When was the museum built?
The Museum is dedicated to the ‘Red Arrow’ race and was brought to life by the Mille Miglia Museum Association. It was established in December 1996 by a group of Brescian businessmen known as the “Friends of the Mille Miglia”. The Association today has 50 shareholders.
The new Museum was opened to the public on 10 November 2004. Setting up this project involved restoring the Sant’Eufemia monastery complex, owned by the Brescia municipality. The property is of huge archaeological, historical and architectural value and had for some time been undergoing relentless degradation.
The Museum stands out from other automobile museums precisely because of its location at this hugely important historic site. The Mille Miglia Museum is the guardian of history there, telling its legendary story and providing living testament, day after day, to that period of the region’s past.
What you can find in the Mille Miglia Museum?
The Museum is not intended to be a simple archive. Instead, it aims to reconstruct this famous cultural sporting event, within the context of Italy’s vast history. The Mille Miglia Museum has been able to establish a collection of rare, four-wheeled gems, which it exhibits in its museum. This is all thanks to the devotion of private collectors and partnerships with other automobile museums, including a Cooperation Agreement the Mille Miglia has signed with the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The cars loaned to the Mille Miglia are arranged in the Museum before sets and backdrops that recall for visitors the various periods in which the race was alive.
The visit is divided into nine temporal sections, seven of which are dedicated to the Mille Miglia races from 1927 to 1957, one to the Mille Miglia from 1958 to 1961 and one to the contemporary Mille Miglia, and in each of these sections there are vintage cars , periodically replaced to allow them to participate in various historic car races, including the Mille Miglia. Inside the museum there are also some vintage petrol pumps on loan from the Fisogni Museum of the service stations, including an example of the Littorio-style petrol station designed by the architect Piacentini.
The race archives are kept at the Mille Miglia Museum. They contain around 130,000 documents that Reno Castagneto and his staff held at the Brescia Automobile Club between 1927 and 1957.
The Archives are an excellent resource for researching and studying classic car races as they contain all sorts of materials pertaining to the organisation of the races, including competitor registration cards, correspondence with the race teams and car manufacturers, standings, starting grids, tables, press clippings (including contemporary articles, newspapers and magazines) and the famous “Numeri Unici” yearbooks. Everything has been scanned and digitised so that the digital archives at the Mille Miglia can be explored via a search engine.
Where is the Mille Miglia Museum?
The Mille Miglia has an exclusive location: it sits within the Sant’Eufemia della Fonte monastery, which dates back to the year 1008.
Viale della Bornata, 123
25135 Sant'Eufemia (Bs)
Edited by Olivia