The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - March 29

Members of five Harley Owners Group, or H.O.G., chapters, from northern Italy rode up a hill to the Sanctuary of Madonna del Monte, a local church called the “Chrome Dome” for its shiny dome, for the annual Blessing of the Bikes. There, they met with around 50 more motorcycle enthusiasts, making a crowd of about 100 Italian and American riders from Aviano, Pordenone, Vicenza, Padua and Treviso.

The Blessing of the Bikes is an annual event held by Harley owners around the world to officially kick off the motorcycling season. It not only serves as a fun way to bring people together, but is also taken seriously by some riders who welcome protection from above while they ride, said Chaplain Jack Stanley, who blessed each motorcycle and its owner with a short prayer.

“Some people do it for the tradition and the fun, and others do it because they realize that riding is dangerous and they realize having a little bit of God on their side helps,” Stanley said.

Stopping at each bike, Stanley dripped water from a bucket onto the motorcycle and the helmet of the owner and said: “Bless this motorcycle and protect this motorcyclist. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”