Pope Francis to give Harley-Davidson owners 'Biker Blessing' in Rome
The length of Via Della Concilazione will be turned into a giant bike park to accomodate bikers attending the blessing
Wednesday, 29, May 2013 09:53
Pope Francis I is to greet around 100,000 Harley-Davidson owners at the Vatican next month where he will give them a 'Blessing of the Motorbikes'.
Taking place between 13 and 16 June, the meeting, which involves a blessing in St Peter's Square on the final day, is designed to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the iconic motorbike brand, IBTimes reports.
The entire length of Via Della Concilazione is to be turned into a giant Harley-Davidson bike park, with space cleared for 1,400 bikes on the pedestrian piazza.
A 'Harley Village' is being planned for the ancient port town of Ostia, while a parade to the centre of the city and exhibits from bike vendors are planned across Rome.
Ken Ostermann, Harley-Davidson's international marketing manager, explained that the blessing had been arranged last year with Pope Benedict.
This blessing marks a remarkable turnaround for a brand that was once closely associated with the Hells' Angels.
Nowadays it is a household name with a more diversified presence, with a clothing brand, museum and factory tour. It is also now listed on the New York Stock Exchange.