From Italy to Japan, from France to South Africa, Fiat united the nations on July 5th in celebration of the 500, the world’s motoring success story.
Athens, Budapest, Copenhagen, London, Milan, Munich, Palermo, Paris, Rome, Rotterdam, Tokyo, Valencia, Hel, Liège, Zurich, Cape Town (together with Johannesburg and Pretoria) were the chosen cities to host thousands of persons at specially created “500 Picnics”.
Why the 5th July? Quite simply because this date marked the first birthday of the ubiquitous Cinquecento. In South Africa this date took on extra importance as it was the first day that members of the public had the opportunity to view (and purchase) the 500 in their very own Fiat dealerships.
Ingredients common to all the picnics were music, art, fun and, of course, a passion for the Cinquecento – those invited were either 500 owners or those itching to get their hands on one!
In keeping with the 500’s iconic status, symbolic local sites like Table Mountain, the vineyards of Groot Constantia, and the Johannesburg Zoo were chosen as picnic venues. In keeping with the South African connection, 500 bottles of special reserve red wine, labelled Fiat 500 were produced in commemoration.
In Tokyo, the event took place along the ocean in Kasai Rinkai Park, where guests, together with an emerging Japanese artist, were able to create works of art with recycled materials.
In Rotterdam, the party was held on a boat, but the guests were able to show off their cars by lining them up along the quay. In Switzerland the party opened with a parade of FIAT 500s that left from various dealerships to reach the lake in Zurich. London hosted their event at the prestigious Alexandra Park, where guests spent a day of relaxation and good food, livened up with street games, sports, and music – the latter included the very ‘now’ pop group, The Crane Brothers.
All in all, “the car of the people, created by the people” celebrated its first year of life with its own “500 community”. And why not? After all, the idea of this grand party came from these same people and their yearning to meet each other, spend time together, and share their passion for a car that represents a true automotive icon, emblem of the excellence of Italian design, a national treasure of stories and significance that belongs to everyone.