Posts Tagged Vespatour

10 Vespas Under the Big I

The chance has been unexpected: the Vespa Club Como has been invited to exhibit 10 Vespas belonging to the club members at the shopping mall Iper of Grandate, in the province of Como.

Vespas from 1957 to nowadays and… there’s even my Vespa under the big I! 😀

For three weeks, until Easter, my Vespa GTS will be there with the graphics you can see below, made to illustrate the journey around Italy I did last summer.
The windshield is a bit scratched, but it’s the one I did the journey with, my sail, so I didn’t replace it.
It’ll be hard not being able to ride my Vespa for three weeks! 🙂

Along with the exhibition, the Iper staff organized an contest and the prizes are new Vespas LX 50 and a huge chocolate egg. 😯

Get there and have a look!


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The Hedge of the Infinity

Siepe dell'infinito

Do you remember Giacomo Leopardi’s poem The Infinity: “Ever dear to me was this lonely hill”?

Well, the one in the picture is actually the famous hedge on top of the hill! 🙂

It’s the hedge, “that excludes the greater part of my view of the farthest horizon“, illuminated by the late august sun, with the brick wall partially covering the view towards the Sibillini’s mountains.

Last summer in Recanati, the last stop of my Vespatour around Italy, I had the unexpected chance to climb upon the hill that inspired Leopardi’s masterpiece, something people can do since 2003 thanks to the Centro Nazionale di Studi Leopardiani.

The picture is now on my office desk and it inspires me to look beyond and ask myself what that hedge is hiding, what surprises the future holds.

I even shot what you can see behind the hedge and I’ll upload that picture in the Vespatour’s gallery I’m working on.

Every now and then I shift my eyes from the monitor, get lost in thoughts while staring at the photo and I recall Leopardi’s writings: “and sweet is the shipwreck in such a sea“…

It really helps having a pleasant and comfortable working environment with little things such as this! 😉

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Mens Sana In Corpore Sano at the Palestra 100

Palestra100Romans had a pretty deep knowledge about the search for harmony between mind and body to keep ourselves in shape and feeling active and lively. So why don’t try listening to our wise ancestors? 😉

I was really missing this kind of harmony, but since I tried going to the gym to put back in shape my back, aching due to long hours spent working with the PC, I finally understood the true meaning of that phrase.

Recently it has been thanks to the Palestra 100 that I realized how much a pleasant environment can help physical training.

The three months I spent at the gym before leaving for the Vespatour have been really invaluable to engage in such an intensive and often tiring journey.

Because of this I’d like to thank the people who made pleasant the experience at the gym. From Angelo Sguazzero, the director, a former hundred meter runner and athletic trainer in some Serie A Italian football teams, who with his interest for psychology applied to physical training really surprised me about things very few trainers even take into consideration.

Also thanks to his daughter Silvia, a former dance champion, and to Elisa I learned to do stretching by breathing correctly, a thing that has now become a good early morning habit. Not to speak about the other trainers and the fantastic SPA (Salus per aquam) area, a real relax paradise. If the hydromassage, the sauna and the turkish bath are not enough, there are Veronica e Tania, two massagers able to make your back melt! :mrgreen:

It’s not the cheapest gym in Como at all, but it’s really worth it in my opinion.

These aren’t words written for convenience or hidden purposes, it’s actually an appreciation for a place where I find myself at ease, so I’ll be happy if this post will be useful in promoting the gym.

I sent them one of the only two postcards (the other one ismore personal) I wrote and sent during the Vespatour to thank them for making me understand what actually means Mens sana in corpore sano. 🙂


The Ions of the Marmore Falls

When I told to my friend Lydia I was planning a journey around Italy on my Vespa, she recommended me to visit the Marmore Falls.

So, on the way to Rome, starting from Melezzole di Montecchio in Umbria, I decided to spend the afternoon at the falls.

I reached the area a few minutes before they released the water, since they stop it at regular times to power up the nearby hydroelectric plant, and I stared at the impressive increasing flux of water while a rainbow took shape at the bottom of the first 90 meters long fall. 😀

The air around the falls was crisp and fresh. There was such a feeling of wellness that I totally forgot the bad cold I got during the previous days.

They say there are negative ions in these areas due to the water falling onto the rocks and that the ions help cleaning the air by making bad particles precipitate.

When I read that modern air cleaners/ionizers works with this principle, I ordered one and after a couple of months in my bedroom I can say it really made a difference.

