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Diaries: AROC MY & SG Trip to Italy June 3rd to 12th 2006
Day 1 - Jun 3 - Saturday:
The AROC SG team of 6 left Changi by air to KLIA at 8pm and met with Yazid and AROC MY team at 9.20pm. Bismi and Othman & family was on hand to see us off. Flight was good and comfortable.

Day 2 - Jun 4 - Sunday:
Arrived on schedule in Rome. The receiving party from our ground transport was on hand and see us thru. Outside - we met with Ron+partner who had been in Rome for 1 night. Bus journey from Rome to Turin was just great with the regular pit-stop every 2 hrs. Lunch on the road R&R is simple fun too. The group of 12 had the usual AR talks and plans for the Teh Tarek in the hotel - our style.

Ground temperature is perfect - 19deg C and dry. Finally cought hold of our driver - Antonio (origin from Naples) and proceed with the journey. Rome to Turin is 671 Km by road and we finally arrived at 4.30pm having left Rome at 7.30am. It was certainly bright till 9.30pm but with all shops closed - being sunday - few of us slept from afternoon till Mon morning.

The bachelor group (5 of them) went out looking for honey with money and got to the place far too early as the night life begins only after midnight and peak time is at 2am instead of 10.30 back home.

Mon - Jun 5 - Pininfarina SpA Plant in S Giorgio:
The drive to the location is actually near - 48Km but our driver took us south to Chivasso before recovering and heading back north and we were late by 1/2 hr. Upon arrival the bus was led to the receiving party of 3 handsome guys from the Pininfarina Group. Alberto Sella then presented the History, Capabilities, capacities, successes and future insight to how Pinifarina would be heading. They showed couple of new developments with the Asian Car Manufacturer in China and possibly back home too.

We then toured the Brera and Spider Plant proper and saw the actual assembly and their system. I had been here back in 2001 with the GTV/Spider production - comparing the 2 visits - they have improved and semi mechanised their production. Quality of workforce ie better and morale looks good. The assembly looks spot ON and success of prduction much higher. Target was set at 100 units per day for the cars.

Had to break away for luch and continued with the passenger drive in the newly completed car. Tried the 2.4JTD and 3.2 V6 T Phaser. The handling is so much better with the 3.2 Q4 and response superb. The engine growl is much more stronger than the old V6 on my other cars. Montoya led the pack with the test drive - should ask her filed report next. Brera carries the Designed by Bertone badge whilst the Spider has the Pininfarina badge.

Seeing both in the flash - Spider stands out better and would be The Car to own. Had already booked my 3.2 - can only look into the 2nd facelift Spider - 3 yrs from now.

Completed the tour with the exchanges of gifts and we are off to Milan - journey of 185Km and covered in 2 hrs. Unfortunately our driver took a scenic route and had to do lap times before reaching the hotel.

We spent the afternoon thru early evening - sightseeing, shopping and food. Good to have Ron as he provide the after dinner dessert and coffee. Retired after 11pm and can only update what our bachelors did the next day.


Tue - Jun 6 - Alfa Romeo Museo in Arese:
We left the hotel in Milan and head off to Arese - Alfa Romeo Museo. Greeted by the senior person from the Museo and also A. Magro - the Curator himself. We were given the guided tour and more insight to the museo. More inspiring news on how some models came into being. About 10 cars were not at its stand as they were being prepared for the Goodwood Festival in UK in late Jun/Jul.

As per previous visit - we received the souvenir package of the Museo guide, Alfa Romeo Tradition book and Alfa Romeo Tie Pin. No lunch as the place were being used for marketing team training that day. Some of the them got the real chance to sit in the race cars and be photographed with it. Truly special.

We left Arese heading for Venezia for the vacation break. Arrived in Venezia at 4pm. Hop into a water taxi as our hotel for the night was on the island itself. An experience as we get to savor the life as a venetian too. Shopping and photos were the order of the day. We came back in the early evening for dinner in the hotel as it was raining outside and very chilly too. Should have seen Ron - crouching at the bench whilst waiting for Montoya to secure that bargain purchase. Big in size but cannot take the cold...

Wed - Jun 7 - Venezia:
Island hopping after breakfast. We took the water bus to do the typical touristic scene - visited the Burano - for lace making and shopping followed by Murano - glass making. As usual - Ron only will make the mess of a trip. Declared that he dropped his ticket and got to buy a new one as his luck ran out - the ticket inspectors were on hand to do that inspection.

Left the island back to Mainland at 3pm and a slow journey by bus to Bologna. Checked into Park hotel in Bologna. We had our dinner in the room - Malaysia style menu. The boys head off to town to searched the team and we were told the score was even-out that night.

Thurs - Jun 8 - Lamborghini Factory Visit:
We left the hotel for S. Agarta - home of the Toros - Lamborghini.
Arrived and was shown the Museo. We toured the place on our own whislt the guide arrived. The guide then led us thru the factory floor assembling the Gallardo and Murceilargo. It certainly feels different as they run a total manual production as compared to semi-auto plant in Pininfarina.

Shopping in the Boutique is even better - 30% off from the listed price.
After shopping - lunch in the factory hosted by our friend - Rocco Basta.
After lunch - more photos and autograph signing followed by the gift presentation from AROC MY/AROC SG to Rocco.

The drive to Firenze was an experience as we passes thru lots of tunnels - as much as 3.5Km.

Arrived in Firenze at 4pm and we were out again shopping for foodstuff at Carrefour as part of our dinner needs.

Friday to Sunday Free and Easy

Mon - Jun 12 - Back Home:
The group arrived KLIA this morning. The SG group arrived home at 11+am after the shuttle flight.

Posted: TheTaj @ Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:02 pm


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