Enzo Anselmo Giuseppe Maria Ferrari, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian motor racing driver and entrepreneur, the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team, subsequently of the Ferrari automobile marque. He was known as "il Commendatore" or "il Drake". In his final years he was referred to as "l'Ingegnere" or "il Grande Vecchio". Ferrari was said to have been born on 18 February 1898 in Modena and that his birth was recorded on 20 February because a heavy snowstorm had prevented his father from reporting the birth at the local registry office, he was the younger of two children to Alfredo Ferrari and Adalgisa Bisbini, after his elder sibling Alfredo Junior. Alfredo Senior was the son of a grocer from Carpi and started a workshop fabricating metal parts at the family home. Enzo grew up with little formal education. At the age of 10 he witnessed Felice Nazzaro's win at the 1908 Circuito di Bologna, an event that inspired him to become a racing driver. During World War I he served in the 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment of the Italian Army.
His father Alfredo, his older brother, Alfredo Jr. died in 1916 as a result of a widespread Italian flu outbreak. Ferrari became sick himself in the 1918 flu pandemic and was discharged from the Italian service. Following the family's carpentry business collapse, Ferrari started searching for a job in the car industry, he unsuccessfully volunteered his services to FIAT in Turin settling for a job as test-driver for C. M. N. A car manufacturer in Milan, which rebuilt used truck bodies into small passenger cars, he was promoted to race car driver and made his competitive debut in the 1919 Parma-Poggio di Berceto hillclimb race, where he finished fourth in the three-litre category at the wheel of a 2.3-litre 4-cylinder C. M. N. 15/20. On 23 November of the same year, he took part in the Targa Florio but had to retire after his car's fuel tank developed a leak. In 1920, Enzo joined the racing department of Alfa Romeo as a driver. In 1924, Ferrari won the Coppa Acerbo at Pescara, a success that encouraged Alfa Romeo to offer him a chance to race in much more prestigious competitions.
Shocked by the death of Antonio Ascari in 1925, Ferrari, by his own admissions, continued to race half-heartedly. Following the birth of his son Alfredo in 1932, Ferrari decided to retire and to focus instead on the management and development of the factory Alfa race cars building up a raceteam of superstar drivers, including Giuseppe Campari and Tazio Nuvolari; this team was acted as a racing division for Alfa Romeo. The team was successful, thanks to the excellent cars, for example the Alfa Romeo P3 and to the talented drivers, like Nuvolari. In this period the prancing horse emblem began to show up on his team's cars; the emblem sported by Italian fighter plane pilot Francesco Baracca. During World War I, Baracca gave Ferrari a necklace with the prancing horse on it prior to takeoff. Baracca was shot down and killed by an Austrian aeroplane in 1918.. In memory of his death, Ferrari used the prancing horse to create the emblem that would become the world-famous Ferrari shield. Displayed on Alfa Romeos, the shield was first seen on a Ferrari in 1947.
Alfa Romeo agreed to partner Ferrari's racing team until 1933, when financial constraints forced them to withdraw their support – a decision subsequently retracted thanks to the intervention of Pirelli. Despite the quality of the Scuderia drivers, the team struggled to compete with Auto Union and Mercedes. Although the German manufacturers dominated the era, Ferrari's team achieved a notable victory in 1935 when Tazio Nuvolari beat Rudolf Caracciola and Bernd Rosemeyer on their home turf at the German Grand Prix. In 1937 Scuderia Ferrari was dissolved and Ferrari returned to Alfa's racing team, named Alfa Corse. Alfa Romeo decided to regain full control of its racing division, retaining Ferrari as Sporting Director. After a disagreement with Alfa's managing director Ugo Gobbato, Ferrari left in 1939 and founded Auto-Avio Costruzioni, a company supplying parts to other racing teams. Although a contract clause restricted him from racing or designing cars for four years, Ferrari managed to manufacture two cars for the 1940 Mille Miglia, which were driven by Alberto Ascari and Lotario Rangoni.
With the outbreak of World War II in 1940, Ferrari's factory was forced to undertake war production for Mussolini's fascist government. Following Allied bombing of the factory, Ferrari relocated from Modena to Maranello. At the end of the conflict, Ferrari decided to start making cars bearing his name, founded Ferrari S.p. A. in 1947. Enzo decided to battle the dominating Alfa Romeos and race with his own team; the team's open-wheel debut took place in Turin in 1948 and the first win came in the year in Lago di Garda. The first major victory came at the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a Ferrari 166M driven by Luigi Chinetti and Peter Mitchell-Thomson. In 1950 Ferrari enrolled in the newly-born Formula 1 World Championship and is the only team to remain continuously present since its introduction. Ferrari won his first Grand Prix with José Froilán González at Silverstone in 1951; the story goes that Enzo cried like a baby when his team defeated the mighty Alfetta 159. The first championship came in 1952, with Alberto Ascari, a task, repeated one year later.
In 1953 Ferrari made
Maserati is an Italian luxury vehicle manufacturer established on 1 December 1914, in Bologna. The Maserati tagline is "Luxury and style cast in exclusive cars", the brand's mission statement is to "Build ultra-luxury performance automobiles with timeless Italian style, accommodating bespoke interiors, effortless, signature sounding power"; the company's headquarters are now in Modena, its emblem is a trident. It has been owned by the Italian-American car giant Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and FCA's Italian predecessor Fiat S.p. A. since 1993. Maserati was associated with Ferrari S.p. A., owned by FCA until being spun off in 2015, but more it has become part of the sports car group including Alfa Romeo and Abarth. In May 2014, due to ambitious plans and product launches, Maserati sold a record of over 3,000 cars in one month; this caused them to increase production of the Ghibli models. In addition to the Ghibli and Quattroporte, Maserati offers the Maserati GranTurismo, the GranTurismo Convertible, has confirmed that it will be offering the Maserati Levante, the first Maserati SUV, in 2016, the Maserati Alfieri, a new 2+2 in 2016.
Maserati is placing a production output cap at 75,000 vehicles globally. The Maserati brothers, Bindo, Carlo and Ernesto, were all involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century. Alfieri and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. In 1926, Diatto suspended the production of race cars, leading to the creation of the first Maserati and the founding of the Maserati marque. One of the first Maseratis, driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio. Maserati began making race cars with 4, 6, 8, 16 cylinders; the trident logo of the Maserati car company is based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna's Piazza Maggiore. In 1920, one of the Maserati brothers, artist Mario, used this symbol in the logo at the suggestion of family friend Marquis Diego de Sterlich, it was considered appropriate for the sports car company due to fact that Neptune represents strength and vigour. Alfieri Maserati died in 1932, but three other brothers, Bindo and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races.
In 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to the Adolfo Orsi family, who in 1940, relocated the company headquarters to their home town of Modena, where it remains to this day. The brothers continued in engineering roles with the company. Racing successes continued against the giants of German racing, Auto Union and Mercedes. In back-to-back wins in 1939 and 1940, an 8CTF won the Indianapolis 500, the only Italian manufacturer to do so; the war intervened and Maserati abandoned car making to produce components for the Italian war effort. During this time, Maserati worked in fierce competition to construct a V16 town car for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche of Volkswagen built one for Adolf Hitler; this failed, the plans were scrapped. Once peace was restored, Maserati returned to making cars. Key people joined the Maserati team. Alberto Massimino, a former Fiat engineer with both Alfa Romeo and Ferrari experience, oversaw the design of all racing models for the next ten years.
With him joined engineers Giulio Alfieri, Vittorio Bellentani, Gioacchino Colombo. The focus was on the best chassis to succeed in car racing; these new projects saw the last contributions of the Maserati brothers, who after their 10-year contract with Orsi expired went on to form O. S. C. A.. This new team at Maserati worked on several projects: the 4CLT, the A6 series, the 8CLT, pivotally for the future success of the company, the A6GCS; the famous Argentinian driver Juan-Manuel Fangio raced for Maserati for a number of years in the 1950s, producing a number of stunning victories including winning the world championship in 1957 in the 250F. Other racing projects in the 1950s were the 200S, 300S, 350S, 450S, followed in 1961 by the famous Tipo 61. Maserati retired from factory racing participation because of the Guidizzolo tragedy during the 1957 Mille Miglia, though they continued to build cars for privateers. Maserati became more focused on building road-going grand tourers; the 1957 3500 GT marked a turning point in the marque's history, as its first ground-up grand tourer design and first series produced car.
