With the Formula 1 season now past the half way mark, a trip to Italy marks the start of the finishing straight for those battling it out for the 2014 title.
The Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo di Monza is sure to light up the first weekend of September once the Championship moves on from Belgium over the coming weekend.
At the top of the drivers’ standings it is currently quite tight, with only 11 points separating the Mercedes pairing of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
However, there is a large gap between them and the chasing pack, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo the closest to challenging the leader, a whopping 71 points behind.
The gap is hardly surprising though, given that the Mercedes pairing have claimed victory in nine of the 12 races to date this year.
While the standings may change following the Belgian GP, Formula 1 fans can travel to Italy being certain of one thing – a Mercedes driver will be leading the way regardless.
Racing at Monza
Monza is a fantastic spectacle for any Formula 1 fan, as it requires speed and skill from every driver who takes to the track.
But it is not without its dangers either, as the mix of long straights and tight chicanes has caused many of the sport’s finest to crash out.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel claimed victory last time out, while Lewis Hamilton did well to recover from numerous technical issues to claim ninth.
The circuit has been changed quite a few times since construction first began back in 1922, but it remains a track that encapsulates all that is great about the sport.
The Italians refer to it as “La Pista Magica”, the magic track, and those that visit will see why.
The track at Monza lies just north of Milan in the heart of Northern Italy, providing racing fans with plenty to see and do away from race day.
Famed for its fashion and architecture, Milan is also home to a number of museums, theatres and other landmarks which attract more than six million people every year.
Among them is the Santa Maria delle Grazie, a church and Dominican convent that contains the mural of The Last Supper by artist Leonardo da Vinci.
Milan Cathedral – the fifth largest in the world – is one of the most stunning pieces of architecture in the city, but that is to be expected given that it took nearly six centuries to complete.
The spectacular San Siro stadium – home to city rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan – is also a sight to behold, and is why more than 50,000 people visit it every year outside of match days.
Funding a trip to Monza and Milan
Travelling with a prepaid travel card can provide money to spend without the need to carry lots of travellers’ cheques or foreign currency.
With a prepaid card you can only spend the amount which is on it at any given time, making budget management possible, although it can be topped up if you so wish.
Additional security exists on these cards, while the exchange rate seen will be the one when the original transaction took place – providing protection should the exchange rate vary dramatically during a trip.