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5 ways to sightsee with a vintage Fiat 500

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Have you ever dreamed about zipping around in a vintage car in the hills of Tuscany pretending to be in a cheesy yet romantic movie based in the 1950’s where everyone clothes stayed crisp in the hottest temperatures (makes you sort of imagine that everyone must have had some serious body odor) with Frank Sinatra’s Moon river playing in the background. Yep me too. Trust me, just because you might live in the living history book that is Italy – you really never stop dreaming about the fantasy of it all, at least I don’t, especially on the weekends. 

While my non ability to get an Italian drivers license {pure laziness} has hindered me from so far getting my own vintage car, well that… and the lack of the income to purchase one as well, anytime I can be in a car escaping the stress of the city is a damn good day.

When the opportunity came to zip around the countryside in a vintage Fiat 500 from the 1960’s with the 500 Touring Club, I jumped faster than you can say ‘double clutch’ in Italiano. The weather of course predicted rain that day, but since the weather man lately really isn’t really my bestie – I tossed his debbie down news aside and pretended that I couldn’t see the rain pouring sideways outside my window.

Allora, What’s the best way to enjoy a vintage car tour in Italy?

Here are my 5 top tips to making the most out of a fun Saturday in a vintage Fiat 500 in Tuscany. 

1. Don’t get lost finding the meeting point in your non-vintage car

Weather aside, me and Nico, mt French partner-in-crime, made our way to the clubhouse meeting point at Villa Le Piazzole to meet my fellow bloggers, AlexandraTianaLisa and Alessandra , plus the  500 Touring club team and ... of course – the new love in my life {don’t get jealous Nico} – Topsy!

Now we are no strangers to Fiat 500’s, my partner-in-crime Nico actually has the new version of this ancient car and we couldn’t resist taking a side-by-side ‘old and new’ comparison shot with the two red Fiat 500’s that I wish were both mine. They do share similar characteristics and though they seem small, they actually have more leg room than you might think which is great since I am literally all legs.

Say hello to the “nonno e bimbo” of the Fiat 500 world, we love them both!

Who are the faces of the 500 Toursing club? Beppe & Andrea are the proud owners of this fleet of tiny, jewels of the Italian car scene, along with Lindsay, a Californian girl who I instantly loved as soon as she mentioned the nickname for her ex-boyfriend – Cazzatore (a mix between ‘hunter and asshole}. 

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2. Fall in Love

Who is this mysterious lady, Topsy, with an edge and ivory exterior? She’s all class and knows it. Andrea described her to us as the ‘romantic’ type, born in 1967 and a lover of travel and celebrations. Naturally she is often rented out for events and weddings. She only cost 475,000 Lire (the equivalent to 245 Euro now) back then but she quite certainly is no cheap date.

Topsy and I soaking in a bit of Tuscany

Future sunglasses advertisement in the waiting? Well, that’s what I tell myself

3. Embrace fear or as I like to call it, the double clutch

Everyone driving had to have a quick lesson before departing and I was more than happy to be a passenger since it had been some time since I have handled the dreaded double clutch. Ok its really not that bad, you just have to think of changing the gears as ‘one and a half’. Plus, the inside console of the Fiat 500 is really cute!

Ironically, the actual tricky part about driving these cars wasn’t even the clutch, but the light brakes. Luckily we managed to make it in one piece while driving in the beautiful countryside surrounding Galluzzo and Impruneta. 

Of course being in these cars attracts a fair amount of attention and to either Nico’s delight or horror, I decided to yell ‘Buongiorno’ and wave at everyone we passed in our fiat. Yep, I was that girl.

4. Partake in an olive overdose! 

Our first stop was an olive oil farm, for a traipse in the still dewy grove with Domenico, our friendly guide. We took cheesy photos by the olive trees and tasted some fresh olio nuovo – olive oil which he sells for 10 euros a bottle. There is nothing in this world that I love more than a little toasted bread, rubbed with garlic, topped with fresh olive oil and sprinkled with a little salt. Food of the gods.

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Next stop was Agriturismo Inalbi to see the olive oil press. We were warned in advance that the workers could be a bit grumpy {after all pressing olives isn’t exactly childs-play} but what I wasn’t expecting was this guy who seemed to be staring into oblivion as he worked the machine, perhaps he too was imagining a slice of hot Tuscan bread covered with the olive oil he was helping to produce. One can only wonder..

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Imitating grumpy cat or ….future Italian soap star?

5. Shut up and drive

How a Rihanna song title managed to end up in this blog post? I couldn’t help myself. We got back into our cars and by this time, confidence was at an all time high. We mastered the double clutch, found an easy rhythm, had our romantic moment while driving back to Villa Le Piazzole for lunch in the cantina with the gang.

Because you all know how much I embrace a bit of #foodporn, close your eyes and picture copious amounts of red and white wine locally produced, bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, salami, prosciutto, my favorite pecorino and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese with local honey and even a little dessert wine. The perfect way to wind down an awesome afternoon with great people and my favorite kind of cozy ambiance.

picisto-20131113192400-996545It was really nice to catch up with the other bloggers and have a chance to get to know Beppe & Andrea. I find their passion for Fiat 500’s addictive which sparked chatter about my future plans to hopefully obtain an Italians drivers license {a horrible-terrible-not-fun process} and Andrea graciously offered to help me find a Fiat 500 to buy if I wanted one.

I could just see myself zipping around in Florence and shocking people in that such a tall person like myself could actually fit in this tiny car. Would be quite the change from the three-wheeled car I’ve driven in the past. Four wheels is already an upgrade!

Think this sounds fun and want to be a vintage Fiat 500 driving badass? You can find the 500 Touring Club via their website, facebook or instagram. They offer a variety of tours with these amazing Fiat 500’s from villa cooking tours, wine making tours, picnic tours and more, plus you can rent the cars for special events or just to look cool for a day. This was absolutely one of the best afternoons I have had in Tuscany this fall and I cannot thank Beppe, Andrea and Lindsey enough.

Arrivederci but never goodbye ;)

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