Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

We meet one of the historic characters of Tavarnelle in his natural habitat; long hair, tinted Ray Bans and cigarette in hand. He is waiting for us at Bar Italia, our meeting place where everyone knows him. While we are having coffee, everyone honks at him and calls him from afar. He has an answer for everyone.

Then we move to the place he considers home, although he doesn’t live there any more. He was born here, and it still holds his heart. We are at the roundabout of piazza della Repubblica, at one of the garages which carries his name: spread over via delle Fonti, they contain ”his toys”.

Beppino Ciuffi is 63 years old and still has the love of adrenaline in his veins and an unconditional passion for “wheels”, whether they be two or four. He was raised on bread and cars. He shows us a photo of a young Beppino with the first Ferrari that he found and fixed.

“Following the road of my father, Armando”, begins Ciuffi, “I have always been fascinated by motors. But generations change as well as ways of thinking; while my father preferred classic cars, I prefer them younger…like my women!”.

“Among cars made in 1910-1980”, he continues, “the ones from the 70’s and 80”s remind me of my youth, and I can still use them. The most beautiful is the Alfa Romeo, an Italian company. One of my garages is completely filled by Vespe (scooters), all different. I do my best to fix them”.

“I also have a grand love of races” he tells us “competitive races, opposed to timed races, put you directly against adversaries on the race course. You can feel the burn. But the environment entertains me the most: finding old friends and chatting about breaks, engine failure and wrecks”.

“With Luigi Mercatale”, says the heir of “Grasselli” (his father’s nickname) ” we won the Alfa Revival Cup in 2015. It is a European championship for Alfa Romeos. And, racing with a fast Alfa Romeo GT 2000 from 1971, we are winning this year as well”.

“I made a record in my class in the hilly race at Castellina”, he remembers, “ and won the Rally of the Fettunta four times in a row, from 1979 to 1982. After participating in the last edition with the navigator Cirillo (Franco Nelli), we are ready to win again”.

“ The single brand rally Un giorno con il Mito (A day with the Myth), is exciting” concludes Beppino “On June 12 we traveled the via Cassia, passing through San Casciano, Tavarnelle, San Donato, Castellina and Greve in Chianti. Alessandro Nannini, brother of the Sienese singer, Gianna, and ex-pilot of Formula 1, was there.”

Noemi Bartalesi