In the countryside behind the Sardinian seaport of Alghero, October’s annual automotive hill-climb time-trial, the Scala Piccada, blows the leaves from the trees before autumn gets a chance.
First held in 1955, its popularity has surged throughout the years alongside the dramatic evolution of the cars that now compete. Around eighty drivers wrestle their macho machines through vertiginous terrain in everything from super tweaked minis to out and out road racers.
A great many Alfa Romeos appear, and clearly feel at home. Pristine, elderly hot-hatches show their class, and venerable rally-bred Lancias are driven as they were truly meant to be.
The three-mile time-trial starts south-west of the town along a straight flat section that allows the drivers to gun their engines, but not for long. The route quickly ascends and transforms into dauntingly steep, tarmac fettuccini.
Here, the competitor’s readiness to sacrifice gears, discs and their own safety is evident for all to see. After only three minutes of constant short-shifting and last-moment braking, they’re already a quarter of a mile above sea level.
With the rapid climb comes an eye-catching, ever-changing Mediterranean vista, but distraction spells destruction. After this initial ascent, the cars climb still higher along the steep hillside with a stunning panorama opening across the ocean far below. The chequered flag waves them over a crowded finish-line as ecstatic spectators roar their approval.
More information about the Scala Piccada event can be found at http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cronoscalata_Alghero-Scala_Piccada.
Cottages to Castles can provide luxury Sardinia villas for anyone wanting to experience this high octane jamboree. Properties can be viewed online at http://www.cottagestocastles.com/properties.aspx?query=s&area=10.
About Cottages to Castles
Cottages to Castles is a fully bonded independent British company, founded over 25 years ago to specialise in providing high quality self-catering holiday villas in Italy. The company is owned and operated by father and son team Claudio and Jonathan Magoni, who between them inspect and handpick every property.
Cottages to Castles operate a team of sales consultants based in the UK with detailed knowledge of every property. In addition, the company employs a number of permanent representatives on the ground in Italy to ensure a smooth and trouble free holiday experience for their customers.
With a large collection of properties in the inland, countryside, lakeside and seaside regions of Italy, Cottages to Castles is one of the leading specialists in Italian villa rentals in the U.K., U.S., Australia and New Zealand.