Published by Johnny Ward on April 23, 2012
Wherever we go in Italy, we see that most people choose to travel around the city or to nearby places by scooter or motorbike. This is definitely a Mediterranean trait, since it happens in most southern European countries. However, in Italy this is accentuated, Italians are crazy about motorbikes, just as we can see every year at the Mugello circuit for the MotoGP Grand Prix.
Italy is a country obsessed with racing. Whether it’s cars or motorbikes, the Italians go crazy for any kind of motorsport and they show all that passion for it at the home Grand Prixs of each sport, mostly Formula 1 and motorbikes. However, with motorbikes it’s a bit different than with cars because with Formula 1 and expensive cars, such as Ferraris, Maseratis and to a lesser extent Alfa Romeos, Fiats and the tragically-defunct Lancias, most Italians, like most mortals, cannot afford such luxuries and choose the motorbike as their way to get around the city. Motorbikes and scooters are a cheap transport and also a very convenient one, since they don’t use much fuel and can get you through the chaotic Italian traffic.
As soon as you walk out of the door of your Florence apartments, you see an infinite row of bikes on the pavement, which makes one think it’s impossible for the owner to find their own. Motorbikes, as we said, are convenient for traffic and we’ve all seen either on an advert or in real life those pesky Italian scooters zig-zagging their way through traffic. In Mediterranean countries, especially Spain and Greece, motorbikes and scooters are perfect because not only do they give you that freedom that the car doesn’t but they are also a perfect transport for the hot weather, so that you’re not stuck in a hot car waiting in a traffic jam. Because also many of the streets are very narrow, scooters can get through there easy and, probably most importantly, parking them isn’t a problem.
In Florence, because so many streets are one-way or pedestrianised, cars are not allowed to go there but since rules are often bent in southern Europe, people on motorbikes can easily go through there and hope that a policeman doesn’t catch them. As they say in Italian, the motorino is a way of life, a way of living the city and one that we recommend that all tourists who visit Italian cities, especially Florence, experience by renting one.
However, all of this passion for motorbikes comes to its highest point in the summer, just a few miles from Florence, in the small town of Mugello. The Italian MotoGP Grand Prix takes place every year at the Autodromo del Mugello, which is one of the most famous circuits around the world and considered one of the hotbeds of motorcycling, along with Jerez in Spain and Assen in Holland. Italians have always had great motorcycle riders, such as the great Giacomo Agostini, Loris Capirossi, Luca Cadalora, Max Biaggi and most recently and probably most importantly, the great Valentino Rossi, 9-time World Champion. Not only is Mugello one of the most exciting tracks of the season but the one where all Italian motorcycle fans come from all over Italy and show their support, either for Rossi or for Ducati, the Italian manufacturer, who Rossi joined in early 2011.
This year’s Italian GP will take place at Mugello on the 15th of July so get your tickets fast because they will sell out! The roar of the motorbikes and the crowd make this a unique event in the world and even if you’ve never been to a motorbike Grand Prix before, this is an amazing experience that exemplifies perfectly the passion of the Italian people.
Italians and motorbikes go together hand in hand so rent apartments in Florence and see it for yourself!