27.07.2005 After three months of travelLing, and covering 16,000 kilometers in their Fiat 500, Danilo Elia and Fabrizio Bonserio have reached Beijing

After three 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 18th July.

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 workshops.



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 Furniture Show).

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 reached Vladivostok.

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.

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A journey of over 20,000km, that will symbolically link Turin and Beijing, the next two Olympic capitals, has just started from Fiat's HQ in Turin with the legendary Fiat 500

© 2005 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed