34th edition of the International 4x4 meeting of the City of Gradisca, 7-8-9 December 2019
The inevitable appointment with the legendary "International 4x4 City of Gradisca Gathering" reaches its 34th edition, and can be considered a conclusion of an interesting 2019 national off-road season. The appointment for traditional grand tour is scheduled for Sunday 8 December but the off-road, sports program and tourism prepared by the GFI organization Alpe Adria is also extended to the entire weekend with multi-day initiatives. The "Gradisca event" has its roots back in 1985 with the first, timid participation of 30 enthusiastic crews. In the following years, thanks to the growing proposals of the automotive market that made 4x4 vehicles increasingly popular, important numbers of crews were reached exceeding a large share of around 500 and up to a record peak of 853 recorded in 2003. The gathering even has a “Guinness Record” certification of a total, to date, of 18,098 participants, making this the most attended and long-lived 4x4 event. From recent editions the number has settled to well around 600 vehicles that meet in the beautiful square of the city of Gradisca d'Isonzo (located in the North / East of Italy just a few kilometers from Gorizia and from the border with Slovenija), to savor in a simple, fun and above all affordable experience. The wonderful central square of the Isonzo city has always welcomed off-road vehicles of all kinds, from the historical to the latest models on the market, from those that are well prepared for off-road, to those SUVs more aligned for road use, with clear specific itineraries available to participants of all vocations. The off-road segment has always been heterogeneous: from 4x4 beginners to discipline veterans, many together with families with even very young children, all together, to celebrate their fascinating day off-road. It should be noted that a several hundred units, and always increasing in numbers, are the participants coming from abroad (about 38% of the total, thanks, above all, to the positive word of mouth that is renewed from year to year), in particular from Mitteleuropa, crews that taking advantage of the event enjoy a long weekend visiting the many Friulian companies and appreciating the renowned products, especially those dedicated to local DOC wines. Registration will be open from the morning of Saturday, 7 December until late morning on Sunday 8, while access to the parking lots in the city square will be available from the early afternoon on Saturday. The official start of the grand tour will take place at 8.30 am on Sunday, 8 December with the start of the event given by the local authorities and the inevitable Miss Friuli Venezia Giulia 2019. Only at the start, just before getting on the ramp, will the road-book be delivered (for foreigners there will be an English version) including the “tourist base” route and the “average moderately demanding route”, easy to read and beginner-proof because there are always many who choose the Gradisca event for their initial 4x4 experience. The first course, the basic one for tourism, is shown on the white sheets, with about 120 km of easy dirt roads and indicated for SUVs and for those who are beginners in the world of 4x4; will cross the Friulian plain, the famous Collio region entering the territories of the Cividalese with a small optional detour in Slovenia that does not foresee any formality in crossing the border; obviously some slightly demanding but always optional "technical variants" are foreseen. For lovers of traditional off-road there will be a moderately challenging track, drawn on the yellow sheets of the road book, integrated for the "hard and pure" with optional variants even more "tough" (on colored sheets and with reports on the grade of difficulties, the characteristics, the skills necessary for the 4x4 and above all indications to the pilots to tackle creeks, streams, fords, mudflats and forest tracks); nothing is prohibitive, the meeting is not at all a demanding test, but before tackling the variants it is good to know the fundamental aspects of the 4x4 guide, to which must be added a fair amount of prudence. Starting with the breakfasts offered in the square before the start, the abundant and appreciated refreshment stops will follow (on average 3-4 but you can also touch 5 points), with free access and availability of local food and wine delicacies, located along both routes at renowned Friuli companies. The organization strongly recommends everyone to be careful, and not get too carried away from the euphoria of the day; it is important never to forget the Highway Code and the good rules of moderate and safe driving which are certainly appreciated by the locals with whom it is necessary to share the busy motoring day. As a tradition, all the routes will be cleared in advance with the cutting of the protruding shrubs, so as not to ruin the 4x4 bodies, even of considerable size. It is not necessary to respect any travel time, indeed, in order to better appreciate the event and for the very image of the off-road discipline, the organizers recommend moderate travel speeds along all routes, respecting nature and artifacts, always giving signs of courtesy to others. Late afternoon is expected to return to the central square of Gradisca for the awards; up for grabs interesting awards for the participating clubs and for the winners of the various cultural-sports trials. For all there will be a souvenir plaque, a diploma with photos and information for receiving the official video of the event. The City of Gradisca 4x4 foresees collateral events by extending the cognitive offer of the territory on off-road routes: ▪ Saturday afternoon, 7 December and Monday morning 9 December will be available historical-cultural and food and wine programs in the karst area with guided visits to some sites of the First World War; it will be possible to reach through short and simple off-road routes with a visit to a local cantina, an adjoining historical park and with wine and local products tasting. ▪ Sunday 8 December it will be possible to integrate the rally route with rally-slalom trials (without additional fees but it will be necessary to make specific and early contact with the organization). The cost of participation is € 170.00 per crew, whatever the number of its members, including all refreshments. In case of very bad weather, the rally could be postponed (imposed by common sense and by the Authorities in charge of issuing permits), to Sunday 2 February 2020 with communication published on the sites www.gradisca4x4.com, www.gfi4x4.it, www.fuoristrada.it facebook Gradisca4x4 by Thursday 5 December. It is advisable for hotel reservations to make direct agreements also for a possible postponement of the event. Official sponsors of the event are: Jeep, BFGoodrich and Mobil 1; Also present will be the brands Lubriservice, Fiorese Group, Dentesano, Cassa Rurale Friuli Venezia Giulia, Euro4x4 Parts, Off Road, ZC 4x4, Elicar, as well as institutional ones such as the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Fondazione Carigo, Turismo FVG and several Municipalities among the 32 in which the paths of the gathering extend. For information: firstname.lastname@example.org tel. 0481-960860, cell. 347-5384222, 347-8955598, 338-6002790, +39 348 5251632 (english).