'Florio' is the surname of a prominent Sicilian
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 family who started many lucrative activities involving above all the exportation of Sicilian products (such as Marsala wine
Marsala wine
Marsala is a wine produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily. Marsala wine first received Denominazione di Origine Controllata status in 1969....

) in the nineteenth century.

Florio winery

Founded in Marsala
Marsala is a seaport city located in the Province of Trapani on the island of Sicily in Italy. The low coast on which it is situated is the westernmost point of the island...

 1832 by Vincenzo Florio Sr., the Florio winery has been in continuous Marsala wine production since then. The winery carries the emblem of a lion.

Motor racing

In 1906, Vincenzo Florio
Vincenzo Florio
Vincenzo Florio, Jr. was an Italian industrialist in the wine industry of Sicily, famous for establishing the Targa Florio race....

 created the Targa Florio
Targa Florio
The Targa Florio was an open road endurance automobile race held in the mountains of Sicily near Palermo. Founded in 1906, it was the oldest sports car racing event, part of the World Sportscar Championship between 1955 and 1973...

, one of the oldest car races in the world. The first Targa Florio covered 277 miles through multiple hairpin curves on treacherous mountain roads where severe changes in climate frequently occurred and racers even faced bandits and irate shepherds. Passing through many small villages, fans lined up along the roads with no protection from the race cars. The race was suspended in 1978 because of safety concerns. The race continues today with a different circuit as a minor racing event.
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