A COMPLETELY TRUE AND NOT AT ALL MADE-UP HISTORY LESSON
ALFA ROMEO STELVIO
The Italians are good at many things - fashion, music, building oval amphitheatres and making hand gestures. And they live in the most beautiful country. They seem to have it all figured out.
Or do they? Let me tell you a story. After they've created the most special and aesthetically exquisite cars in the world, the Italians also thought about building a proper road for them - maybe driving around the Colosseum all day was a bit exhausting. And so the Stelvio Pass was born. Not one bit of that was true, but for the sake of this tale, do indulge some small changes.
Maybe looking at this beautiful picture might help you forget the fact that almost everything you've read so far is a lie.
After finishing the 75 hairpin turns and the bits between them, the Italians were mighty proud of their work and decided this was the best road in the world. And so they brought their cars and drove around the Stelvio while listening to Jimmy Fontana.
Until one rainy day, when Giacomo came running down the main hallway of The Secret Italian Society of Automotive Perfection headquarters and entered what was their celebration party. 'What is the meaning of this, Giacomo?', the boss asked. Yes, he spoke perfect English. 'Signore, I'm afraid there's a problem.' Il capo urged him to reveal the issue. 'The Romanians also built a road.' The bosses started laughing. 'Non è divertente, signore. È vero,' Giacomo replied.
This is the actual and unaltered and absolutely true story of how Transfagarasan became the best driving road in the world. In all fairness, the Italians are excellent at a lot of things and I cannot end to show my appreciation and love towards them and their country.
This photo is intended make the transition to today's car much smoother.
Alfa Romeo is my favorite car maker and the Giulia Quadrifoglio happens to be the closest to my heart at the moment. This vehicle is like a bottle of old Chianti made from the most precious Tuscan grapes or like spending an evening at a restaurant in Rome. I suspect it was designed by using some of Michelangelo's car sketches.
What's certain, however, is the fact that the Italians have made, by keeping the same platform of this godly looking car, an SUV. The trend is not new; their approach towards this type of vehicle is. And, until proven contrary, I will think and hope it's as brilliant as it looks. It's a shame though it has to carry the name of the second best driving road in the world.
There's also a post scriptum.
PS I think I've just solved Dacia's marketing approach for the next five years. Naming their new SUV the Dacia Transfagarasan instead of the Duster might turn out to be pure genius. Just one tiny and insignificant detail might stand in the way of my otherwise brilliant idea - foreigners might find it hard going to a showroom and actually ordering the car by its name.