Ferrari Cavalcade 2023

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Rome, Lazio, Italy

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About the Event

Under ever-changing skies, and to a glorious soundtrack of thrumming V12s and V8s, Prancing Horses came from all over the world to take part in the Ferrari Cavalcade 2023, a four-day programme starting at the iconic Villa Borghese in Rome and taking in 1,265km of spectacular touring. A true celebration of the marque’s creative and diverse portfolio of current models, the Cavalcade’s eclectic line-up included everything from a clutch of Monza SP1s and SP2s to several LaFerraris, Romas and Portofinos, and GTC4Lussos.

The tour is designed to bring together Ferrari and the very best architecture, music, food and drink that Italy has to offer so, as the drivers wound their way through villages, piazzas and the rolling countryside, they found themselves accompanied by classical quartets, plentiful coffee stops and lunches against a backdrop of incredible views. All, of course, interspersed with time controls and stamps to reward precision driving. 

This year’s tour began at the Bulgari Hotel with accreditation and a technical briefing before dinner and an early night. The next morning, shuttles ran participants to Villa Borghese for the off at 8.30am, three cars departing each minute. Day one covered a challenging 425km, with the route travelling east from Rome, before turning south towards Fiuggi for coffee and a car exhibition, then on to Montecassino and lunch at Italy’s most famous abbey, the Abbazia di Montecassino, perched high in the verdant hills.

The ancient peace of the abbey was a brief respite from the sonorous roar of Daytona SP3s, and the 812 Competizione Apertas that came from Italy, Switzerland, Denmark and France. After lunch’s time control stamp, it was onwards to the stunning Giardino di Ninfa, an oasis of calm, then back to Rome in time for another aperitif on the terrace of the Bulgari Hotel. 

Day two was a slightly less arduous 320km, in a route that took the Cavalcade north from Rome, to Caprarola, with coffee at Villa Farnese and a very special lunch at Orvieto, in the ancient Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo. Drivers took on refreshments, while their 812 Superfasts and F8 Spiders sat parked in the town’s piazza in a strong display of Ferrari design and engineering. After lunch, the tour took to the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, with an afternoon coffee stop in Tuscania, another time control and stamp, and the final leg back to Rome in time for dinner at the city’s Modern Art Gallery. 

Friday’s tour headed for the mountainous region north-east of Rome, and an immersion deep into nature, far removed from the madding crowds. After a morning coffee stop at Celano, it was on to the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso, with its snow-capped peaks and wildflower meadows, for lunch at Fonte Vetica, the collective bodywork of a group of 488 Pista Spiders glinting in the fresh air. Then it was an engaging sweep back into town to change for cocktails and dinner at the Acquario Romano. 

Day four might have been the last day, but it was one of the most engaging driving routes of the tour, and in many ways a thrilling climax to the event, with demanding switchbacks and the chance to explore some of the handling and powertrain characteristics of the cars away from public roads. The day began with the departure of all cars and a fittingly emotional parade through Rome’s historic centre. Three hours later, in stark contrast, the drivers found themselves at the Pratica di Mare, an airbase with a long stretch of the asphalt that proved perfect for an acceleration test, and a showcase for the Cavalcade’s collective power. The tour came to a fitting conclusion that evening with a black-tie gala dinner for all participants at the Bulgari Hotel Santo Spirito in Saxia. It was a chance to recap on an exhilarating, extraordinary adventure, compare notes on models and capture some truly life-affirming memories.

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