Ciao Bella: Part 2 – More Italian F1 GP, Rally cars, AMG Driving Academy, and more!


Of course, the best part was putting these AMGs through their paces on the Franciacorta track.  Having driven the 355 BHP AMG CLA45 and A45 at the Bilster Berg circuit in Germany for an EC article two years ago, I felt at home in them and enjoyed the experience thoroughly.  But the AMG GT S was an absolutely monster.  I expected a lot, but I got way more than expected.  When I got back to States, I opened up a Road and Track magazine to find the AMG GT S was only 0.6-seconds off of the Porsche GT3’s lap time in a long, 3-minute lap at VIR by the same driver! I absolutely love the AMG GT S.

While you’d probably never know, this event had a few well-known European motorsport journalists and PR folk.  In this picture alone we’ve got Matteo Pacor Sky Sport F1 Italia, Sam Collins of Nizmo TV, Jonathan Noble of, Juan Fossaroli of Fox Sports Latin America, Victor Carillo of ID Agency, and Dieter Rencken of, to name a few,

When all of the “hard work” was complete, I was left with a Wednesday to do with as I pleased.  I looked at the map and noticed I was only a 3-hour train ride away from Venice, so I hopped on the first one out the next morning.  When I arrived in Venice, I felt like I was in a scene out of Minority Report.  The trains here look unbelievable.  And they’ll do 150mph.  I rode in the closest one you partially see on the right, and later trained back to Milan in one that looked like that scary one in the middle.

The train station is literally on the main canal.  It was perfect.

If you’ve never been to Venice, you should go.  It’s unbelievable.  It’s also so incredibly romantic I almost proposed to myself.

While many tourists were walking around with a map, I found it much more enjoyable just getting lost, and arriving to random (and very quiet) dead ends, which would lead either to water or someone’s front door.

Here is your movie trivia question for the day!  You've made it this far.  Great job.  So, here’s what happened.  I was walking across that bridge you see on the far left (from left to right) when I turned to my left and noticed this grand, white entrance of this church.  As I looked around, I paused with a feeling of what first felt like déjà vu, and then I realized I may had seen this place in a movie.  I looked off to my right to see that bridge (the one I took the picture from) to confirm, and there it was—that’s where the characters I was thinking of were walking into the scene from!  I Googled it, and sure enough this scene was filmed right here.  So, which famous movie am I talking about?  If you need a hint, see below.

Trivia Hint #1: There’s an American and a Nazi in the scene.

Trivia Hint #2: “X marks the spot.” 

Trivia Hint #3: The X is referring to a Roman numeral. 

That’s all you’re getting.  Let us know what you think below!

Special thanks to Brembo, Michael Febbo of european car Magazine, and Victor Carillo of the ID Agency for a most memorable trip.  Be sure to check out the next issues of european car, where you’ll see a tech piece of my tour through the Brembo factory in Bergamo, Italy.  And, if you’re lucky enough to go to SEMA or PRI (check out last year's coverage!), you’ll see what trick new stuff Brembo has to offer the automotive and racing world.  Trust me, it’s impressive and “I had it in my hands, Ira!” (okay, for extra credit, which movie is that from?)

Okay, I like movies.



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