Arona-Stresa-Arona, the second oldest car race in Italy on Lake Maggiore

16 September 2019

The 2019 edition of the Arona - Stresa - Arona was attended by 50 wonderful vintage cars built between 1900 and 1930.

It attracts a select audience, who appreciate the elegance of Lake Maggiore.

In particular Stresa, with its luxurious hotels such as the Des Iles Borromées hotel and the Regina Palace, is the flagship of Verbano.

Not to be forgotten, are also the Borromean Islands, with the history of the palace and the garden of Isola Bella. Isola Madre with its popular botanical garden.

And finally the characteristic Isola dei Pescatori, where it is pleasant to try the cuisine of its typical restaurants.

The cars at the start are fabulous models of high historical and collectible value.

There were some cars built before 1904.

A Renault Type C Voiturette was presented in 1900 at the Paris Motor Show.

The De Dion Bouton built in 1901, with the engine under the seat, two-speed gearbox and a "vis-a-vis" carriage and a 1904 Olsman type 3

It has been 122 years since the first edition of the second oldest speed competition in the history of motoring was held in 1987.


The appointment after the first time in 2017, is held every two years and will be organized again in 2021.

The first race ever was the Turin-Asti-Turin, even before the famous Mille Miglia which the first edition was held in 1927.

The cars made a fine show crossing the lakeside and the historic centers of Stresa, Belgirate, Lesa, Meina and finally Arona.
At the 1897 edition, there were sixteen members divided into three classes: quadricycles, tricycles and bicycles. On the unpaved roads that skirted Lake Maggiore only ten riders completed the 35 kilometers of the race.

The engineer Giuseppe Cobianchi, second classified Oreste Fraschini and third Paolo Meda, won, all with vehicles of the German Benz in various versions and bodies and engines from 1 to 4 horsepower. Today these powers make you smile ...

The cars at the start are fabulous models of high historical and collectible value.

Present some cars built before 1904: Renault Type C Voiturette was presented in 1900 at the Paris Motor Show.

The De Dion Bouton built in 1901, with the engine under the seat, two-speed gearbox and a "vis-a-vis" carriage and a 1904 Olsman type 3.

The Arona-Stresa-Arona has no competitive spirit, it is a catwalk for the public to appreciate the evolution of the car from its origins to the 1930s. The crews admired the beauty of the prestigious period villas and the richness of the views between the Piedmontese shore of Lake Maggiore and the Vergante hills.

The program on Saturday 14 September began with the presentation of the crews in Piazza del Popolo in Arona. After 12, departure with skill tests and a stop in front of the town hall of Meina.
After a break in Solcio di Lesa, restart and stop in Belgirate at the Conelli park adjacent to the historic Villa Conelli from which it takes its name.
At 4 pm departure for Stresa, and at 5 pm the cars traveled the Stresa city circuit, ending for the exhibition at the Grand Hotel Bristol in Stresa. In the evening the gala dinner.
Sunday 15 September at 10 am departure to reach Lesa, followed by the tour of the upper Vergante.

At 10.30 the public admired the passage along the Lesa lakefront.
We look forward to these beauties at Lake Maggiore in 2021.

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