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05 May1929
Targa Florio car race
Ambrogio Orlando
Music by Saverio Cigarini & Mix audio Théophile Gagnard | Biennio di Musica da Film del Conservatorio di Musica di Bologna

On 5 May 1929, one of the oldest automobile races took place in Sicily, the 20th edition of the Targa Florio, founded by Palermo sports patron Vincenzo Florio. At the beginning of this 16mm film, the filmmaker's father, the politician and jurist Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, also from Palermo, greets by taking off his hat. The landscape is the mountainous Madonie Mountains, around the island's capital. Racing cars whizz by, people crowd the sides of the track, which is bordered for a short distance by guard-rails. Beyond this short stretch, the route continues through the hills. In the background is the Sicilian landscape. The stands, moving bridges and other buildings are surrounded by billboards: 'Lampo Benzina Superiore'; 'Pneus Pirelli'; 'Shell'; 'Cinzano'.

An exciting race, as the chronicles recount. The Bugatti suffered attacks from Alfa Romeo and Maserati. For many, the moral winner was 45-year-old Ferdinando Minoia, who had already won the Coppa Florio in 1907. To race at that age takes courage. On the first lap, his Bugatti was in the lead with a time of 1 hour 25' 17" ahead of Borzacchini in a Maserati who followed him by only 4", who was then forced to retire towards the end of the race. Minoia in Bugatti number 36, the most filmed by Orlando, ceded the lead to the Frenchman Divo, in Bugatti number 10, only on the last lap when, due to steering problems and the bursting of some tyres, he was forced to turn in 1 hour 30' 27". He finished second and will also remain in the annals for the fastest lap. In third place was the Alfa of Brilli Peri.