Archive for category Vespatour

Vespatour 2006 Part 11: from Siena to Cortona

SienaIn the late afternoon of august 3 of the last year, I began the Vespatour, a journey that gave me a lot of surprises I’m now describing here on the blog, a bit at a time.

With this post I’m about at the half. 😉

The Siena’s Palio always fascinated me: a competition so ancient and beloved by the people living there I thought it had something special I couldn’t grasp by solely watching it on TV.

So last year I coordinated the stops of the journey to be able to attend it.

In the afternoon of august 16, after visiting San Galgano’s Abbey, I arrived in Siena just before the start.

The atmosphere was incredible: the Contradaioli (citizens living in specific areas of the town) thrilled for their jockey and his horse, while tourists assisted to the big show.

The Contrada della Selva won the race, the one where I parked the Vespa, so I immediately left Siena heading towards Cortona just as the celebrations began.

Here are the 30 photos of the eleventh gallery of the journey. 🙂

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Vespatour 2006 Part 10: from Monteriggioni to Montieri

San GalganoMy solo-journey of the last summer, the Vespatour, continued from Florence towards southern Tuscany.

I slept one night at the Ostello del Chianti in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa and I enjoyed it thanks to the people I met there: Silvia, the hostel’s manager, and Alessio, a biker from Torino.

Valentina, a girl I met in Florence, recommended me to visit the mysterious Monteriggioni stronghold and to search for the even more mysterious cats without tail living there.

So I did it, and in the evening of august 15 I also visited San Gimignano, the town with 100 towers.

The following day was no less intensive. Following a recommendation from Elisa, a friend from Como, I visited San Galgano’s Abbey and I saw the mythic sword inside the rock! 8)

Then I reached La Meridiana in Montieri in the Maremma area to bring Elisa’s greetings to Mrs. Mirella, the manager of the agritourismo.

In Palazzetto, along the road to Siena to attend the Palio, I met by chance Alberto, Angelo e Claudio, three Vespa-riders from Mantua and we lunched together.

Here are the 47 photos of the “authentically Tuscan” tenth gallery of the Vespatour! 🙂

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Vespatour 2006 Part 9: Vinci and Florence

FirenzeAfter three nights spent in Lucca, the Vespatour continued into the hearth of Tuscany towards Florence, passing by Vinci, where a museum dedicated to Leonardo is located, and then in Anchiano, where I visited the birth place of the tuscan genius.

In the afternoon of august 13 I entered for the first time in the Uffizi Gallery, a place so full of masterpieces, the Birth of Venus by Botticelli above all, that once out I think I felt the symptoms of the Stendhal’s syndrome: “What I’ve seen!” I was repeating to myself while walking in the town center.

A pretty chaotic town in august, it was much better riding my Vespa in the surrounding campaign. 😉

The 52 photos of the ninth gallery of the journey I did to discover the wonders of the Belpaese are online.

Enjoy them! 🙂

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Vespatour 2006 Part 8: Pontedera and Livorno

PiaggioFor a Vespa rider visiting the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera it’s like a sort of pilgrimage to the Mecca, the origin of everything, where you have to go at least once in your life.

Pontedera was an obvious stop of the Vespatour and while visiting the museum I had the feeling to assist to the celebration of a myth.

While I was watching the video of Corradino D’Ascanio on the Pda-guide available to visitors I was impressed by the easy and friendly way with which he explained how he designed the Vespa.

A confirmation of the fact that simple ideas are the best ones. 🙂

After a day spent at the museum, in the evening I had a nice surprise in Livorno, in the workshop of Marco Quaretta, Peter Moore’s friend, author of the book that inspired my journey around Italy: I found Sophia, the Vespa Peter used for his tour. I couldn’t believe it! 😀

Enjoy the 59 photos of the eighth gallery of the Vespatour celebrating the Vespa, a little airplane that one day left his wings in the sky to become a myth on earth..


Vespatour 2006 Part 7: Pisa

PisaDo you know why they call Field of Miracles the famous square in Pisa where the Duomo, the Baptistery, the Monumental Camposanto and the even more famous Leaning Tower are located?

