Targa Florio is one of the oldest and most famous street car competitions in the world. The “Cursa“(as local people call it in dialect language), was created and organized by Vincenzo Florio a businessman from a rich family based in Palermo between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The Targa Florio race was held for the first time in 1906: until 1977 as a speed competition and from 1978 as a rallying competition.

Since its origin, the Targa Florio has always been held among the Sicilian roads, in particular those that run through the Madonie mountain range, in the north-central area of Sicily.

From the 1973 edition, marked by a numerous series of fairly serious accidents, the race was excluded from the round of the great international tests because the Madonie road circuit, full of winding curves, was not suitable for hosting competitions for very powerful cars. In 1977, during the 61st edition, following a serious accident, in which a driver went off the road and overwhelmed the spectators and caused two deaths and three injuries, the race was definitively interrupted. Starting from 1978 the race was transformed into a Rally.

The Targa Florio has over the years created a real popular cult, fostering a strong collective imagination. Among the protagonists of the event, together with the pilots from all over the world, the thousands of spectators who went to the Madonie to watch the race perched on the curves of the circuit and the inhabitants of the towns crossed by the race, who still today retain memory of the social value and cultural experience of the annual appointment, which is an integral part of their lives. The race gave world fame to the territory, changing the morphology of the landscape and bringing to the Madonie, an area certainly not central to the Italian and Sicilian panorama, international prominent personalities. The Targa Florio was not, in fact, just a car race but a traditional meeting point between nobility and people of high culture, and then became a pole of attraction for enthusiasts from all over the world.

Numerous museums celebrating the Targa Florio, curated and promoted by local communities, are now present in the Madonie area.


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