Jo-Anne’s Travel Report – 2023 Italian Grand Prix

Jo-Anne travelled with her partner Paul to attend the 2023 Italian Grand Prix and tells us about her positive trackside experience at Monza.

  • Images & video by Jo-Anne. Additional images © F1Destinations.com

Overall, attending the 2023 Italian Grand Prix at Monza was a totally stress-free experience; we were amazed about how well it was all organised. We weren’t there last year, but it must have been awful for the fans [Learn More: Fans Unimpressed by Disorganized 2022 Italian Grand Prix]. It was positive to see that the organisers seem to have taken notice of all the criticisms and improved the areas that didn’t work last year, like token payments in the fanzones. As long-time F1 spectators, that was nice to see.

We travel as a couple, and we’ve been going to the Belgian Grand Prix for about ten years. At Spa, we have seen the organisation getting worse each year. It’s not fun for us anymore, that’s why we have decided to not attend the Belgian GP anymore. I associate Spa now with stress, heated discussions with security and bad traffic organisation. We experienced the complete opposite in Monza this year; that’s why we will probably also go back in 2024.

Image © F1Destinations.com

Arrival & Security Controls at Monza

This year at Monza, we only went to the circuit on Saturday and Sunday. We rented an apartment in Bergamo and travelled by car. I have a feeling that if you travel to the circuit from the direction of Bergamo (northeast of Monza), there is a lot less traffic on arrival and departure.

We left Bergamo at 7am on both days and it took about 40 minutes to arrive at Monza. We had no traffic at all on both days, except near the parking area, but even then, it was never more than a 10-minute wait. We parked at the green parking lot called Biassono – Lesmo. The parking fees have increased since we were here last time, but €30 EUR per day was justifiable given that we only had to walk about 5 minutes from parking to the security gates of the circuit.

We thought the security controls at the entrance were well organized. Stewards were around to guide people to the control lines, which prevented people from standing around and blocking the area. The controls themselves were easy. We suggest to really check in advance what you can take to the circuit and what you can’t. [Learn More: Trackside at Monza – 2024 Italian Grand Prix] It avoids any uncertainty and keeps the line moving. It was clearly mentioned in advance which items were allowed or forbidden. Arriving early in the morning (before 8am), we didn’t have any queue to enter the circuit. This compares with Spa, where you have to get to the gates at 5 or 6am and still have to queue!

Ascari 3 Grandstand

The walk from the security gate to our grandstand, Ascari 3 (Grandstand 12), was about 10-15 minutes. We arrived at our grandstand around 8:15-8:30am both days. We had already sat in Ascari 3 back in 2018, so it was a known quantity. We really like the views here; plenty of action to watch on the track at this corner, you have a big screen to follow the action, and the atmosphere is amazing! Even if you don’t cheer for Ferrari, you’ll end up doing it anyway :-)

We can only compare to 2018, which was already some time ago, but the price for a ticket in the Ascari 3 grandstand, and I guess most of the other grandstands at Monza, has doubled during this time. That’s the only small negative remark, as I know prices have gone up everywhere. [Ascari 3 (Grandstand 12) is priced at €501 EUR for the 2024 Italian Grand Prix]

Carlos Sainz takes pole at the 2023 Italian GP (View from Ascari 3 grandstand) – Video by Jo-Anne

Monza Trackside Amenities & Avoiding the Crowds

Here is one little thing that Spa does better. Each grandstand has its own toilets, and food and drink stalls. But we still can’t complain, there were toilets directly behind the grandstand and a small drink stall. The food stalls were also not too far away.

We prefer to take our own food and drinks anyway, as we find the trackside prices much too expensive. Though I must say that water was reasonably priced at €1.50 EUR, plus you could fill up your bottles for free at many spots. Sometimes they were busy, but you didn’t have to queue for long. If we go back next year, we will definitely choose Ascari 3 again.

Another reason we like the grandstand at Ascari is that this grandstand is well located to avoid most of the biggest crowds at the circuit. It is a personal choice, but we don’t like going to the fanzone or listening to pumping DJ music in the background for the whole weekend (Spa does a lot of this!) Our grandstand location at Monza made it easy to avoid all of this, which is one reason why we loved it so much!

Leaving the Circuit

Leaving the circuit was almost as easy as entering. It never took us long. Getting out of the took a bit longer than in the morning, but it was still quick. On Saturday, we were out in about 15 minutes. We encountered some delays getting on to the motorway, but compared to Spa it was nothing! Police and stewards were on hand in the parking area to guide the flow from each direction extremely well. It was a bit slower on Sunday, about 20 minutes to exit the parking and then a further 30-45 minutes to reach the motorway. Not bad for race day. I must say that we did leave the track immediately after the race. Perhaps those who left later had a different experience.

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