The Lancia Aurelia
The Aurelias in the land of Gonzaga
Mantua May 23rd -
This year’s Spring meeting was organized by the Baruffaldi family in the region around Mantova, and the river Mincio. Interesting visits, good food and lovely roads were on the programm for 3 days.
After a buffet lunch at our reunion’s hotel, the « La Favorita », we started with a visit to the Fire Brigade’s museum, housed in the old stables of the Palace, which helped us understand the difficult position of Mantova, near the Mincio lake. Not only fires had to be fighted, but also floods, and other natural catastrophies. Thus the use of VW « Schwimmwagen » and GMC DUKW of WW2 vintage in the Fire Brigade until a recent period. After the museum visit a private guide showed us the beauties of Mantova, including the Bibiena theatre, and the basilica of Sant’Andrea.
On the Friday we started our lovely Aurelias for a trip through Mantova’s hillside, visiting old villages, and a wine cellar. In the afternoon we drove North in direction of Verona, where the magnificent De Nicolis automobile museum was visited, with numerous Lancias, one even earlier than the Lambda. Dinner was at the traditionnal Osteria « Il Ponte », in the hands of the same family for ages, in Goito.
Saturday the visit of a cheese factory was on the program : the amount of Grana cheese produced per day, and then stored in cellars between 18 and 24 months was staggering ! From there we drove to the town of Curtatone, well known because of the Madonnari painters, those street artists that paint with chalk. The visit and lunch were followed by a boat trip in the natural reserve of the valleys of the Mincio, the river that exits Lake Garda, and flows into the Po. After this busy day the gala dinnner was the opportunity to thank the Baruffaldi family for a perfectly organized tour, and to say goodbye until our next meeting.