The historic Monza circuit has been home to the Italian Grand Prix in all but one Formula 1 season, with the dedicated tifosi always supplying an atmosphere to remember, whether a Ferrari driver wins or not.
Monza is one of the oldest race tracks in the world. Situated within the largest city park in Europe, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza opened in 1922. After a troubled early history, with a high number of fatalities, Monza became host to F1 in the series’ first season. A 10km layout of the track, using a banked oval, was used in the late 1950s, but a further spate of fatal accidents saw the organisers revert to a shorter non-banked circuit.
While the banking is still visible as a reminder of the past, the current 5.8km track is much safer for drivers and fans alike. The track may have changed a lot over the years, but its stature as ‘the temple of speed’ remains – with Kimi Raikkonen setting the fastest ever lap in a Formula 1 car for pole position last year, with an average speed of 262 km/h.
The devoted tifosi descend on the track year after year to support their beloved Ferrari team, giving the weekend a special atmosphere. Its late place on the calendar in F1’s formative years means plenty of World Champions have been crowned here – including Giuseppe Farina, the first champion, in 1950.
Universally loved by drivers and fans alike, it’s no surprise that the track has been ever-present on the calendar, aside from in 1980, when the Italian Grand Prix moved to the Imola circuit while Monza underwent renovation work. A new contract was signed this year that guarantees Monza’s place on the Formula 1 calendar until at least 2024.
The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is located in the grounds of Monza Park, 16km north of Milan’s city center.
The closest and most convenient airport for a trip to Monza is Linate (LIN), which is just 8km to the south east of Milan’s city centre. Malpensa (MXP), located 40km north west of the city centre, and Bergamo Orio Al Serio (BGY), located 45km to the east of Milan, are other options.
How to get to Monza:
Train/Shuttle Bus: From Milan, the easiest way to get to the circuit is to take a 20-30 minute train journey from the center to Monza railway station and then take the shuttle bus to the circuit. Be warned that this requires some walking, however. The shuttle bus will drop you off around a 20-30 minute walk to the circuit entrance.
Drive: Driving yourself to the track is an option, however, be aware that the local streets around the circuit are closed on Grand Prix weekend, so you’ll be directed to one of the car parks outside of the park. Browse car rentals in Milan with Rentalcars.com.
Taxi: Licensed taxis and Uber rides are an option to get to the circuit, but beware of traffic adding to journey times on event weekends.
Bus: The Z221 bus service from Sesto San Giovanni train station in the north of Milan will take you to the circuit. Get off the bus at Biassono, close to the circuit gates.
With limited options for staying close to the track other than camping, staying in Milan, 15km south of the Monza circuit, is your best option.
Camping Autodromo is located right next to the first corner at Monza and is the circuit’s official campsite. For the Grand Prix weekend, Esterna GP Village, located near the Lesmo entrance, is another option.
If you’re looking for hotels with good transport connections, you can’t go wrong with Sesto San Giovanni, a northern suburb of Milan located equidistant between the city center and the circuit. Grand Hotel Barone Di Sassj and Grand Hotel Villa Torretta Milano are both four star hotels located within walking distance of metro stations in this area. In the city center itself there are a wide selection of hotels within similar distance of metro and train stations. Further afield, Bergamo or the Lake Como area are worth considering, if you don’t mind a longer commute.
Ostello Costa Alta is a great option if you’re visiting for smaller events. Located within the Monza park, the guest house is just a two minute walk from the circuit.
Go behind the scenes at the “Temple of Speed” with a Guided Tour
About: guided tours of Monza include visits to all the back-stage areas at the home of the Italian Grand Prix, including the Media Centre, Race Control, Paddock and Pits building. You’ll also be able to stand on the podium for a photos.
When & where: tours must be booked in advance. Meet at the Info Point, located on the inside of the circuit, where you will also find a circuit shop. Open every day from 10:00-18:00.
Cost: €10 for regular tour, €15 for tour + lap of the circuit by minivan or bicycle (circuit time is subject to track availability)
Monza offers regular track days and driving experiences throughout the year
Track Days: Monza offers regular track days where you can drive your own car on the circuit; 25 minutes of track time costs €70 and you will need your own helmet (or you can rent one for an additional €5). Click here for more info and upcoming track day dates.
Driving Experiences: Puresport organizes regular events at Monza throughout the year. A range of cars is available: you can drive everything from Ferrari and Lamborghini sports cars to single seaters or even a Formula 1 car. Check dates and find out more here.
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