May 21 2017Immersing into and surfacing from the Tube in London has always made me feel like a character of Super Mario Land that descending into manholes in a point of the city is found in a underground world full of monsters, traps and mushrooms, then back up finds himself in a different place, totally disconnected from the previous one.This illusion is really fascinating, the perception is that of a metropolis composed of many separate worlds distinguished by architectural styles, sounds, smells and different characters.Continuity is missing however and is difficult to understand how a single city can accommodate so many different realities, some that we love and some that repel us.I’ve never viscerally loved London and one of the reasons is because I had trouble understanding it to the end and I’ve never been able to catch sight of its soul.One day I bought a motorcycle, not any motorcycle, a Harley, the legendary Sportster 883 and with it begun a new way of living in London; riding my hound along the arteries of this mutating body I began to follow the flow and to glimpse her soul. I started to perceive its nuances and to understand its changes, I could observe the urban transformation that occurs between a district and another, I could see how locals, tourists, businessmen, clochards and policemen form the lymph that runs inexorable night and day.It all made sense finally.The many differences, apparently isolated at first, separated by a tube station and another, they suddenly meet, creating a union between the cultures of the East and those of the West, between the north and south of the Thames where the spoken and written languages mingle blend.I found myself every day crossing an infinity of social and cultural bridges that make this city the Babylon of the twenty-first century.Thanks to my motorcycle I rediscovered London, and I started living it with much more serenity and indeed with more enthusiasm.My name is Marco I’m an Italian and British citizen, until a few months ago I lived in London, my job is to dream and in my spare time I’m a computer engineer while I travel around the world.In November (2014) I changed my lifestyle, I no longer have a fixed address and now I wander on the saddle of my beloved 883. I’m a Digital Nomad and I sustain myself with a part-time work for a British company.My motherland is Italy and I’m really happy to be born in the Bel Paese.Like many Italians I have a relationship of love and hate with my peninsula. I can’t stand the many issue on social, cultural and political levels which ruin the beauty and harmony of the people and the places they belong to.At some point in my life, in 2008, as many young people have already done or are doing so today I made the decision to move to London.Living abroad has led me to reorganise my priorities and make clear what are my dreams and desires. That’s how this new lifestyle that I have created for myself begun, giving birth to a project to which I name “The Journey Of Dreams” (translated to Italian as “Il Viaggio Dei Sogni”), which is taking me to achieve one of my greatest dreams, that is to accomplish a round-the-world trip, or better, to know the World rather than just tour around it.The name comes not only from the fact that I am finally see my dream come true but also because it is the cradle for the realisation of many small projects, dreams and desires of mine and also by other people.Before leaving the Albion lands I started wondering where I could begin “the conquest of the world” and immediately came to my mind the explorer’s great destinations such as Australia, America, India, Africa or Asia … I knew that sooner or later I would go everywhere and so I asked myself what is the place in the world that I really wanted to know well and that is really close to my heart. The answer was simple, my home, Italy.As soon as he pronounced that name fire of passion flow through my veins.I told myself that if I really wanted to know the world I should first have known my origins, know well who I am, where I come from and what are the defining traits of my culture.If I really wanted to be an explorer then I should become an ambassador of Italy in the world.I should have brought my country with me around the world, keep it close to me and share it with the people I would have known along the way.How many times during your travels have you met people from all over the world which as soon as they find out that you are Italian they start telling you about their last trip to Italy and how much they were ecstatic by the beauty and taste of our people and territory? How many of these times did you realise that you only know a small portion of the nation you belong to? Above all how many times have you turned your nose up at the name of some southern capitals even though you might have never visited them or how many times have you made an unhelpful comment referring to the inhabitants of the northern regions where the most spoken language is German instead of Italian?That happened to me many times and I realised it was time to stop it.It had already happened with London before that I had this conflicting relationship to which I finally had found the remedy and so I was convinced that if I did it once I could have done it a second time.Therefore the first of the thousand future projects of “The Journey of Dreams” start in form of “The Giro d’Italia in 100 days on a Harley”.The idea is very simple: travel by land, riding my Liberty with the wind on the face and the asphalt under the wheels throughout the Italian territory, region by region (twenty in all for those who did not pay attention during the geography classes), breathing perfumes and listening to the sounds of my homeland, to discover how Calabria embraces Basilicata, how Apulia dives into the sea, how Umbria marries with the Marche or how the Aosta Valley meets with Lombardy; to see the differences fade, mingle and change, perceive flavours mixing and dialects evolve into different languages. The goal is to find the continuity and allows me and others to understand how Italy joins its internal borders, show my fellow citizens that we are a single people whose real borders are the misconceptions and wrong ideas, where the differences are the source of curiosity and union instead of the reason for separation.The time has come to fall in love again with Italy. I told myself.One hundred days to get to know Italy, one hundred because it is a catchy number and because there are a more or less a hundred days from the starting date of this trip and the date of the AC./DC concert that I will attend in Berlin at the end of June (2015).After a quick check, I realised that I had an average of just