THE Italian Job 2019
Our team is back safely after another successful Job. But there's still time to contribute to their fundraising at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/IJ2019Team31.
The THE team covered over 4,000 miles, drove through France, Belgium, Germany and Austria on their way to Italy. On the way they visited the Belgian First World War memorial, Pool of Peace, the point where Belgium, Holland and Germany meet, the famous Nurburgring grand prix circuit, Munich and the Grossglochner Pass, the highest Alpine road in Austria.
While in Italy, they were initially based in Imola from which they toured the beautiful region of Emilia-Romagna, visited Riolo Terme, Forli, the Campodelsole Winery, the Enzo & Dino Ferrari Autodromo (Imola) for a special stage and parade laps of the track, Castel del Rio and the awesome and entirely bonkers Alidosi Bridge.
From Imola they drove to Rome, via the stunning hill town of Orvieto, for a police-escorted tour of the city. The Rome police providing eight motorcycle outriders who ensured a rolling road block of all the side roads. While in Rome they visited Castello Orsini-Odescalchi, Bracciano, took part in a fascinating walking treasure hunt through the centre of Rome, before journeying further south to dip their toes in the Adriatic Sea at Rimini, visit Caserta and drive up Vesuvius, as far as they let cars go. Before leaving Rome, the event took them to Rocca di Papa, the volcanic lake where the Pope has his summer residence, for lunch on the opposite side of the lake at the elegant Villa del Cardinale.
After Rome Team 31 moved up the west coast of Italy to Tuscany, via Porto Santo Stefano and Pisa, to go up the famous Tower. Their Tuscan base, for just one night was the Renaissance Tuscany il Ciocco Resort & Spa. A taster of luxurious fun to come as il Ciocco will be the main IJ base in 2020.
It was then another early start to get to Monza for the next special stage, parade laps of the grand prix track and lunch before heading on again to Turin. Our first night in Turin coincided with the 50th anniversary showing of the original Michael Caine film, in the Lingotto building, in Italian with English subtitles. A unique experience for Jobbers. But seemingly equally enjoyable for the 100s of locals who were also there.
While in Turin we had another special stage, on the Lingotto rooftop! Followed by another police escort through the city centre and the farewell dinner.
But the event was far from over as we then had to drive back to the UK, via the Mont-Cenis Alpine Pass, Mulhouse, Reims/St Quentin and the Eurotunnel, to arrive back on Saturday 2 November for the Gala Dinner at The Royal Lancaster Hotel. Yes, the very hotel from the film. Awards were presented - the THE team came fifth overall out of 63 entrants - and guest speakers included Rob "Judge" Rinder and Paddy Hopkirk.
All in all, a fantastic Job. If you can bear this much fun in 2020 check out www.italianjob.com.