Pope Benedict XVI has taken delivery of two Ducati Multistrada 1200 motorcycles for use in the Vatican’s private military. The bikes’ livery sports the Vatican bright yellow and white flag.
Ducati joins Popemobile fleet
Both bikes were delivered to the pope’s summer home in Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, just days before he left for the UK for a four-day tour of the country. The Ducatis will be used by the Gendarmerie of the Vatican City when escorting the pope and going about their security business.
Ducati’s president, Gabriele Del Torchio, was part of the assembled party which handed the keys to the pontiff. These are the first motorbikes to join the Vatican's fleet of vehicles which includes includes a 1930 Mercedes-Benz 430 Nurburg and a modified 2002 Mercedes-Benz 430ML.
“For us, and for everyone who works at Ducati, this event represents something to be very proud of and a gesture that reinforces our daily commitment in our work at the factory,” Del Torchio said at the ceremony.
“It is a symbolic gift with which we would like to express our sincerest appreciation and respect for the pope and embrace his message of hope and trust in the future, which he addressed to all industries in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate.”
The Holy See has not yet revealed whether the bikes will officially be known as “Popemobikes”.