Because the poet D’Annunzio was so impressed when he saw it that he described it as “Meadow of Miracles” in his 1910’s work “Forse che sì, forse che no”. 🙂

I’ve already been there when I was a child, but on 11 august 2006, after spending the whole day there I built a pleasant memory of the view of the perfectly proportioned buildings and the harmonious spaces among them.

Not to speak of the Tower and the treasures stored inside the Opera del Duomo Museum where I met a guide who explained me the origin of the square’s name and also allowed me to try the PureForm system in the museum.

I hope the 60 photos of the seventh gallery of the Vespatour will give back some of this miracle in Pisa. 🙂



Vespatour 2006 Part 6: Lucca

LuccaLucca is a town of magic!

On august 10, 2006, when I visited it for the first time, fifth stop of my solo-journey around Italy I called Vespatour, I immediately felt at ease, almost safe, protected by the 4 Km long wall surrounding the town since centuries.

I discovered it thanks to the visit with an audioguide: the walk upon the walls, the towers with the roof-gardens, the churches, the oval square, the historical locals, the elegant San Frediano hostel, the delicious Tuscan slang and a detail representing the style and harmony of this italian jewel: the manholes shaped like the walls perimeter! 😀

I think I could live there and I’ll get back to Lucca for sure to be able to see it from the top of the Guinigi Tower, something I wasn’t able to do.

I hope the photos of the sixth gallery of the Vespatour will give you back some of Lucca’s magic. 😉

Enjoy the photos!


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Vespatour 2006 Part 5: from Monterosso to Colonnata

Every time I look at the photos of the Vespatour I feel better!

It may be due to the spring or to the fact I’m finally riding my Vespa back again after the three weeks of the exhibition at the Iper of Grandate. 🙂

Being able to view the places I visited thanks to Google maps, so that I can geo-localize each photo, gave me a different perspective on what I’ve seen riding around Italy.

The fifth gallery of the tour is now online: from Monterosso al Mare in the Cinque Terre to Marina di Massa and Colonnata, where I discovered the delicious Cioccolardini.

In the meantime the exhibition at the Iper is over. On last saturday the mall director gave the Vespa Club Como a plate to celebrate the event.

Enjoy the photos… and the chocolate! 😉

Vespa Club Como

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Vespatour 2006 Part 3 e 4: Genoa and Rapallo

GenovaThe third and fourth galleries of the Vespatour, one hundred photos shot during the two days I spent in Genoa on august 6 and 7, are online.

During the two days I walked around the city, its Alleys and the Ancient Port; I visited the civic museum of natural history and the aquarium.

I also spent an evening in Rapallo and had a dinner in Chiavari with a couple of ex-colleagues from Trecision, the videogames development company I worked for in the past.

Someone told me that looking at the photos of the journey made him wish to go on holiday: it’s a good sign I think, but only if you keep in mind that traveling shouldn’t be just escaping from ordinary life, but actually discovering and learning new things. 🙂

The exhibition of the 10 Vespas at the Iper of Grandate is coming to a close. On Saturday April 7 there will be the final phase of the contest and someone even asked if the Vespas are on sale… 😯

Enjoy the photos from Genoa!

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Vespatour 2006 Part 2: Turin

I uploaded the second gallery of my solo journey around Italy on a Vespa, 60 photos taken walking among the most beautiful places of Turin on august 4, 2006.

Here are the photos, each one with a caption, geo-referenced on Google Maps and you can even rate it or leave a comment! 🙂

In the meantime the exhibition of the 10 Vespas at the Iper of Grandate is doing well, people stop reading the descriptions out of curiosity. 😉

Vespa Iper



Vespatour 2006 Part 1: Milan and Turin

The first photo gallery related to the Vespatour, 56 photos taken in Milan and in Turin, is online, while the rest will be available the next days.

I’d like to invite you to view the photos, each one has something to tell.

Also they are geo-referenced, which means you can see where I took them thanks to Google Maps, simply by clicking on the Map This! button.

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