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When people imagine a holiday in the north of Italy, the usual suspects are almost always mentioned. The celebrity playground and scenic beauty spot that is Lake Como; the cultural and artistic hotbed of Turin; the sprawling urban chaos of Milan; Verona’s lauded romanticism. It really does have something to offer everyone. For the petrol heads of this world, though, there’s no finer time to visit the country than in early September. This is when Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and all the other superstars of Formula One descend upon the town of Monza for the Italian Grand Prix.
An event of pedigree, the race is up there with the oldest on the Formula One calendar. Indeed, the event featured in the inaugural championship in 1950, and – along with our own British Grand Prix – is the only one to have occurred every year since then. The aforementioned Vettel popped the champagne last time around, so all eyes are on the conquering German to see if he can live up to former glories.
Italian Grand Prix 2014: the lowdown
Italian Grand Prix 2014: setting
The wonderful Autodromo Nazionale Monza was opened in 1922 as home to the earliest incarnations of the Italian Grand Prix. Notoriously tricky for even the most experienced drivers, the number of long straights on which to pick up speed are somewhat nullified by the sheer volume of chicanes and hairpin bends. Many a star has fallen foul of the difficult conditions here, most notably Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
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Italian Grand Prix 2014: ticketing
With the track boasting an impressive maximum capacity of 137,000, you shouldn’t struggle to bag yourself a brief – but if you want to be in the thick of the action, you should be prepared to pay top dollar. A seat in the grandstand by the starting grid will set you back a whopping £551 for the entire three days, whilst even the secondary seating weighs in at £397. If your legs can last the pace, you can pick up a general admission standing pass for a much more agreeable £86, covering all three days of motoring madness.
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Italian Grand Prix 2014: schedule
Although officially the three-day calendar runs between Friday 5 to Sunday 7 of September, ticket holders can treat themselves to a free pit walk between the hours of 4pm-5pm on Thursday 4. The drivers themselves get behind the wheel to scope out the track during Friday’s practice session, hoping to give themselves an advantage by the time Saturday’s crucial qualifiers kick off. The big day is, of course, the Sunday, when all starting positions have been confirmed and all that’s left is the epic tussle to claim top spot on the podium after 53 gruelling laps.
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Italian Grand Prix 2014: Monza
For the vast majority of the year, Monza is a fairly inconspicuous town – and to be fair, none the worse for it. The compact dimensions of the centre mean that you can take in the highlights at a canter, without worrying too much about negotiating with public transport – a trait which the Monzese people themselves endorse. The beautiful enclosed surroundings of the Parco di Monza are arguably the finest in which to absorb the taste of local life, such is its popularity amongst the town’s residents. Elsewhere, you must take the time to explore the Duomo Cathedral, supposedly home to one of the nails used in the crucifixion of Christ.
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Italian Grand Prix 2014: Milan
Given that it’s a mere nine miles away from the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, it would be criminal not to spend some time in the financial capital of Italy. Of course, there’s more to Milan than merely business – not least around the mesmeric Piazza del Duomo. This is where you’ll find the grandiose Royal Palace, as well as the charming Galleria, colossal King Victor statue and a selection of top-end cafés and restaurants. Football lovers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the San Siro, one of the genuine spiritual sanctuaries of the sport and home to both rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan. Even if there’s no game on at the time, you can still embark on an impressively comprehensive tour of the grand old arena.
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Italian Grand Prix accommodation near Monza
Antica Corte Milanese is a fully renovated house, which has maintained the typical Milan style in almost each details. In the ancient courtyard, the B&B is born to give new life to the houses that look at the inner court. It offers 5 types of apar...
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Located in the CENTER, in the lovely and vibrant Porta Venezia Neighborhood, in the quiet Sirtori St., renowned ...
The apartment is very big and bright, has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, one balcony and a little terrace. Considering also the sofa-bed in the living room and a double airbed (available upon request), in the apartment can comfortably sleep up to...
Apartment of 55 square meters on the first floor of a building in 1915. A modern kitchen with balcony, fully equipped with dishwasher, is available for guests to prepare breakfast, aperitifs and dinners. Living room with dining table for 6 people,...
A large attic of 170 square meters, the top floor of a villa with a private garden.
Large living room with table for 12 people, a 5-seater sofa and fireplace.
A modern kitchen with balcony, fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher, is available for ...
It's the perfect location for those willing to visit the city and it's surrounding.
The bus stand where the shuttles to and from all city's airport (Malpensa, Linate and Orio al serio) stop is located just 300 meters away from the apart...
The apartment is the perfect location for those willing to visit the city and its surroundings being in a central position very well served by public transport.
All the lines of the subway are within walking distance from the apartment a...
CasaAleEle is comfortable and ideally located.
Apartment is on the 6th floor with elevator.
The apartment is very comfortable with an abundance of space, air and light. It is tastefully furnished with a unique and appealing decor. You have a coz...
Elegant apartment for rent in Milan with two bedrooms, located on the first floor of an old building of '900 (without elevator) in the main commercial artery of the city right next to Porta Venezia.
This elegant apartment of 100 square meters, is ...
Central Lux is a 95 square metres (1022.2 square feet) Two Bedroom apartment located on Via Napo Torriani in Milan. Please check the map for the exact location. Central Lux is on the 4th floor and is served by an elevator. The 3 bedrooms are conve...