Ape to Gentleman were recently asked by Alfa Romeo to “Find Your Passion”. The request of course tied in with the launch of their new Giulietta car; the updated version of Alfa Romeo’s popular and uniquely handsome hatchback. We’ve been advocates of related cars in the past; the Audi A3 and VW Golf, particularly the S3 and R versions, so the Giulietta was a welcome addition to our ‘have tested’ stable.
We were sent the top specification, turbo-charged Veloce model; a 240hp, 0-62 in 6s and 152mph beast. Adorned with an ‘Alfa White’ paint-job, 18” alloy wheels in titanium finish and an Alcantara leather interior with Bose sound system- the Giulietta was the perfect chariot for ‘finding our passion’.
With the Rio 2016 Olympics in full swing, a passion for sport and living in the Peak District- finding my passion was instantly apparent. A ‘Tour de Peak District’ if you will, taking in the sights on offer combined with the vast array of sports the Peak District’s lends itself to so well.
First up were some early morning lengths and Hathersage Swimming Pool– located in a village with a population of less than 2,000 but home to a 100ft x 33ft outdoor, public swimming pool. It’s an amazing location- outdoor but heated, with dedicated swimming lanes to turn up the fitness against a backdrop of the Peak District hills.
One sport you’ll notice plenty of in the Peak District is cycling. Mountain or road biking, there are cyclists a-plenty. The key reason for this is the hilly landscape, a true test for amateurs and professional cyclists alike.
We headed to Winnats Pass- west of the village of Castleton, in the National Trust’s High Peak Estate where the road winds through a cleft, surrounded by towering limestone pinnacles with an average gradient of 12% and regularly features in the Tour of the Peak cycle race each autumn. It’s a true test of physicality and mental strength.
The Peak District isn’t well known for its tennis proficiency but there are some fine clubs located in areas with outlandishly handsome backdrops. So we headed to the idyllic village of Ashover, partly inspired by Andy Murray’s historic second gold in the Olympic tennis event, and our own passion for sport- in any form.
It’s hard not to talk about an Alfa Romeo and use the word ‘passion’ but after spending nearly a week with the new Giulietta, it’s easy to see why Alfa drivers sing their cars’ praises. With Alfa Romeo’s reputation for unreliability almost eradicated by its parent company- Fiat Chrysler, Alfa Romeo offers something different to most other car marks (save for Ferrari). In marketing, it’s known as an emotional attachment. Choosing something with your heart, not your head. Okay, the Giulietta might not be as refined as an Audi A3 or VW Golf but in the same breath, it ticks basic boxes of reliability, warranty, tech- but then excels in heart (this is difficult to put into words), the Giulietta handled ‘as though it were on rails’ and beyond all else, its styling- there is nothing more handsome in its class.
Finding your passion is an Olympian pouring their heart and soul into an event that can last less than 10 seconds, for 4 years and more, their whole life perhaps. Or, my love of the handsome Peak District, sport and competing. Or, why I felt an emotional connection to the Giulietta- it’s inexplicable. We should all find our passion, whatever it may be.
This feature was written in partnership with Alfa Romeo UK, however all words and opinions are Ape to Gentleman’s own.