Welcome to day two of the running of the horses, where bystanders simply stop in awe as opposed to running for dear life.
After day one’s schooling, getting a good night’s rest proved harder than first thought. Despite my sleep-deprived state, I rallied to become day two’s co-driver while Herman took over the controls in our bordeaux-coloured Ferrari California T.
Herman is a racing car driver in between being a journalist, so we called our lawyers and topped up the life insurance.
“Today was hands-down the most amazing driving experience of my life, as for about 90% of the time I thought it would be my last.”
At the 8am start time, the Ferrari Cavalcade began the journey up the mountains to the ski village of Terminillo. En route to the peak, we were met with a 5-stage time trial to test our mettle. This was hands-down the most amazing driving experience of my life, as for about 90% of the time I thought it would be my last. The sound of Ferrari engines echoed through the trees as we flew up the tight, winding roads (top down, naturally).
The summit was amazing. I stepped out of the car, thankful for my life, with combined feelings of exhilaration and relief. No doubt there’s a long German word to describe that sensation. The 30 minute pitstop was enough time for the cars to file in one by one and take in the beauty of the Italian hills during summer. With the ski lifts dormant and the grass exposed, it was near impossible not to fall in love with Italy.
The atmosphere changed noticeably on day two. Everyone is more familiar with each other, and new friends are made easily. Guests are wealthy and influential, but down to earth. And most importantly, all share a love of the prancing horse.
One fellow we’ve become friendly with is an American music producer called George. George is based in Berlin and an avid collector of Ferraris. At last count he had fifteen. His ride for this trip is the new AU$1,700,000 LaFerrari in a vibrant and unmissable red, sporting the number 14.
Pitstop completed, we began our descent into the town of Assisi. A pearl white 597hp Ferrari 458A, driven by the wild Tani Hanna and his equally mad wife, challenged us to a toe-to-toe race. We happily complied, noting how cool his wife was with being a passenger on a trip like this. Hang onto that one.
Assisi is the Pope’s summer holiday residence, an incredible history that dates back to 1000 BC. We were lucky enough to explore the grounds and dining halls of the Pope and his entourage. Can Popes have entourages? They do now.
As the day progressed, I reclaimed driving duties and bid farewell to Herman. My new co-pilot was a cardiac surgeon from Miami, Florida, on his second Cavalcade. He’d joined the 2014 event in Sicily. After stopping briefly in Perugia, we made our way back to Rome on the Autostrade with a top speed of…oh, well, you don’t want to know that.
Tomorrow is another day of horsing around. For now, we’re off to the Vatican to experience it without the hoards of people. Backstage with Ferrari – this is a life in the fast lane you could easily get used to.
Relive The Dream: Ferrari Cavalcade 2015 Day 1