews from all over the world also competed for the International Cups:
• the International Cup for Austria was won by Volker and Ruth Von Iwonski in a 1958 Jaguar XK 150 DHC
• the International Cup for France was won by Didier and Dominique Cazeaux in a 1965 Porsche 911 Coupé
• the International Cup for Germany was won by Gerd Antonius Bühler and Janine Hubertine Franssen in a 1938 BMW 328
• the International Cup for the Netherlands was won by Ronald Goedmakers and Catharina Sylvia Goedmakers – Cerfonteijn in a 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato
• the International Cup for Switzerland was won by Peter Kappeler and Stephan Rogger in a 1956 Lancia Aurelia B20 S
• The International Cup for the United Kingdom was won by Paul Eden and Anthony Cullen in a 1956 Ford Zephyr
• The International Cup for the United States was won by David and Lisa Atcherley in a 1950 Healey Silverstone
For the eighth year running, Canossa Events confirmed its commitment to respect and protection for the environment by adopting CarbonZero, the specific protocol that allows residual CO2 emissions to be offset by planting new trees in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. This initiative allows Terre di Canossa to claim the title of the sector’s first “zero-emission” event.