Now I installed the machine in my office and I attached to it the second picture you can see here.

I feel better just by looking at it, and the air feels much better in a place where I’m now spending a lot of time.

Thanks to Lydia for the tip about the Marmore Falls! 🙂

Marmore FallsMarmore FallsMarmore Falls



Unique Forms of Continuity in Space

20 centI was really curious to see it!

I’m talking about the famous sculpture by Umberto Boccioni represented on the italian 20 cents Euro coins, whose bronze reproduction is now exposed at Palazzo Reale in Milan in an exhibition curated by Laura Mattioli Rossi focused on the sculptural work of the futurist artist.

I managed to see all the artworks represented on the italian Euro coins, most of them this summer during the Vespatour: Castel del Monte near Bari on the 1 cent coins, the Mole Antonelliana in Turin on the 2 cents, the Colosseum on the 5 cents, the Birth of Venus in Florence on the 10 cents, the Marcus Aurelius’s equestrian statue in Rome on the 50 cents, while I “met”, so to say, the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo and Dante more than once during the tuscan part of the journey.

We have so many artworks in Italy and in my opinion they made the best choices for the coins designs. 🙂

The sculpture by Boccioni is really fascinating, starting from its name. It shows such a dynamism and fusion between the human body and the surrounding air, really unique to say the least!

Even the comment by the curator I listened through the audioguide was good.

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End of The Year Thought 2006

ConanMaking a sum of a whole year?

365 days I lived more dangerously than ever? 😯

Well, a lot of things happened: the turning point on the project now called i-muse thanks to the two guys I put on alert with a simple SMS on last New Year’s Day, the hard work on the Net-Taylor innovation project for the Sartoria Orefice, the Vespatour, the summer solo-tour on my Vespa around Italy that opened my eyes on the beauties of our country, some books that made me change – not because they’re miraculous, but because I read them while I was ready to change -, the suffering for a love affair…

All of this while I was still working as a waiter in a local pub whose owner had the kindness to kick me out after an apocalyptic night, with no appeal and as I was the last one who got working there. A rudeness I did forgive but not forgot, since it has been a work which gave me much more than it may appear to whoever looks at it with the eyes of the right-minded. 🙄

All in all a lot of things that made me grow up. And the more I think about where I am now, the more I’m sure that nothing could have happened if I hadn’t been involved in the project of the Sartoria Orefice, where I found people so kind to confront and work with on an delicate innovation project which is now considered as a case study, a project that made me grow up both professionally and humanly.

As always, it’s a combination of positive factors producing excellence, while a negative one is enough to unleash Murphy’s law! 😉

Even the last year I wrote an End of the Year Thought 2005, but I didn’t published it, a sign of a not too happy period. I do it now on the new blog since I saved it in my notes. I invite you to read it because it’s still current, unfortunately.

I wish you a happy 2007, the year of the pig! 😀

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The Delicious Cioccolardini

It’s incredible but even Google doesn’t know it!

If you search for the word cioccolardini, the result, at least until now, is that it suggests searching for cioccolatini (chocolates). However, the Cioccolardini do exist!

I discovered them last summer during the Vespatour, my solo-journey around Italy riding a Vespa, while I was visiting lard shops in Colonnata, a little tuscan town at the center of the quarry caves area, renowned for its delicious lard, maturated inside tubs made of a particular variety of marble.

In one of the lard shops a kind tuscan sir let me taste some lard and while I was concerned about the fact that I couldn’t take away some of it, since I couldn’t properly preserve it until I got home, I noticed the chocolates. They’re made with fondant chocolate, honey, hazel paste and that touch of lard making them a real treat. 😮

So delicious that I ate a whole box just before leaving Colonnata while I was seating near my Vespa in the small town square.

I promised myself to order some of them for relatives and friends, so what could be the best time than Christmas to share a bit of sweetness in a season that seems to have lost its magic, that of the present given for the pleasure to give and not for convenience, habit or profit?

I ordered so many boxes to be able to make happy my dearest friends, using for some of them a Christmas card of Il Sole on which I wrote an aphorism accurately chosen for the receiver. The result has been great! 😀

I think the people at La Marmifera, the lard shop where I discovered the Cioccolardini, will be glad for the free promotion, they earned it.

Hurrah for the Cioccolardini even Google didn’t know! 😉



A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

How true that sentence is!

Does “taking pictures is giving importance” for you too, as Susan Sontag said?

