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Miataland: paradise for MX-5 lovers
Life in Italy’s Umbria province is seductively slow. A warm breeze ruffles fields of sunflowers, olives and corn on hills dotted with rough stone villas. Little ribbons of blacktop connect its small towns, where old men sit placidly on wooden benches, children kick footballs against alley walls, and giggling teens share slices of pizza. The tiny village of Piedicolle, 30 km south of Perugia, is not much different. But what’s around the corner certainly is…
Andrea Mancini, 45, is possibly the world’s biggest fan of the MX-5 Miata. He fell in love with Mazda’s legendary roadster the moment he first saw one at the 1990 Fiera di Roma, and today, owns an astonishing 30 models. Now, he has opened Miataland – a country hotel located on the fringes of Piedicolle, where guests can not only recharge their batteries, but also enjoy navigating this scenic region in one of his beloved cars.
Miataland is set in five hectares of fruit trees and wooded trails, with a 200-year-old villa at its heart, and a contemporary new building flanking an inviting infinity pool. A cavernous wooden ‘hangar’ houses 18 of Andrea’s favourite cars, from a mint 1993 Eunos M2 1002 to the rare 2010 MX-5 OpenRace Italia. There are some real fire-breathers too, like the insane 1993 Mega Monster with a 5.0-litre, 400 bhp V8.
Miataland is as much a place as it is one person and his passion. Andrea is a fount of MX-5 knowledge, with every detail of not only his cars but the model’s entire history ready on his lips, and shares this readily on forums and fan clubs. Every keyring, accessory and piece of authentic literature that he owns tells a story of painstaking obsession. He spends a huge amount of his time driving, maintaining, restoring and discussing his cars – not to mention always keeping an eye out for the next addition to his collection. (With 2015 seeing the launch of the all-new ND, this year, at least, it was an easy decision.)
For Mazda fans heading out on holiday, who fancy infusing their dose of relaxation with the pure joy of driving a responsive sports car on winding backroads in a beautiful country, there can be only one choice for their next destination: Miataland.
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