It was a while since I thought about my first solo trip, where to do it, if I prefer warm places, what to bring with me, where to sleep and if I could travel alone.
Well in the end my decision was to stay in my country ITALY, why go abroad when I still have so many places in my country to discover?
For the part of traveling alone I soon found the solution SHARE I found in sharing the way to never be alone, I tried along my journey to share with those who followed me from the stories istagram, from the posts to the evening or with along the way to take you with me.
Here is what was the main FOCUS of my trip SHARING.
It is not easy to condense all the emotions I felt during these 17 days, I could already write a book but what I will do is try to share with you the cities visited but also the people I met along the way.
The departure of my journey could only be from my city NOALE a small medieval town.
The first person who accompanied me on this trip is a friend JACOPO, known not even a year ago, a work colleague, in reality he is a specialist runner in the 800 but passionate in the purest way of the bike.
The first stage runs fast from PADOVA along the path of SANT’ANTONIO and at ROVIGO I cannot do without a stop by another friend MICHELE called NURE THE Guru OF BIKEPACKING also known as MISSGRAPE. I have to admit I am a newbie and a beginner with bikepacking and in fact I set up the layout of the bags well, making it all easier.
Along the PO I reach FERRARA to continue to BOLOGNA where I look for my shared room, from two boys UMBERTO and EDOARDO who welcome me and simply tell me that they admire me for what I’m doing.
The second day starts immediately uphill, the Apennines at this time of the year offer unique colors and the rain still makes it all a bit more romantic.
I go down to FLORENCE piazza duomo, the old bridge, and continue along the Chianti hills and the heroic roads to rediscover ancient roads in the most rustic and genuine Tuscan between villages and castles such as BROLIO up to SIENA.
I continue on the third day to the capital ROME, leaving behind the Crete Senesi with their distant horizons, before entering ROME I meet FRANCESCO a passionate too of the long distances that as soon as he has a day off he shoots 300 km, the bike is freedom.
ROME the capital, here the curious are the tourists who look at me a bit perplexed to turn the VATICAN, the COLOSSEUM, PANTHEON, THE TREVI FOUNTAIN on my bike equipped with everything I need.
The question begins to be recurrent:
but where are you going, where are you from?
you have no idea how beautiful it is to see the perplexity in people when I say that I come from VENICE and think that I was there just three days ago.
On the fourth day I decide to leave very early and enjoy ROME strangely silent before going back to the Apennines, following the house roads of a dear friend OMAR, who lets me discover TANA DEL LUPO.
Probably the best time to enjoy these areas, it seems to be catapulted into a palette of nuances. Silent roads help meditation and regain balance.
Slowly I approach the territories affected by the earthquake, deserted villages with scars visible in the buildings.
I decide to stop at one of the few BARs left in the village of POSTA, here I find ANTONIO telling me that there have been terrible periods where there was no night where the earth did not tremble, where the only hope was that the earth would stop shaking as soon as possible, ANTONIO is radically linked to his country and will never leave it, but something is not going right here, and they feel forgotten.
AQUILA is slowly rising again BUT ALSO STILL THE WOUNDS HERE ARE DEEP and I decide that it is the right place to stop for the night.
At AQUILA I find myself with CHIARA another passionate about the bike that soon will leave for her first trip in BIKEPACKING mode and in front of a BEER I try to give her some advice even if we think about it I am not the most expert.
I continue my adventure towards BENEVENTO, through THE ALTOPIANO DELLE 5MIGLIA which is something magical at dawn.
At the southernmost point of the 5 mile plateau through ROCCARASO, I continue towards ISERNIA, a pleasant discovery is the sanctuary of Maria Santissima Addolorata with its neo-Gothic style is a pearl of this area.
It seems like a quiet day and spun everything smooth but from a little to the unexpected, the state road that leads to Benevento becomes forbidden to bikes.
I then dive into the hills parallel to the state road, and here comes the beauty the road is beautiful but it has tears over 20% and moreover it is invaded by the mud, I am forced several times to do PORTAGE
but after 15 km more than expected and 800 meters in altitude I see in the distance the arch of TRAIANO that welcomes me at the entrance of BENEVENTO the evening falls quickly and I decide to stop for the night.
The next day a wet start awaits me, I decide to change the track and go to the slopes of Vesuvius, to continue towards POMPEI and cross the PIANA DI SALE where there is an ancient city of Magna Graecia with a temple that stands on all the PAESTUM , seems to be catapulted into GREECE.
I go on and take the coast again, for a secondary and not very busy street where steep climbs alternate with as many cliffs over the sea, I enjoy the sunset before stopping in a small for the night PALINURO.
The heart of the Calabrian coast I enjoy it at dawn, after the small port of SAPRI the road climbs clinging to the rocky ridge, what a sight the waves break I must be honest the photos and videos of this area do not do them justice.
The road then becomes flat until you pass LAMEZIA TERME from here begins a scent of onion that almost makes me tear, in fact TROPEA will be my next destination, a city built on a rock overlooking the sea, with its splendid view at the end of the street of Corso Emanuele is the right way to enjoy the sanctuary and the small beach below the village.
For the last day on the peninsula there was a quiet day to go and catch the ferry to go to the second part of the journey.
But the desire for adventure and to discover was stronger than fatigue and fatigue.
So I decide to extend the stage and also to explore the final part of the Apennines ASPROMONTE, its peculiarity is that its vegetation changes a lot depending on the exposure, in fact the Tyrrhenian part is very similar to the classic Apennines and on top in country of GAMBARIE crossing the only soul, SALVATORE taking pictures with his instant machine, he takes a picture of me to keep as a souvenir, and tells me to go absolutely to see ROGOUDI VECCHIO a ghost town a few kilometers away.
In the Ionic part, on the contrary, it is very arid it seems almost scorched earth, it is on this side that ROGOUDI VECCHIO is located and after dirt paths, descents by mountain bike and some bike tracts on the shoulder, I find myself in a mountain ridge with on the left to rise the ‘ETNA covered with snow on the other side of the strait and on the left the IONICA coast with this little village now uninhabited and abandoned.
I take the road back to REGGIO CALABRIA and its long sea here I meet CRISTOF who tells me about his passion, and his long tours. I don’t know if it’s a fatality but in this journey I meet only those who love long distances like me.
CRISTOF offers to accompany me to the ferry at VILLA SAN GIOVANNI, I greet him, I take a ticket and board the ship with my faithful bike.
Here perhaps I begin to realize what I am doing, the emotions, I begin to enter the CICLOVIAGGIATORE that is in me. Do not be afraid to leave, let it be for 50 100 2000 km, but leave, travel free your mind.
The adventure has just begun.