Production jumped from a dozen to a few hundreds cars a year. Chief engineer Giulio Alfieri took charge of the project, turned the 3.5 L inline six from the 350S into a road-going engine. Launched with a Carrozzeria Touring 2+2 coupé aluminium body over superleggera structure, a steel-bodied short wheelbase Vignale 3500 GT Convertibile open top version followed in 1960; the 3500 GT's success, with over 2200 made, was critical to Maserati's survival in the years following withdrawal from racing. The 3500 GT provided the underpinnings for the small-volume V8-engined 5000 GT, another seminal car for Maserati. Born from the Shah of Persia's whim of owning a road car powered by the Maserati 450S racing engine, it became one of the fastest and most expensive cars of its days; the third to the thirty-fourth and last example produced were powered by Maserati's first purely road-going V8 engine design. In 1962, the 3500 GT evolved into the Sebring, bodied by Vignale and based on the Convertibile chassis.
Next came the two-seater Mistral coupé in 1963 and Spider in 1964, both six-cylinder powered and styled by Pietro Frua. In 1963, the company's first saloon arrived, the Quattroporte styled by Frua. If the 500
Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari was an Italian racing driver. First he raced motorcycles and he concentrated on sports cars and single-seaters. Resident in Mantua, he was known as'Il Mantovano Volante' and nicknamed'Nivola', his victories—72 major races, 150 in all—included 24 Grands Prix, five Coppa Cianos, two Mille Miglias, two Targa Florios, two RAC Tourist Trophies, a Le Mans 24-hour race, a European Championship in Grand Prix racing. Ferdinand Porsche called him "the greatest driver of the past, the present, the future."Nuvolari started racing motorcycles in 1920 at the age of 27, winning the 1925 350cc European Championship. Having raced cars as well as motorcycles from 1925 until 1930, he concentrated on cars, won the 1932 European Championship with the Alfa Romeo factory team, Alfa Corse. After Alfa Romeo withdrew from Grand Prix racing Nuvolari drove for Enzo Ferrari's team, Scuderia Ferrari, who ran the Alfa Romeo cars semi-officially. In 1933 he won Le Mans in an Alfa Romeo as a member of Ferrari's team, a month won the Belgian Grand Prix in a works Maserati, having switched teams a week before the race.
Mussolini helped persuade Ferrari to take Nuvolari back for 1935, in that year he won the German Grand Prix in Ferrari's outdated Alfa Romeo, defeating more powerful rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. It was the only time a non-German car won a European Championship race from 1935 to 1939; the relationship with Ferrari deteriorated during 1937, Nuvolari raced an Auto Union in that year's Swiss Grand Prix. He rejoined the Auto Union team for the 1938 season and stayed with them through 1939 until Grand Prix racing was put on hiatus by World War II; the only major European race he never won was the Czechoslovakian Grand Prix. When Nuvolari resumed racing after the war he was 54 and in poor health. In his final appearance in competition, driving a Cisitalia-Abarth Tipo 204A at a Palermo hillclimb on 10 April 1950, he won his class and placed fifth overall, he died in 1953 from a stroke. Nuvolari was born in Castel d'Ario near Mantua on 16 November 1892 to Arturo Nuvolari and his wife Elisa Zorzi.
The family was well acquainted with motor racing as Arturo and his brother Giuseppe were both bicycle racers - Giuseppe was a multiple winner of the Italian national championship and was admired by a young Tazio. Nuvolari was married to Carolina Perina, together they had two children: Giorgio, who died in 1937 aged 19 from myocarditis, Alberto, who died in 1946 aged 18 from nephritis. Nuvolari obtained his license for motorcycle racing in 1915 at the age of 23, he served in the Italian army as an ambulance driver in World War I, in 1920 took part in his first motorcycle race at the Circuito Internazionale Motoristico in Cremona but did not finish. He raced cars, winning the Coppa Verona reliability trial in 1921. In 1925 he became the 350 cc European Motorcycling champion by winning the European Grand Prix. At the time, the European Grand Prix was considered the most important race of the motorcycling season and the winners in each category were designated European Champions, he won the Nations Grand Prix four times between 1925 and 1928, the Lario Circuit race five times between 1925 and 1929, all in the 350 cc class on a Bianchi motorcycle.
It was in 1925 that Alfa Romeo, seeking a driver to replace Antonio Ascari, killed in the French Grand Prix in July, tested Nuvolari in their Grand Prix car with a view to running him in the Italian Grand Prix in September. He crashed when the gearbox seized, lacerated his back, he was not picked for the team. Six days in bandages, with a cushion strapped to his stomach, lifted onto his motorcycle by Bianchi mechanics for a push-start, he won the rain-soaked Nations Grand Prix at Monza. 1930 In 1930, Nuvolari won his first RAC Tourist Trophy. Motor racing legend has it that when one of the drivers broke the window of a butcher's shop, Nuvolari drove onto the pavement and tried to grab a ham as he passed. According to Sammy Davis who met him there, Nuvolari enjoyed dark humour and situations when everything went wrong. For example, after he got a ticket for a journey home from the Sicilian Targa Florio he said to Enzo Ferrari, "What a strange businessman you are. What if I am brought back in a coffin?"
Nuvolari and co-driver Battista Guidotti won the Mille Miglia in a Zagato-bodied Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS, becoming the first to complete the race at an average of over 100 km/h. At night, leading on elapsed time but still lying behind his teammate Achille Varzi on the road because he had started after him, he tailed Varzi at speeds of up to 150 km/h with his headlights switched off, so that he could not be seen in the other car's rear-view mirrors, he switched them on to overtake "the shocked" Varzi near the finish at Brescia.1931 Towards the end of 1930, Nuvolari decided to stop racing motorcycles and concentrate on cars for 1931. Regulations for the season required Grand Prix races to be at least 10 hours long. For the Italian Grand Prix, Nuvolari was to share an Alfa Romeo with Baconin Borzacchini; the car started from ninth place on the grid, when it retired with mechanical problems after 33 laps Nuvolari teamed up with Giuseppe Campari. The pair took the race win. Apart from the Belgian Grand Prix, where he came second, the only other European Championship race was the French Grand Prix, where he finished 11th.
The same year, he won both the Coppa Ciano. 1932 For 1932, Grands Prix had to be between ten hours long. It was the only season in wh
Monza is a city and comune on the River Lambro, a tributary of the Po in the Lombardy region of Italy, about 15 kilometres north-northeast of Milan. It is the capital of the Province of Brianza. Monza is best known for its Grand Prix motor racing circuit, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, which hosts the Formula One Italian Grand Prix with a massive Italian support tifosi for the Ferrari team. On 11 June 2004 Monza was designated the capital of the new province of Brianza; the new administrative arrangement came into effect in summer 2009. Monza is the third-largest city of Lombardy and is the most important economic and administrative centre of the Brianza area, supporting a textile industry and a publishing trade. Monza hosts a Department of the University of Milan Bicocca, a Court of Justice and several offices of regional administration. Monza Park is one of the largest urban parks in Europe. Monza is located in the high plains of Lombardy, between Brianza and Milan, at an altitude of 162 metres above sea level.
