Paella by the Spanish coast, a Mini speeding down a British country road, romance in Paris… There are some things in life that are so incredibly iconic that no matter how cliché they become, they will also remain utterly timeless. During my trip to Rome last week, I was lucky enough to explore the city in Italy’s most iconic mode of transport; the vintage Fiat 500.
Our tour took place on the first morning of our Luxury Link press trip and was arranged as part of the itinerary. We turned a corner and there they all were, lined up nose to tail in all their Italian glory. The fleet of cars were so colourful and made for a spectacular photo opportunity.
Waiting for us by the cars was a charming group of Italian gents, including our drivers, the owner of Fiat 500 Tours Alvise and our hilarious tour guide Luca. After posing in front of the cars in every way we thought possible (you can’t expect anything less from a bunch of journalists) we split into twos and selected our cars. My fellow journo Coco and I went for the crème de la crème and bagged ourselves the white soft top Fiat 500. Result.
As we hopped into the car I couldn’t believe at how TINY it was inside, it was genuinely like sitting in a miniature toy car. How was this thing going to actually move?! The cars dated back to the 1960’s but, to my surprise, still ran like clockwork. I couldn’t believe such an old car was able to whizz about with ease, and actually pick up some decent speed! 40mph to be exact.
The tour was designed to show us the ‘Hidden Gems’ of Rome, so instead of visiting the obvious sights, we made the most of our transport and covered some serious ground. Our first stop was at the peak of the Aventine Hill to discover the ancient San Alsemo church and it’s beautiful orange garden. Luca explained the history of the church and showed us a door that was ‘older than Jesus’, quite literally. Through the gardens we’re stunning views of the whole city of Rome and St Peters Basilica stood proud in the sun.
Other sights within the tour included the Circus Maximus (the ancient chariot racing arena), the Coliseum and we ended on the Janiculum Hill. This is where the Italian Military fire a blank canon over the city of Rome to mark that it’s 12pm. After the canon goes off, all the churches of Rome (and that’s a lot of churches) ring their bells for mid day. From the Janiculum Hill you can see the whole city and hear the many bells all echoing one another. It was a gorgeous moment!
Exploring the city of Rome in a Fiat 500 truly felt like a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience. Instead of being in a characterless air-conditioned tour bus, I got to discover Rome in it’s most iconic car, which really made me feel a part of the city. Ok yes, there were times I may have felt a brush with death from crazy drivers (hey it is Rome after all), but that’s what made the experience even more exciting and memorable. The drivers of the cars are fantastic, friendly and make you feel very safe. Not to mention Luca the guide had us in stitches the entire tour!
If you fancy seeing Rome from a whole new perspective and want to ditch the typical tourist trail, check out Rome 500 Experience.
What did you think of my Fiat 500 Experience in Rome? Comment in the box below and let me know! Jess x
This experience was provided as part of a press trip courtesy of Luxury Link
Truly Travelista Style – now that was a stylish form of transport…I have driven in Italy – albeit in the countryside (I thought my heart would stop about 100 times- the speed the locals travel…) the thought of zooming around the cobbled laneways of Rome leaves me breathless. If I ever feel brave enough a Fiat 500 is what I will choose…
Tiana (@TianaKaiMiami) says
So fun, it’s amazing how small those Fiats are!! Next time you’re in Rome let me know, so I can introduce you to an amazing tour guide…see Rome by way of vespa!
Your blog is awesome. May I connect with you on Twitter.
Holiday Velvet Rome says
What a very interesting and non-traditional way of touring the city. I can´t believe how tiny that car is! But I´m envious, your photos are great, and I´m sure driving around the uneven cobblestoned streets in that small and ancient vehicle provided a thorough and off-the-beaten-track tour of a lovely city!
This sounds brilliant and such a fun way to explore Rome! Plus the car is super cute!
The canon sounding sounds spectacular! and the little fiats are gorgeous. x
Oooh I’d love to discover an iconic city in an iconic car! Although you’re right, I don’t think I would want to be driving them in Rome… seems like a dangerous adventure 🙂
Taylor Hearts Travel says
This looks like great fun! I’ll have to try your Italian itinerary and you’ll have to try mine from last week 😉 x
Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren says
Those cars are just so charming. What a wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing.
Happy travels 🙂
Emma Charlotte says
What a lovely experience! I’m heading to Rome on friday and will definitely make sure to go to Janiculum Hill and admire the view. Great post thanks for sharing, followed you on bloglovin 🙂
X Emma | http://www.missemmacharlotte.com