A post about photography gives me the idea to show you another selection of pics I took during the Vespatour.

The first one shows the front and the bell tower of Turin’s cathedral under a sky that snatched a “what a nice sky!” from a friend and ex-colleague when I was working for Trecision in Rapallo. A comment with double importance since it comes from an artist like him. 😉

Talking again about Turin, since I’ll attend to Telemobility Forum 2006 on wednesday, the second one shows the famous Piercing, a curious example of urban art made in 1996 on a building in Piazza Corpus Domini.

In the third one you can see the Ancient Clock Shed located in Piazza della Repubblica with the inscription Loving differences in different languages.

Duomo di TorinoTorino PiercingTorino Orologio


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Vespacrash in Milan! :(

Vespa CrashMy friends make a fool of me when I use the term Vespatour to describe the journey I did this summer around Italy riding a Vespa, since it reminds them an organized group tour, not certainly a solo-journey.

After what happened a few days ago in Milan I really hope they won’t do the same when I’ll use the term Vespacrash to describe the fall into the middle of the street that caused a bad damage to my Vespa GTS

Damn, I traveled for 4200 Km around Italy in a month without even a scratch and now I manage to scratch the whole left flank by falling like a goof in the Milan traffic.

Do you have in mind the tram sidewalk separating the two carways, elevated by a few centimeters from the roadbed?

Well, I was quietly riding along a street of that kind. I was exactly parallel and very close to the low sidewalk, a perspective from which I couldn’t notice the elevation, also due to the late evening light conditions. To pass a car in front of me I decided to turn towards the central section that appeared flat, when I suddenly lost control of the Vespa and I found myself on the ground even before understanding what was happening.

A bad experience… it could have been worse, but that’s not too reassuring considering the damage to the Vespa.

I was using a PDA as a GPS navigator and fortunately it wasn’t damaged during the fall. It’s the fourth rescue thanks to the security cord tied to the left mirror, while the other three happened during the Vespatour.

Do you think the PDA has nine lives like a cat?

I really hope the Vespatour will have a sequel, but the Vespacrash will remain an episode more unique than rare… sigh!


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Pics from the Vespatour, Four out of Thousand Four

VespatourOnce I was back home from the Vespatour I’ve been busy to set back on track the projects I was working on, but at the same time I managed to make a selection of the pics I took along the journey.

It was more difficult than I expected, since every pic has a story to tell, so you can understand how complicated was selecting only 4 to post on the blog.

Before getting to the pics, the image on the left shows the 4200 km-long route I followed: from Como to Milano, Torino, Genova, Rapallo, Monterosso al Mare, Marina di Massa, Forte dei Marmi, Lucca, Pisa, Pontedera, Livorno, Vinci, Firenze, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, Montieri, Siena, Cortona, Arezzo, Assisi, Norcia, Melezzole di Montecchio, Marmore, Roma, Caserta, Bisceglie, San Giovanni Rotondo, Vieste, Loreto, Recanati, Rimini and back to Como. 🙂

The first pic was a total surprise: she is Sophia, the Vespa Peter Moore rode in his trip around Italy. I couldn’t believe I would have found her in the workshop-museum of Marco Quaretta in Livorno, so I took a pic of her with Peter’s book that inspired my journey. 🙂

The second one was shot in Forte dei Marmi during an aperitif with Federico Farioli, country manager of Handango Italia, the italian version of Handango, the leading content provider for mobile devices.

In the third one I had a unexpected meeting with Alberto, Angelo and Claudio from Mantua’s Vespaclub when I stopped in a restaurant in Palazzetto for lunch on the way to Siena. We had a pleasant conversation and a big laugh when they called me the “Vespista del 2000” (2000’s Vespa rider) when they noticed my Vespa with the GPS navigator. :mrgreen:

The fourth is very special: it’s my Vespa on the Colle dell’Infinito in Recanati, with the Monti Sibillini on the background. I took it the last day of the journey from below the wall with the hedge that inspired Giacomo Leopardi to write his poem, L’infinito.

Being able to visit that particular spot – it’s possible only since 2003 – was one of the numerous surprises the journey presented me.

I’m slowly working on a online photographic album with the best pics of the journey.

For the rest of story you’ll have to wait for the book, including the name I gave to the Vespa, just as Peter did… 😉

SophiaFederico Forte dei MarmiVespa PalazzettoVespa Colle Infinito

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