Exploring Rome in a Vintage Fiat 500
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