It is 15 kilometres from the centre of the region's capital, although when considering the cities borders, they are separated by less than 5 km. Monza is about 40 km from Como. Monza shares its position with Milan in the same metro area, is a big part of its new province. Monza is crossed from north to south by the River Lambro; the river enters Monza from the north, between Via Via Zanzi streets. This is an artificial fork of the river, created for defensive purposes in the early decades of the 14th century; the fork is known as Lambretto and it rejoins the main course of the Lambro as it exits to the south, leaving Monza through the now demolished ancient circle of medieval walls. Another artificial stream is the Canale Villoresi, constructed in the late 19th century. Monza has a typical submediterranean climate of the Po valley, with cool, short winters and warm summers. Precipitation is abundant, with most occurring in the least in winter and summer. Funerary urns found in the late 19th century show that humans were in the area dating at the least to the Bronze Age, when people would have lived in pile dwelling settlements raised above the rivers and marshes.
During the Roman Empire, Monza was known as Modicia. During the 3rd century BCE, the Romans subdued the Insubres, a Gaul tribe that had crossed the Alps and settled around Mediolanum. A Gallo-Celtic tribe the Insubres themselves, founded a village on the Lambro; the ruins of a Roman bridge named. Theodelinda, daughter of Garibald I of Bavaria and wife of the Lombard king Authari, chose Monza as her summer residence. Here in 595 she founded an oraculum dedicated to St. John the Baptist. According to the legend, asleep while her husband was hunting, saw a dove in a dream that told her: modo indicating that she should build the oraculum in that place, the queen answered etiam, meaning "yes". According to this legend, the medieval name of Monza, "Modoetia", is derived from these two words, she had a palace built here. Berengar I of Italy located his headquarters in Monza. A fortified castrum was constructed to resist the incursions of the Hungarians. Under Berengar's reign, Monza enjoyed a certain degree of independence: it had its own system of weights and measures, could seize property and mark the deeds with their signatures.
Berengar was generous evident by the donation of numerous works to the Monza Cathedral, including the famous cross, by giving large benefits to its 32 canons and other churches. In 980 Monza hosted Emperor Otto II inside the walled city; the Glossary of Monza, one of the earliest examples of the evolution of Italian language dates to the early 10th century. In 1000 Emperor Otto III became the protector of Monza and its possessions: Bulciago, Lurago and Garlate. In 1018, Lord of Monza, was consecrated bishop of Milan, resulting in the city losing its independence from its rival; these years saw a power struggle between the emperor Conrad II, Aribert. When the emperor died, he left important donations to the church of Monza. In the 12th century, it is estimated. Agriculture was the main occupation. In 1128 Conrad III of Hohenstaufen was crowned King of Italy in the Church of San Michele at Monza. In 1136 emperor Lothair III guaranteed the independence of the clergy of Monza from Milan. Monza subsequently regained its autonomy, not limited to the feudal government of lands and goods.
This autonomy was never absolute, as the church of Monza was not able to cut its ties from the bishop of Milan. Frederick I Barbarossa visited Monza twice. In this period the city again regained its independence from a city hostile to the emperor. Frederick declared that Monza was his property and gave the Curraria, a right granted only to royal seats. During the period of the struggle against Milan and other cities of the Lombard League, Monza was prim
Automobiles Ettore Bugatti was a French car manufacturer of high-performance automobiles, founded in 1909 in the then-German city of Molsheim, Alsace by the Italian-born industrial designer Ettore Bugatti. The cars were known for their many race victories. Famous Bugattis include the Type 35 Grand Prix cars, the Type 41 "Royale", the Type 57 "Atlantic" and the Type 55 sports car; the death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947 proved to be the end for the marque, the death of his son Jean Bugatti in 1939 ensured there was not a successor to lead the factory. No more than about 8,000 cars were made; the company struggled financially, released one last model in the 1950s, before being purchased for its airplane parts business in 1963. In the 1990s, an Italian entrepreneur revived it as a builder of limited production exclusive sports cars. Today, the name is owned by the Volkswagen Group. Founder Ettore Bugatti was born in Milan and the automobile company that bears his name was founded in 1909 in Molsheim located in the Alsace region, part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1919.
