Travelogue Tour of Italy on a Vespa

Giro d'Italia in Vespa Gianluca Pellegrinelli 1 Passo dello Stelvio

Travelogue Tour of Italy on a Vespa

Outward journey: 3,000 km from Stelvio to Gallipoli

This August month of transition between the adventure in Nepal and the trip I am planning for October (hopefully I will make it), I have dedicated it to our beautiful Italy. A relaxing trip, by Vespa of course, from the Stelvio Pass to Puglia, to catch up with old and new friends.

August 11 arrived in Gallipoli, after 3000 km almost all of it avoiding highways. I crossed the Po Valley, my hometown of Mantua, then Milan and Pondedera in Tuscany, driving all the way along the Aurelia in the Tyrrhenian coast, down to Gaeta. A long coastal stretch that has never been visited leisurely as I was always rushing on the highway transit from Tuscany, to Rome or Naples. Finally, the Campania hinterland, Matera and down into the Salento coast, traveled all the way from Otranto to the southernmost tip of the heel of Italy, Santa Maria di Leuca.

A wonderful day spent at Piaggio, which I thank for their attention to me. I was invited to visit the plant and museum, had lunch in the factory cafeteria, and admired the GTS 300 production line from the windows. For an avid vespista it is as mythical a place as Gardaland can be for a boy at a young age.

And then the many friends I met along the way: Roberta Confortola , Cristina Flematti , Katia Guaraldi , Enza, Massimo Colombati , Renata Bozolo Renata , Roberto Benini , Elsa, Father Peppino of the In My Father House mission in Ghana.

At Enza Anedda’s house in Sicignano degli Alburni, I had the best view I have ever seen from the terrace of a private house.

A special day I spent with Fabio Cofferati and his wife Leonora in Salsomaggiore Terme, the one to understand who in full Covid managed to do the Milan-Tokyo (Via Russia) with a ’63 Vespa with 8-inch wheels.

In Gallipoli, I was a guest of Stefano Medvedich and family, we met online, I was in Pakistan and he was in Georgia…, both solo. He really has taken many Vespa trips, too many to list, almost all of them solo, some with his son and a couple even with his daughter-in-law. His Vespa PX 150 should have between 150,000 and 200,000 km. Among the many trips was the most important one, to Africa in 2006/2007, where he went beyond Congo. Ironically, two weeks ago he was run over under his house in Gallipoli by a lady who did not respect the right of way. A bad accident, a wrecked Vespa and a rehabilitation for him that looks like it will be quite long, but fortunately nothing irreparable.

Great hospitality at Ostello Salento a few minutes from Gallipoli where I stayed one night. “Affordable” prices even in the middle of August, a very pleasant environment, frequented by many young people. Highly recommended!

Giro d'Italia in Vespa Gianluca Pellegrinelli 3
Giro d'Italia in Vespa Gianluca Pellegrinelli 11 Fabio Cofferati
Giro d'Italia in Vespa Gianluca Pellegrinelli 13 Museo Piaggio
Giro d'Italia in Vespa Gianluca Pellegrinelli 48

Return: 2500 km from Gallipoli to Cortina d’Ampezzo

On August 12, I left Gallipoli, heading for Cassino. 500 km of nice, smooth road done lightly, except for rain in Campobasso area. In the evening very pleasant dinner with old friends from business and beyond Antonio Bottini and Andrea Penazzo.

From there, the entry into the Abruzzo hinterland, where I spent six days between Umbria, Marche and Abruzzo. I visited the symbolic places of the earthquake, L’Aquila, Amatrice and Accumoli, then many other places, Norcia, the Castelluccio plain, Spoleto, Assisi, Santo Stefano, San Sebastano dei Marsi, the Saggitario gorges, Campo Imperatore, Aielli with its splendid murals. Thank you to all the friends Luca Silvestri Claudio Calvisi Giorgio Vetrone Annarita Romanelli Antonio Di Bartolomeo who hosted me and dedicated their time.

Then I moved to the Adriatic coast, to the Conero, more precisely to Porto Recanati, to my friend Gianni Ballarani and his wife, with whom we had a very impressive dinner on the beach.

Finally Cortina d’Ampezzo, from the volcanic Chiara Caliceti, who is always very active and committed in her activities to promote people and the territory. Nice meeting with Maria Teresa Ferrari, the founder of the association“The Cure is Me” and with Mariangela Rossi who presented her new book “The Embrace of Kiev – Letter to a reborn child,” which I recommend.

In closing, unexpected afternoon with friends from Lake St. Croix, stretched into the late evening, enjoying good live music.

So many good times and important memories, like the occasional meeting, in the Padua area, when I was going from Porto Recanati to Cortina. I am flanked by a motorcycle, I stop, it was Steffen Steinweg, a German motorcyclist with Yahama XT600 met three months earlier in Esfahan, Iran. He, who had been traveling for 5 months, passed over, on the bridge, saw me on the road below, recognized me and chased after me, until he caught up with me. It seems unbelievable, it would have taken only a few seconds and we would not have met again. He stayed in Iran for a month and a half, then did Turkey, Greece, and from there Italy, which was warming up again in the direction of Venice.
Even more incredible was the second meeting a few days later always with him, in Longarone, I was returning from Cortina d’Ampezzo and he was going up to Austria.

5500 beautiful kilometers, as I had imagined them on that flight back from Nepal, when I had decided that in August I would make this trip to our beautiful Italy.

5500 km where I finalized new projects, also beautiful and engaging. We will meet to talk about it soon, certainly by September, in a physical meeting that will be emotionally dense.

See you anon!

Giro d'Italia in Vespa Gianluca Pellegrinelli 53 Cassino
Giro d'Italia in Vespa Gianluca Pellegrinelli 102 LAquila
Giro d'Italia in Vespa Gianluca Pellegrinelli 116 Aielli
Giro d'Italia in Vespa Gianluca Pellegrinelli 175 Lago di Santa Croce Le Poiatte

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