five days for visiting each region and that would not allow me to know all the single places of excellence for which Italy is famous therefore I decided that I would only visit the authentic side of Italy and skip the purely touristic one and that I would let the path I would follow to defined itself picking the advice of whom I would have met in my journey and going in those places where someone is willing to accommodate me.This way of traveling proved to be very beneficial immediately, I knew that I would have visited places out of the most known circuits and would be more authentic and not necessarily less fascinating, I would have discovered how the people of the villages spend their days, how Italians really live and survive the difficulties of today’s times.I went through my contacts searching for friends and acquaintances who could help me with advices or for a place to sleep.I begun scrolling the names of old schoolmates and colleagues of the past and I realised that this trip through Italy was taking already a larger meaning and so after sending messages on social networks and phone numbers, I was given the opportunity to rebound with people who I did not hear of or see for fifteen years or so. I rediscovered friendships I thought lost, I learned how life did catch up with the people that once were my mentors or playmates.I find out that there were memories and emotions that still tied us together. Creating new ones was also a joy.Where I had no friends I made intense use of CouchSurfing that allowed me to make new ones, some of which, I’m sure, will last for a long time.The most interesting and treasurable discovery was about the bikers community who welcomed me, hosted and helped with endless generosity just to have a moment to dream together and exchange emotions.Wherever I did not have a specific place to visit I took part to rallies and parties organised by bikers where I could find a place to spend the night and an opportunity to make friends and create connections. I met people who fixed my bike at their own expenses without asking anything in return only to make sure that I could keep riding, a lot of them also did welcome me at home as a member of their family. I have witnessed exemplary gestures of solidarity and friendship. I have found confirmation that we are people with a golden heart, generous and full of love.To this day, as I write these lines (April 2015) 85 days have passed since my departure from Forlì (my hometown), I haveCrossed 17 regions and rode about 16,000 km. The tour of Italy is not over yet but has already brought me a lot, it has already contributed to a major evolution of my travel plans for the coming months, building the foundation for new projects and collaborations. A book will be made out of this challenge and perhaps future incomes derived by its first edition will be donated to charity in Nepal and in the future to others solidarity initiatives.I am convinced that you will be curious to know how this trip went, to learn about stories and anecdotes. All this is told in the daily posts that I posted on the Facebook page dedicated to The Journey Of Dreams https://facebook.com/thejourneyofdreams.org.To the most curious of you I give some information about the equipment and gadgets which I bring with me:A 2013 Harley-Davidson XL883N Iron equipped with three waterproof soft travel bags.A helmet for the pillion passenger, since occasionally I get some company by people who wants to share my journey.I took the following clothing with me: a sweater for the colder evenings, five pieces of underwear, two Hawaiian shirts representing my travel uniform, two jeans, microfibre t-shirt and tights, three t-shirts, a pair of shorts that works both as a pyjamas and garment for the hottest days, one swimsuit and a bathing cap to swim in pools or to wear under a diving wetsuit, a pair of boots and a pair of rock-shoes to use at the beach or as a home slippers.I got a two-seat igloo tent for camping, one microfibre towel, a summer sleeping bag and an inflatable mattress.For my own entertainment I carry a Rubik cube, a harmonica which I hope to learn to play soon, a portable backgammon board and playing cards. I have never used anything of this to be honest, but I know that sooner or later I will use them.I also have a reflex camera with tripod (which I used it only twice), a waterproof video camera to use in the water or with the rain and the computer from which I am writing to you.The most useful thing so far has been the coffeepot given to me by my grandmother. My friends challenged me to carry it around on all my travels and I do make coffee to anyone who hosts me. I find this to be the most useful of all things because that’s what most of all helped me to start a conversation about my projects and begin to dream together with the people I meet.I have a large collection of photos of my Grandma’s Coffe Pot published on my siteAt present, for now, there is nothing I miss.All I have is something useful, there are things that would be useful but unfortunately I cannot carry with me because are things I do not have enough space for, for instance I have no spare parts for my bike.This journey is really giving me so much, I am much more rich in love, knowledge and understanding for my country and now I’m fully aware that there is so much desire for friendship and happiness and dreams all around us.Among the many things I’ve done I was able to dive in the deepest of the pools in the world, called the Y-40 (near Padua), I had the chance to share a house with students, I slept in an old Volkswagen van, I stayed at the base of the volcano Etna, I crossed Basilicata coast-to-coast, I run up and down along the Salento coast (Apulia), I discovered hidden villages in the Tuscan mountains, and I did what I would never have expected to do, practicing Yoga for breakfast and plant salads in the garden just before dinner.The extraordinary thing about this trip is that I can now say that I consider Italy as my home at whole, I know it much better now, and I know the people and their uses. The day I will have children and I’ll take them around there will always be a place for which daddy has a story to tell and a friend to introduce.If you are interested in more details about this project please visit the page Giro d’Italia in 100 days
Jan 14 2015
“A party among friends open to everyone” this is how the Winter Bikers is quoted by anyone that has ever took part to the event. This is in fact the way that Sergio, Wizz and many more of the staff members I had the chance to chat with did describe the Winter Bikers to me. Now that my skin absorbed this awesome experience, I couldn’t agree more with this description.
