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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
For short term rent (min 3 days - max 1 month) charming new renovated apartment in Milan center, quiet and very close to beautiful Martesana Park.
500 mt from Central Station and short distance from Bicocca University and Porta Nuova New Executi...
A comfortable double room in a small villa located at Nova Milanese, about 15 km from Milan city: with private balcony, wireless connection, sheets, blankets and towels are included, shared bathroom with other guest.
The price is per 2 person in o...
A beautiful apartent on the six floor (with lift!) with a 100mq terrace full of citrus, olive plants, wisteria, oleander, a beautiful ficus and an splendid magnolie.
The terrace has been recommended by the Corriere della Sera, main italian newspap...
Apartment of 40sqm (entrance hall, bathroom with shower, kitchen, living room with a loft bed, terrace with outdoor sofa and table) with Air conditioning, Heating, Flat screen TV/DVD player, Playstation, CD/Radio player, Wi-Fi, ...
SPECIAL CONNECTIONS FOR DESIGN WEEK
- M1 red tube Conciliazione at 350mt to reach RHO FIERA
- Tram 9 at 100mt to reach ZONA TORTONA in 5 stops (10 min)
- Tram 16 to go to Duomo and hystorical centre in 7 stops to reach BRERA
The apartment is light and bright and very spacious, with lovely balcony
It has one large room with double bed with a angle with desk and sofa + two bathrooms in the apartment. There is also a confortable living room furnished with modern Italian...
A cosy studio apartment (large living-bedroom, small kitchen, bathroom with shower), with Air conditioning, Heating, Flat screen TV/DVD player, Playstation, CD/Radio player, Wi-Fi, kitchen (equipped with all facilities, includin...
Two-room apartment tastefully renovated and furnished a few steps from Porta Venezia and Piazza San Babila, in a central position. Entrance hall, large living room with kitchen and sofa bed, balcony, bedroom, bathroom with shower. The apartment is...
Quiet and nice apartment for rent in Milan on the third floor of a beautiful residential building near the Arena and Sempione Park, close to the Triennale, the Arco della Pace, Brera and the exhibition site. Less than 100 meters away Corso Sempion...
Doubleroom 45sqmt apartment located in Piazza Argentina/Corso Buenos Aires, Milan center. Ideal for tourists, shopping lovers and business travellers.
You will find a kitchen/livingroom equipped with all necessary, bathroom with shower, big be...