From June 13th to 16th, thousands of fans congratulated Harley-Davidson on its “hundredth” in Rome
Rome in a state of emergency: On the second weekend of June 2013, Harley-Davidson celebrated an exuberant birthday party with around 100,000 V-Twin, party and music fans in the “Eternal City” that amazed even the spirited Italians. The American motorcycle manufacturer has put in a lot of effort to make the European festival on the occasion of its “hundredth” an event of superlatives.
Harley riders from all over the world, a large number of Romans and onlookers with and without motorcycles didn't miss the opportunity to be there live. At several locations in and around Rome, they enjoyed everything - except boredom - with free entry and bright sunshine.
The heart of the event was the Harley Village in the port of Ostia.
A huge range of impressive entertainment awaited visitors there: free test drives , fascinating exhibitions about the brand and an impressive dealer mile that left nothing to be desired. And because good parties can hardly do without good music, no fewer than 32 cool bands provided the best sound.
Top acts like Mike and the Mechanics, Adam Ant, Bonnie Tyler and several other bands celebrated on two stages with their audience until late into the night.
In Rome itself there was also a lot of great entertainment at the second event location, the Foro Italico Village at the Olympic Stadium: This included the finest motorcycle conversions in the custom bike show, dealers from all over Europe and of course cool sounds for the ears.
See and be seen was the motto of the huge parade on Saturday. Led by Bill Davidson , the great-grandson of one of the company founders, the participants set off on 3,000 machines to the cheers of the Romans and countless tourists on the approximately 40 kilometer long journey past the Colosseum to the historic center of Rome.
The bikers even celebrated in the Vatican - with a Holy Mass in St. Peter's Basilica and with a unique event in St. Peter's Square: On Sunday, Pope Francis blessed thousands of Harley riders and 1,350 Harleys that were on the Via della Conciliazione and other streets directly on the famous square in the south of the Vatican City let the engines roar.
Harley-Davidson would like to thank everyone who made this anniversary so special and is looking forward to the next birth parties and the highlight of the anniversary celebrations from August 29th to September 1st in Milwaukee.
Text & Photos: Photo credits & Copyright Harley-Davidson 2013