I arrive in the morning and everyone treats me like I’m one of them, when I mention my name some already knows me because of our conversations by chat. Everybody is busy giving the best of his spirit of amusement to make their work a party in itself.
My little few patches on my vest sell out my inexperience as a ‘biker’ nonetheless I am able to laugh, joke and tease with the ease of an old friend people I had never met before in my life, in return I get more jokes, a handshake and a very warm welcome. They already know that me too, one day, will collect much more trophies to stitch on.
the Winter bikers is a place for passionate adventurers, dreamers, for people that needs and wants to share, it is the ideal marketplace to exchange opinions and experiences about old travels or travels in preparation or just for ideas for future ones and new dreams.
The majority of the people that I met during this week-end had already took part to at least a dozen editions of Winter Bikers, Elefantentreffen or both in conjunctions with a large number of other rallies; there are friends that regroup like families every year for an improvised BBQ on the flame of a camping stove. Among them they usually know each other by “road name” only: Lupo (Wolf), Nonno (Grandpa), Wizz, Tramo, Babbo (Daddy), Mike… they do not know much about each other’s private lives, but everyone knows that they are here for a moment of entertainment, sharing and sincerity.
With this people I spoke for two entire days about travels and Dreams.
During this party you exchange dreams as if they were football players collecting cards, some dreams are the same for everyone, some are one of a kind, others instead need the contribution of dreams from others to show the full picture.
Everyone has his own dream, many are striving to grow it and make it real, some more fortunate is living it right here right now, as it’s happening to me.
It’s not only about emotions and chats that you live the Winter Bikers, the entertainment is not defecting at all, in facts, after the rally -(where everyone has the chance to show-off her beloved ride), I am forcibly enrolled to compete in the traditional challenges of slow-riding and barrel-pushing… the beginner’s luck allows me to almost reach the podium on both specialities. I even win a prize and gain popularity among the crowd with people that congratulates me, cheers for me or offers me a shot of grappa (the kind of offer you would never turn down!).
It’s almost night; I’m sitting around the campfire in a sort of meditation. I taste some mulled wine, smoking my pipe like a old shaman and listening to the stories told by the people sitting next to me. Their kind of adventures once looked to me so beyond my capabilities but now, after being told by the ones who lived them, they look much closer. They become possible.
The popularity from the challenges shows its perks, in fact a few people come to me to congratulate again for the afternoon races, I take this at my advantage ad I start asking questions about their experiences and adventures so to make them more and more within my grasp, to be sources for new ideas.
The days during a Winter Bikers have no other way to end if not with the waves of Rock and Metal by cover bands of Rammstein and AC/DC (my favourites), and a band that deserves an important mention is the Phoenix a 80’s Hard Rock band which members are exclusively girls full of SHATTERING ENERGY!
When this experience is over it’s like you have been through a shower of energy that warms your skin and an strengthens your bones.
When this experience is over you have loads of new friends and fresh ideas.
Although my exhaustion after two cold nights at very low degrees and very low sleep time I reach home with still a bit of energy just enough to think about all that just happened and to get to my laptop with the intention to message a few people which name I don’t want to forget and I’m caught by surprise when I notice I have already received a dozen of messages and requests between Facebook ad WhatsApp from people that wants to keep dreaming together.
I now understand that I am not the only one who has lived the Winter Bikers as moment to be inspired by life.
Thanks to all the friends of the Moto Club Winter Bikers of Faenza that worked hard, day and night, for a whole week-end to make all of this possible for me and for the other participants.
[slickr-flickr tag=”winterbikers2015″ thumbnail_size=”thumbnail” flickr_link=”on” flickr_link_target=”_blank” flickr_link_title=”go to Flickr” photos_per_row=”3″]
Jan 04 2015
There’s no better way to make friends than looking for them among the people that share your passions.
I’m mainly talking about the bacon… and motorbike for me is just a way get to the bacon faster!
This is how I found myself to ride at near 0°C this past morning by Passo de La Colla, just to get a fried eggs and bacon breakfast.
