months of travelling, and covering over 16,000 kilometers in
their Fiat 500, intrepid adventurers Danilo Elia and
Fabrizio Bonserio finally reached the City of Beijing on
Elia (32 years
old), and his partner in many previous adventures, Bonserio (33 years old), arrived in the Chinese
capital city almost exactly three months after leaving
Turin, having embarked on a journey underpinned by sheer
enthusiasm and indomitable spirit. The route connected the
next two Olympic Games host cities (Turin, 2006, and
Beijing, 2008) and their adventure truly summed up the
spirit of the games.
Their transport on this epic trip to cross two continents
was a 1973 Fiat 500 R, bought especially for this occasion.
The car is over 30 years old, and had already covered
thousands of kilometres on the streets of Rome. It was been
completely overhauled, and some mechanical components were
replaced with original spare parts, with the help of Fiat's
Danilo Elia, is a passionate traveller. He began when he
was an adolescent, crossing the whole of Europe from Bari to
North Cape; he has travelled from Moscow to Ulan Bator on
the legendary Trans Siberian Railway; he has toured Norway
by bicycle, Iceland by mountain bike, and Nepal by motorcycle,
and Tibet by 4x4.
Fabrizio Bonserio, 33, does not worry about details: East,
West, North or South, it is all the same! An untiring
driver, he has often accompanied Danilo. He has travelled to
North Cape, from Bari to Minsk and again from Bari to
Kaliningrad. He has spent long periods abroad, in the UK,
the USA and Lithuania.
Anxious and excited to be off on their amazing journey,
Danilo Elia and Fabrizio Bonserio left Lingotto and Turin
behind in late April, heading by both the major and minor
Italian roads, through Novara, to reach Milan a day into the
trip, where the pair visited the Annicinquanta exhibition at the Royal Palace, and the brand
new Fiat Café (inaugurated to coincide with the 2005
From there, they went to Verona, Treviso and then over the
border into Slovenia at Gorizia. They continued through
Eastern Europe, Hungary and the Ukraine, to the Russian border.
The current political unrest in Kyrgyzstan forced a change
to their route and they then passed through the Russian
cities of Kiev, Saratov, Astana, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk,
Cites, Khabarovsk, culminating in a long and difficult trek
across the inhospitable plains of Siberian until they
Eventually they passed through the
Great Wall of China and arrived in Tiananmen Square, with the
first Fiat 500 ever to reach Beijing by land from Italy.