The Targa Florio was a Sicilian mountain road race that, in 1906, gave birth to an era of motorsport still going today. Dreamt up by the younger son of a Sicilian Dynasty, Vincenzo Florio, it ran until 1977 and was considered both totally insane and an absolute must by drivers and manufacturers alike. Pistons Passions Pleasures A Sicilian Dream is a film that journeys into the heart of this story - exploring its intrigue and revelations. We’re taken on this journey with one of Italy’s preeminent dreamers…Francesco da Mosto.
Pistons Passions Pleasures A Sicilian Dream is a beautiful film that brings together the man, the race and the island. It takes us into the drama of the belle époque and the mountains and villages of a striking Sicilian landscape. It takes us into the thrills of an era defining race that’s too dangerous to run today, and into the hearts of the people who remember... and it tells of Vincenzo Florio - the philanthropist dreamer - who started it all, at his own expense...
The Belle Epoque (The Beautiful Age) coincides with the period of Edwardian extravagance so well depicted in the now famous TV series “Downton Abbey”. During this era at the turn of the 20th century, Paris was the epicenter of fashion and art, London of society and class, Vienna of intellectual activity. New York’s own golden age was based on money, that classic American value!
There was an ebullient atmosphere everywhere , decadent and magnificent at the same time, coinciding with the momentous changes brought by modern inventions including wireless communication the automobile, and the airplane. The privileged and moneyed classes enjoyed lives of extravagant luxury in sharp contrast to the desperate lives of the under classes, urban and rural. This contrast was even more evident in Sicily, where so many still endured medieval conditions. Palermo was one of Europe’s capitals of the period, visited regularly by royalty including the Czar of Russia and Germany’s Kaiser.
During those same years Vincenzo Florio, scion of Sicily’s leading family, created his eponymous race, the Targa Florio. He was only 23 when its first edition took place in 1906, but the honor committee included the presidents of the Automobile Clubs of the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Florio intended Sicily to be at the center of the blossoming new world of auto racing . He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, and his story is being made into a movie titled ”Pistons, Passions, Pleasures - A Sicilian Dream”. It will recount the early life of Vincenzo Florio and his friend and protege’ Felice Nazzaro, destined to become one of the greatest drivers of all time.
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