To begin with, as soon as I got to the meeting point to join other fellow bikers (which I never met before), I was offered a first breakfast made of Cappuccino and Krapfen – and I’m already in love -.
A few minutes later at the petrol station, when my card was not accepted, someone even paid for my fuel (Hey my friend! I can’t remember your name but I owe you one!).
And then we rode on the mountains and was pure joy!
I didn’t expect to find so many people up there. And surprisingly enough I wasn’t the only one with an Harley.
I had the chance to listen to some crazy stories and meet crazy people and we ended up talking about dreams (every one there is a Dreamer), and then we eat bacon and eggs…followed by a proper lunch in a local osteria.How could I not love to be a biker when these are the perks?Please enjoy a few pics:[slickr-flickr tag=”motopancetta2015″ thumbnail_size=”thumbnail” flickr_link=”on” flickr_link_target=”_blank” flickr_link_title=”go to Flickr” photos_per_row=”3″]
Oct 12 2014
This is it!
The date is set. Friday the 7th of November I’ll leave London.
I’ll head to Italy to spend Christmas with my family.
Before that I’ll go by Spain and Portugal with a brake in Tenerife.
For the first time I will taking my job with me and I will be seeking for coworking spaces or any decent internet connection that will allow me to work part-time.
I’m still in the middle of the organisation but I already have some sure places and dates where I’ll be visiting some old friends.
This is the list of places that intend to visit. I’ll keep updating this page as soon as I have more precise dates.
Aug 21 2014What do you think about this plan?any suggestion for CouchSurfers or Wild Camping areas? Km Miles Time real time 27/08/2014 Thurso Ulapool 223 138.55 04:00 05:19 27/08/2014 Ulapool Torridon 137 85.12 02:30 03:19 28/08/2014 Torridon Applecross 44 27.34 01:00 01:19 28/08/2014 Applecross Isle of Skye 65 40.38 01:15 01:39 28/08/2014 Isle of Skye Kyle of Lochalsh 80 49.70 01:30 01:59 29/08/2014 Kyle of Lochalsh Fort William 200 124.26 03:00 03:59 29/08/2014 Fort William Glen Coe 30 18.64 00:30 00:39 29/08/2014 Glen Coe Glasgow 146 90.71 02:00 02:39 925 574.70 15:45 20:56
Aug 10 2014
This year I will leave the UK and start wandering around the world with my Milwaukee ‘tractor’ (an Harley-Davidson Sportster).
Before engaging in this new life adventure I want to discover Scotland which unfortunately I never had the chance to visit in my six years in Britain.
My travel through Scotland will be between Saturday the 16th of August and Monday the 1st of September 2014
This will be a kind of dress-reharsal for what is going to be my new life-style very soon….
The objective of this ride across Scotland is to discover the natural beauties of that fantastic and magical land, I will appreciate your help in discovering hidden paradise, the story these places, plus I will try to do a photographic documentary.
I will depart from London on Saturday the 16th of August. The first stop will be in Liverpool then I’ll ride a couple of days through the Lake District, and once I will reach Edinburgh and enjoyed the Fringe Festival for a couple of days with some friends, I will participate to the Thunder in the Glens, a massive Harley-Davidson moto-rally with more than 2.000 participants this year.
After the rally I will head to Scapa Flow where I want to spend some days diving.
On my way back to England, I will first visit the legendary Loch Ness, Glasgow, dive with the seals in the Faroe Island and visit some friend in Derby.Here there’s a more detailed planning:16/08/2014 London – Liverpool17/08/2014 Liverpool – Lake District18/08/2014 Lake District19/08/2014 Lake District – Edinburgh20/08/2014 Edinburgh21/08/2014 Edinburgh22/08/2014 Edinburgh – Aviemore (rally)23/08/2014 Aviemore – Grantown-On-Spey (rally)24/08/2014 Aviemore – Cairngorm Mountain (rally) – or maybe Loch Ness25/08/2014 Aviemore – Scapa Flow26/08/2014 Scapa Flow27/08/2014 Scapa Flow28/08/2014 Scapa Flow – Isle of Skye29/08/2014 Isle of Skye – Glasgow30/08/2014 Glassgow – Farne Island31/08/2014 Farne Island – “North York Moore National Park” – Derby01/09/2014 Derby – London
If you are a biker, you can company me, I love sharing my adventures…. otherwise, I will carry a spare helmet and a comfortable seat for a pillion passenger, so I can offer you a ride to follow me in this adventure for one or more days.In any case, if you find yourself in the possibility to offer me a couch (or your garden, I have a tent) in any of those nights I will be really, really, really, really (and so on….) grateful!!!!!. In return I have a lot of stories to tell, and I am pretty good at cooking… so do not hesitate to request some Italian dish, I’ll be happy to delight your tummy and palate.