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Continuing on my virtual tour across Italy. I turn my attention to another great Abarth Club situated in the Lombardy region, which is famous for its Medieval Architecture and Beauty.

Today, I got the chance to speak to Club President of Abarth Club Bergamo, Manuel Noris.

Manuel provided me an insight into life with the club, their proud history and their plans for the future. While it is currently a potential worldwide issue, he also touched upon the severity of Covid-19 that has hit the area putting club related affairs on hold until further notice.

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Photo Credit: @mjc_photography_official & @abarthchannel

Hello Manuel, thank you for taking the time to speak with me.

Can you let me know more about you, your role with Abarth Club Bergamo and what you’re currently driving?

Hello! I am Manuel and I am 29 years old. I live in the province of Bergamo.

I joined Abarth Club Bergamo as a member in 2014. During 2015 to 2018 I became one of the councilors. Then in 2018, with the establishment of an interim steering committee, I became Club President and I’m supported by other 4 people: 1 Vice-President and 3 Councillors. My current Abarth is a 595 Competizione 180CV pre-restyling 2016.

What about the history of Bergamo… how long has the club been going for?

Abarth Club Bergamo was founded in 2012 by a group of Abarth enthusiasts with some common interests: Engines, Cars and above all, the history of the brand founded by Carlo Abarth.

On April 2016 we became an official club recognized by Abarth.

In the last two years we’ve had a considerable increase in club membership (100 members this year) and we’ve become, not only a group of fans, but also an extended family, which is based on the main principles of the club: passion, friendship and respect.

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Photo Credit: @mjc_photography_official & @abarthchannel

What do you enjoy the most from being Club President for Bergamo?

The thing I like most is to create new ideas and new events every year, to help all the members live the passion for our brand.

Since your involvement with the club. What has been your biggest challenge to date?

The biggest challenge was to collect the club’s legacy from the past steering committee. We all couldn't imagine what was behind the management of a club. Subscriptions, event planning, paperwork etc. Now, looking at the results achieved, we are proud of what we’ve done and we'll continue on our journey with the same passion since it started.

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Photo Credit: @mjc_photography_official & @abarthchannel

Has there been a moment during your tenure that didn’t go so well?

Sometimes it has happened that an organized event hasn't been so satisfying, but the important thing is learn from those errors and try to eliminate them in future events.

I note that Italy has been featured heavily in the UK media regarding COVID-19. I’ve kept an eye on the various clubs across Italy witnessing many events being cancelled due to the outbreak. How have you and the club been coping with this and how much of an impact has this had within your area of the country?

Unfortunately the problem is very serious. Our area at the moment is the one with the worst situation. The Club had to cancel events that have already been planned for months. It was the correct choice though as our lived are far more important. If everyone has to stay at home this situation will pass and we will be back asap driving fast with our Abarth’s in the mountains.

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Photo Credit: @mjc_photography_official & @abarthchannel

After doing some research prior to this interview, I was made aware that Bergamo is known for its rich medieval architecture and beauty. If anyone was to visit Bergamo, what would you recommend visiting and could you tell us more about the area?

Bergamo is divided into 2 parts: "Città Alta", which is the highest part, rich in monuments and history. Then you have "Città Bassa", which is the most modern part. The most beautiful part is the one with more heritage, the one located in "Città Alta". Here you can find a lot of buildings and medieval places such as the square "Piazza Vecchia" and its tower "Torre Civica". The entire historic centre is surrounded by Venetian Walls, which have recently become UNESCO's World Heritage. I recommend a nice evening walk along the walls. From there you can see the whole city of Bergamo and all its night lights.

As for the landscapes outside the city centre, in our territory we are lucky to find roads that in a few kilometers can lead you from the landscape of the lake to the mountain passes where with our Abarth’s we can have so much fun.

Is there a particular event that you look forward to the most each year personally… and also for the club to be involved in?

The most important event that we’re waiting for is definitely the gathering that we organize every year, called "BerghemRing". That is a tour with all our Abarth’s between the valleys and lakes of Bergamo. Then we have the popular ‘Abarth Days’, the most important day for the whole Abarth community.

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Photo Credit: @mjc_photography_official & @abarthchannel

Have you had the chance to visit the Abarth Hub Headquarters? If so, could you tell me more about your visit and what you loved the most about it?

We have visited the Abarth HQ two years ago. It was a very beautiful day, rich in history and charm.

We could admire the evolution of the Abarth brand during its history. We plan shortly to return to see the new HUB area. Visiting the Abarth HQ is one of those things an Abarth owner has to do at least once in their life!

Are there any plans for your club to travel outside of Italy this year or in the future?

At the moment we haven't planned to participate in events outside Italy, but surely if there is an opportunity we will be able to organise it.

What does the Abarth brand mean to you?

Abarth means family, passion, sense of belonging. Just think of all the people who can get together such as at the Abarth Days event.

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Photo Credit: @mjc_photography_official & @abarthchannel

Lastly, what model within the Abarth series do you love the most?... and what is your favourite modification you have done to your Abarth?

I don't have a favorite one because it would be difficult to choose the most beautiful. All the models, even the historical Abarth’s, have their incomparable charm and their peculiarities to make them unique.

The most enjoyable remodeling of my Abarth was changing the whole exhaust line, from the catalyst to the exhaust: now I have a very deep dark sound, just what I was looking for!

Thanks again to Manuel for his time today. If you would like to see what Manuel and Abarth Club Bergamo are up to on Instagram. You can follow both on their respected accounts below: