French and Italian Cars: Featuring the Monaco Grand Prix

May 20-27, 2019

Some of the world’s most legendary cars—Lamborghini, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Fiat—have been designed and built in the shadow of the Alps. Travel from Milan and Turin to the French Riviera and Monaco to explore this great tradition at prestigious design firms and exquisite private collections. It all culminates with a day at the Monaco Grand Prix, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a highlight for any car lover!

Highlights Include

  • Formula I Grand Prix de Monaco: Experience one of the most exciting and prestigious races in the world, an event steeped in glamour and legend. The longest-running and most difficult of Formula I races, it’s a supreme test of driving skills, technical excellence, and courage. Spend the day in Monaco and watch the race from reserved grandstand seats with up-close views of the cars.
  • Car Collections and Museums: Explore stunning collections of rare cars, prototypes, and other unique pieces at the award-winning Collezione Lopresto and Centro Storico FIAT. Trace the evolution of the automobile at important museums in Turin, including a curator-led tour of the Alfa Romeo Museum and Museo Nacionale dell’ Automobile.
  • Designers and Factories: Dive into car culture with special visits to Zagato and Pininfarina, which have designed cutting-edge auto bodies for some of the world’s most sophisticated sports cars.
travel deeper:

guide expert

Jonathan Stein

Jonathan SteinJonathan Stein is the Associate Publisher of Hagerty’s Magazine, although he may be best known for his 12 years at Automobile Quarterly. An automobile expert and collector for more than 30 years, Stein’s articles have appeared in numerous American and British publications. He is the author of three books: British Sports Cars in AmericaThe Performing Art of the American Automobileand Curves of Steel, and has edited many more automotive titles. Stein—whose specialty is European pre and postwar cars—has also judged at scores of concours, from Italy to California. He continues to write about automobile history and has penned stories on Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche and many of the other great marques. An avid follower of Formula 1, he has consulted for automotive auction houses and museums.


Day 1 – Depart the U.S for Milan

Day 2 – Milan

Arrive at Milan Malpensa airport and transfer to the Doria Grand Hotel for two nights.

This evening, meet your fellow travelers at a welcome reception and dinner at a local restaurant. (R,D)

Day 3 – Milan

Dive into Italian car culture with a special visit to Zagato. This historic company, founded in 1919, has designed autobodies for some of the world’s most prestigious sports cars, including Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, and Maserati, among others.

Then, discover the magnificent Collezione Lopresto, a private collection of vintage cars lovingly amassed and restored by architect and entrepreneur Corrado Lopresto. The award-winning collection includes a wide variety of rare cars, prototypes, and other unique pieces.

Enjoy the rest of the evening on your own in Milan. (B,L)

Day 4 – Milan to Turin

Depart Milan and travel to Turin, stopping en route to visit the Alfa Romeo Museum for a curator-led tour. Located in the former Alfa Romeo Arese factory area, the museum celebrates over 100 years of history of this famous line of cars.

In Turin, visit the Fiat Lingotto Test Track, famous for its rooftop racetrack. Cars being built at the factory would move up the floors until they finally emerged, completed, onto the roof and were taken for a high-speed test drive on the track. Although the Lingotto building is now a shopping and entertainment complex, the rooftop track still remains as a remnant of the building’s illustrious automotive past.

After lunch, visit the Centro Storico Fiat, a historic building that houses a collection of cars, mementos, and other items spanning Fiat’s long history. Enjoy a guided tour of the collection, which includes the first vehicle ever produced by Fiat, the 3 ½ Hp from 1899.

Check into the Grand Hotel Sitea in Turin for one night. (B)

Day 5 – Turin to Nice

Check out of the hotel. Before leaving Turin, visit the Museo Nacionale dell’Automobile, home to a collection of more than 200 cars and exhibits tracing the evolution of the automobile.

En route to Nice, stop at Pininfarina. At the forefront of automobile artistry, Pininfarina has designed cutting-edge bodywork for Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. See vehicle prototypes and learn about historic partnerships with automobile giants such as Lancia and Maserati.

Continue along the French Riviera to Nice and check into the Hotel Brice for three nights. (B,L,)

Day 6 – Nice

This morning, get ready for race day. Your Smithsonian Journeys expert will lead a talk about the fabled Monaco Grand Prix, one of the oldest courses in Formula 1, dating back to 1929.

In the afternoon, enjoy a private screening of the Qualifying Sessions to determine the all-important pole positions. Over drinks, discuss the intricacies of the race with your expert. (B,R)

Day 7 – Monaco Grand Prix

Today is the grand finale of our European automobile adventure: the Monaco Grand Prix. Depart by train to avoid the traffic, arriving mid-morning for brunch. Then, it is off to the races!

This legendary Formula 1 event is one of the most prestigious races in the world; experience all the excitement as the cars hurtle through the winding streets of Monaco along the narrow, treacherous course. The thrill of this supreme test of driving skill is equaled only by the glamor of the race, which fills this tiny principality with a party atmosphere as people gather on balconies for the best views or moor their luxury yachts as close as possible to the waterfront routes.

Spend the whole day here, enjoying the race from the grandstand at the trackside position with close up views of the cars and soaking in the festive ambiance. (B)

Day 8 – Return to the U.S.

Check-out of your hotel and transfer to the airport in Nice. (B)


Price Pre-tour Ext. Post-tour Ext. Occupancy
$6,995 Double
$8,690 Single

trip details

ADI Doria Grand Hotel

Milan, Italy

Located in downtown Milan just a few blocks away from the famous shopping along Corso Buenos Aires, the ADI Doria Grand Hotel features spacious and quiet rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and seating areas. The marble bathrooms are bright and come with modern amenities.

Number of nights: 2

Grand Hotel Sitea

Turin, Italy

In operation since 1925, the Grand Hotel Sitea is a luxurious hotel with historic charm in the heart of Turin. Guest rooms come with individually controlled air conditioning, satellite TV, complimentary high-speed and wireless Internet, hair dryers, and minibars. The elegant Carignano restaurant serves international cuisine as well as a Piedmont tasting menu.

Number of nights: 1

this trip

related tours