La Belle Époque (The Beautiful Age) was the period of peace and prosperity enjoyed by the wealthy classes across most of Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, ended by the outbreak of the First World War.
Amidst an atmosphere of optimism, innovation and achievement in many spheres including technology, science, transportation and culture, the moneyed classes enjoyed a life of eases, comfort and indulgence.
Against this backdrop a young Sicilian nobleman with a passion for speed and flamboyance created one of the enduring legends of pioneering motorsport.
With vision nothing short of breathtaking, Vincenzo Florio turned his home island into a huge motor racing circuit – as the venue for the eponymous 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, as shown in this well researched and lavishly illustrated tome which features archive images as well as modern photographs showing some of the original vehicles reunited with the course they were pitted against over a hundred years ago.
This volume accompanies the release of the film Pistons, Passions, Pleasures: A Sicilian Dream featured elsewhere on this website.