For many fans of the Mini Cooper or the original 1969 film of the Italian job, a perfect holiday would be to visit some of the amazing locations used in the film on a classic MINI road trip.
For those that don’t have a 1960’s MINI Cooper, you can hire the new style minis from a number of UK outlets and get yourself the new Cooper S. Fans of the film will know that its not possible to drive in all the locations the original three MINI’s were seen in the movie.
They drove through shopping arcades and sewers, across rooftops down church steps during a wedding and up a ramp into a coach! There’s even a deleted scene where the red, white and blue MINIs ice-skated to ballet music on an indoor Ice Rink. Apart from all these no-go areas a lot of the film locations can be visited and with a round trip from Turin around the challenging bends of the Italian-French Alpine roads. Perfect for a summer holiday in your favourite car!
This beautiful city with its baroque buildings, elegant squares,colonnaded walkways, Roman ruins, fabulous bars, art collections and glorious setting is a great place to use as a base. Its relatively inexpensive and easy to get around and there are many of the film locations to visit. The beautiful ornate curves of the Palazzo Carignano which now houses the National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento, was the location for the MINIs to be loaded with gold bullion. Palazzo Madama , housing the Municipal Museum of Ancient Art is the locationof the elaborate staircase they then rattled down. The manager of the Palazzo Madama was told there would be some large equipment used for the site but was horrified when 3 Coopers blazed in! Also visitors can stroll the two shopping arcades they drove through, Galleria dell’Industria and Galleria San Frederico. The domed Neoclassical Gran Madre de Dio on Piazza Vittoria Veneto is the church where the MINIs tear down the steps as the surprised wedding party look on. The final location visit, and the most exciting for motor buffs is the Fiat Factory where the innovative rooftop test track provided the location for the rooftop chase and 3 MINI jump. Naturally tourists are not encouraged to drive in any of these locations today!
Alpine road trip
The A32/E70 east from Turin towards Susa passes the town of Rivoli with its 12th century castle and crosses flat plains country towards the foothills of the alps. Turning north on the SP212 starts a mountainous journey, with challenging hairpin bends and incredible views as the road crosses the border into France. The famous ski resort of Val-disere is a good place to stop for a break and enjoy the breathtaking views over a coffee.
About 60 km from Val-Disere is Little St Bernard pass which was the location for the Jaguar and Aston Martin devastation and as crossing to the Italian side of the pass with its hairpin bends is where the minis were filmed exiting the coach.
The SS26 North-east from the pass leads to the A5/E25 towards Aosta. This beautiful valley over looked by the majestic Mont Blanc, with its many historic buildings is also the location for the tunnel in the opening sequence of the movie where the Lamborghini explodes so care is needed!
The A5/E25 then leads a leisurely drive through the east Piedmont region back to Turin for a well-deserved dinner. Much of this route through high alpine passes can be seasonally closed so its best to attempt during the summer months and check local reports for any closures.
- Distance: 358km (222 miles)
- Time: 7 or 8 hours with stops (5 non-stop)
Still wondering what a MINI car chase on an Ice Rink might look like? Check it out here