The 15th Etna Meeting of the Fiat 500 Club Italia in Catania on September 11 and 12, 2021
Fiat 500 Etna Meeting 2021
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was uncertain for quite a long time whether and in what format the meeting would take place. But in the end, the Catania section of the Fiat 500 Club Italia gave the go-ahead for the 15th Etna Meeting in honour of the little Fiat 500, co-organized by our dear friend Davide Cappadonna, Vice-President of the Fiat 500 Club Italia and board member and representative of its Catania section. But as with the weekend of September 11 and 12 approaching, the Covid-19 situation in Italy became more and more uncertain. Davide thus warned everybody in good time that, depending on the regulations in effect on that weekend, there could be changes at short notice to the programme schedule that had actually been fixed early on. Despite this rather uncertain situation, our colleague Andreas made his way to Sicily because he had “already planned a few days’ holidays” and “of course wanted to take this opportunity to drop in on the meeting,” as he put it.
In 2006, the 1st Fiat 500 Etna Meeting had counted 80 cars, at the last “regular” one, there were more than 300. Due to the unclear legal situation, Davide and his fellow organisers in Catania decided to limit the number of participants to 150. Contrary to what was originally assumed, it was not so much Covid-19 that threatened to ruin the event, but rather the weather. After all, heavy rain was forecast for Saturday, so they needed a plan B.
Andreas credited the quick solution to this problem to the “unbelievable Italian art of improvisation”, thanks to which at least a joyride was finally planned for Sunday. “In the end, the organisers were very quick to agree on a possible route with the local police,” he told us. The next day, in “glorious sunshine”, a surprisingly large number of Fiat 500 enthusiasts gathered with their five-hundreds, lined up in Piazza Università in front of the University of Catania and then passed the Duomo (see videos) on their way to Belpasso, a suburb of Catania. In a woodland area nearby, at the foot of Mount Etna, it was time for a big picnic.
Despite the programme being much shorter than at previous events due to the Covid-19 situation and the weather, the 15th Fiat 500 Etna Meeting was a total success and some even spoke of a “Garlenda del Sud” as Andreas learned in convivial company. According to Davide, it is planned to hold the 16th edition of the event in September 2022 in its former format. Andreas has of course saved the date for what will probably be the largest Fiat 500 meeting in Italy second to Garlenda. “This trip will be worthwhile under any circumstances!” he told us, his eyes sparkling with anticipation.