The company was known both for the level of detail of its engineering in its automobiles, for the artistic manner in which the designs were executed, given the artistic nature of Ettore's family. During the war Ettore Bugatti was sent away to Milan and to Paris, but as soon as hostilities had been concluded he returned to his factory at Molsheim. Less than four months after the Versailles Treaty formalised the transfer of Alsace from Germany to France, Bugatti was able to obtain, at the last minute, a stand at the 15th Paris motor show in October 1919, he exhibited three light cars, all of them based on their pre-war equivalents, each fitted with the same overhead camshaft 4-cylinder 1,368cc engine with four valves per cylinder. Smallest of the three was a "Type 13" with a racing body and using a chassis with a 2,000 mm wheelbase; the others were a "Type 22" and a "Type 23" with wheelbases of 2,400 mm respectively. The company enjoyed great success in early Grand Prix motor racing: in 1929 a entered Bugatti won the first Monaco Grand Prix.
Racing success culminated with driver Jean-Pierre Wimille winning the 24 hours of Le Mans twice. Bugatti cars were successful in racing; the little Bugatti Type 10 swept the top four positions at its first race. The 1924 Bugatti Type 35 is one of the most successful racing cars; the Type 35 was developed by Bugatti with master engineer and racing driver Jean Chassagne who drove it in the car’s first Grand Prix in 1924 Lyon. Bugattis swept to victory in the Targa Florio for five years straight from 1925 through 1929. Louis Chiron held the most podiums in Bugatti cars, the modern marque revival Bugatti Automobiles S. A. S. named the 1999 Bugatti 18/3 Chiron concept car in his honour. But it was the final racing success at Le Mans, most remembered—Jean-Pierre Wimille and Pierre Veyron won the 1939 race with just one car and meagre resources. In the 1930s, Ettore Bugatti got involved in the creation of a racer airplane, hoping to beat the Germans in the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize; this would be the Bugatti 100P.
It was designed by Belgian engineer Louis de Monge who had applied Bugatti Brescia engines in his "Type 7.5" lifting body. Ettore Bugatti designed a successful motorised railcar, the Autorail Bugatti; the death of Ettore Bugatti's son, Jean Bugatti, on 11 August 1939 marked a turning point in the company's fortunes. Jean died. World War II left the Molsheim factory in the company lost control of the property. During the war, Bugatti planned a new factory at a northwestern suburb of Paris. After the war, Bugatti designed and planned to build a series of new cars, including the Type 73 road car and Type 73C single seat racing car, but in all Bugatti built only five Type 73 cars. Development of a 375 cc supercharged car was stopped when Ettore Bugatti died on 21 August 1947. Following Ettore Bugatti's death, the business declined further and made its last appearance as a business in its own right at a Paris Motor Show in October 1952. After a long decline, the original incarnation of Bugatti ceased operations in 1952.
Bugattis are noticeably focused on design. Engine blocks were hand scraped to ensure that the surfaces were so flat that gaskets were not required for sealing, many of the exposed surfaces of the engine compartment featured guilloché finishes on them, safety wires had been threaded through every fastener in intricately laced patterns. Rather than bolt the springs to the axles as most manufacturers did, Bugatti's axles were forged such that the spring passed through a sized opening in the axle, a much more elegant solution requiring fewer parts, he famously described his arch competitor Bentley's cars as "the world's fastest lorries" for focusing on durability. According to Bugatti, "weight was the enemy". Relatives of Harold Carr found a rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante when cataloguing the doctor's belongings after his death in 2009. Carr's Type 57S is notable because it was owned by British race car driver Earl Howe; because much of the car's original equipment is intact, it can be restored without relying on replacement parts.
On 10 July 2009, a 1925 Bugatti Brescia Type 22 which had lain at the bottom of Lake Maggiore on the border of Switzerland and Italy for 75 years was recovered from the lake. The Mullin Mu
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Italian Grand Prix
The Italian Grand Prix is one of the longest running events on the Formula One calendar. The Italian and British Grands Prix are the only Formula One World Championship Grands Prix staged continuously since the championship was introduced in 1950, as the Monaco and Belgian Grands Prix have missed a few seasons since hosting races in the 1950 inaugural season; every Formula One Italian Grand Prix in the World Championship era has been held at Monza except in 1980, when it was held at Imola. The Italian Grand Prix counted toward the European Championship from 1935 to 1938, it was designated the European Grand Prix seven times between 1923 and 1967, when this title was an honorary designation given each year to one Grand Prix race in Europe. Motor racing has always been popular in Italy, the first Italian Grand Prix motor racing championship took place on 4 September 1921 at a 10.7-mile circuit near Brescia, the site of the Gordon Bennett races in the early 1900s. However, the race is more associated with the course at Monza, a racing facility just outside the northern city of Milan, built in 1922 in time for that year's race, has been the location for most of the races over the years.
The Autodromo Nazionale Monza was completed in 1922 and was just the third permanent autodrome in the world at that time. European motor racing pioneers Vincenzo Lancia and Felice Nazzaro laid the last two bricks at Monza; the circuit was 10 km long, with a road circuit combined into one. It was fast, always provided excitement; the 1923 race included one of Harry A. Miller's rare European appearances with his single seat "American Miller 122" driven by Count Louis Zborowski of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fame; the 1928 race was the first of many tragedies. Italians Emilio Materassi in a Talbot and Giulio Foresti in a Bugatti were battling around the fast circuit; as they came off the banking onto the left side of the pit straight, one of the front wheels of Materassi's overtaking Talbot touched one of the rear wheels of the Bugatti. Materassi lost control of the car, swerved left, cleared a 10-foot wide ditch and ploughed into the unprotected grandstand opposite the pits, killing himself and 27 spectators, injuring another 26.
It was the worst accident in motor racing history and remained so until the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Italian Grand Prix went on a three-year hiatus until the 1931 race, held in late May instead of the traditional early September, was won by Giuseppe Campari and Tazio Nuvolari, sharing an Alfa Romeo; the race was something of an endurance race in those days. The great Nuvolari won again in this time held in early June. In 1933, with the race being held this time at the traditional timeframe of early September, disaster struck again. Three top drivers were killed during three heat races. There was a reported patch of oil on the south banking that had come from a Duesenberg, driven by Count Carlo Felice Trossi, Giuseppe Campari in a Ferrari-entered Alfa Romeo and his protege Baconin Borzacchini in a Maserati were battling ferociously. Borzacchini went through the oily patch, lost control, spun wildly and the Maserati overturned and violently flipped multiple times, by the time the wrecked car came to a stop, Borzacchini was pinned underneath his car, not having been thrown out.
While Borzacchini's Maserati was crashing all over the track, Campari swerved to avoid him, by doing this, his car went up and flew off the banking and crashed into trees situated right next to the track. Campari broke his neck and was killed and Borzacchini died that day in a Monza hospital. Prior to the third heat, there was a drivers meeting to discuss the oil patch and it was cleaned up. On the eighth lap, Polish aristocrat Count Stanislas Czaykowski was on the south banking when his Bugatti's engine blew up, a fuel line broke, the fuel caught fire after touching the hot front section of the Bugatti where the engine and gearbox were and the burning fuel sprayed onto Czaykowski. Blinded by the smoke and flames on him, he went up and flew off the banking- at the same spot where Campari and Borzacchini had crashed; the Polish driver, unable to put out the flames on his body, fuelled by the fuel from his wrecked Bugatti burned to death. Italian Luigi Fagioli was declared the winner of the event.
Enzo Ferrari, close to Campari and Borzacchini. Today, racing historians conclude that the events of this race marked a watershed, notably for Enzo Ferrari, it was the end to the beginning of a harsher new age. Safety in those days was non-existent; the circuit's condition was identical of that to an ordinary town and country road, except instead of the surface being made of dirt and/or tarmac, it was made of tarmac, concrete and/or bricks. Spectators stood close to or next to the track and they had no protection of any kind other than common sense. What was tragic about Campari's death was that he had announced his retirement at the French Grand Prix two months earlier, to focus on his opera singing exploits. After the disastrous 1933 race, something had to be done to Monza. There were chicanes added at certain points on the circuit and only most of the road circuit and part of the high speed oval was used