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Curated Classics: Seeing Milan With a Local in a Vintage Fiat 500


Fiat 500 experience with a local: Embark on a memorable adventure through Milan with Federico and his vintage Fiat 500 and savour the city in a new way. Prepare to turn heads and get countless pictures of yourself, as you experience Milan from this eye-catching vintage car, with a touch of timeless style.

Fashion, art, history, architecture — Milan overflows with cultural attractions. There are at least a dozen city sights that demand seeing, like The Last Supper fresco at Santa Maria delle Grazie and the humongous Gothic-style Duomo. Then there's the shopping, the gallery hopping, the wining and dining, the canals, the castles, and the list goes on.

But if you want an authentically Milanese adventure that takes you off the tourist trail, you'll want to add a city experience with Federico Vaccari to your list.

Federico — Fede for short — is a tourism designer and Milan native who, after 12 years abroad, is back in his hometown with a new lens on the city. His Fiat 500 Curated Classics Experience sees him in the role of storyteller-photographer, driving visitors around town in the real star of the show: his lovingly restored vintage Fiat, The Blue Special.

The Fiat 500 in question is a similar make (minus a few mods) to the car Ethan Hunt drives down Rome's Spanish Steps in "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One". It belonged to Fede's parents, who used to drive it only a few times per year, mainly during Vintage Fiat 500 Club reunions. He was admiring it in their garage after lockdown when inspiration hit.

"At that time, I was predominantly engaged in remote social-media marketing roles," Fede recalls. "I vividly remember feeling a strong sense of isolation and a yearning for more in-person interactions. Gazing at the Fiat 500, an idea struck me: 'My old lady, it's time to spread joy and share it with people.'"

His experience takes up to two passengers on a 2.5-hour joy ride around Milan related with Fede's favourite spots in which he grew up. He describes it as "a captivating journey through what I consider the most meaningful places for me that encompasses both the historical and modern vibrancy of the city".

The 1960s Blue Special measures roughly 160 cm across and features a sunroof, which facilitates, in Fede's words "a consistently breath-taking panoramic view". While it's not the most spacious or modern car out there, it's a fitting mode of transport for a journey through timeless Milan, plus its diminutive stature allows Fede to navigate through Milano's busy streets and take stunning pictures of his guests in wonderful and unknown spots.

Furthermore, Fede adds, "It's a captivating Italian vintage icon. It evokes a genuine sense of stepping back into the 1960s when you're inside. As you cruise around, you attract curious glances." How many experiences can promise you that level of cool?

One time, he and his passengers inadvertently drove through a film set on location in Milan, when the crew asked to film them. "Just like that, we found ourselves in a movie," he says. Another time, at the behest of a passenger, Fede was driving around to his own favourite Milanese haunts when the Fiat got a punctured tire. When Fede got out to change the flat, the guest, himself a car lover, asked if he could change the flat tire instead. "He was so happy," Fede says. "That part of the experience was the cherry on top."

While no two Fiat experiences look the same, they're all connected by the common thread of human interaction. Fede is a natural storyteller who genuinely loves talking to his guests, sharing experiences, perspectives, and personal life stories. The conversation flows easily, he says — there's no formula, just diverse cultures converging to create something beautiful.

"When you combine this with the holiday spirit of the guests, the charming vibe of the car, and the opportunity to go back home with a unique photo shoot, you instantly foster an atmosphere filled with joy, curiosity and happiness. In simpler terms: it generates a positive aura — and that's when the magic unfolds."

And the magic flows both ways. Fede loves waking up knowing he'll be meeting people from all over the world, from different backgrounds and cultures, who for a few hours will be sharing their lives with him. "I'm a part of it as much as my guests are, and this makes it so special," he says. "Isn't it beautiful?"

See the insider's Milan on your next stay at Avani Palazzo Moscova Milan Hotel, in your Fiat 500 Curated Classics Experience.