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Old 08-05-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
VanIsland Rider OP
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Buongiorno Bella Italia

It’s time to escape the everyday concerns and have an adventure and what better place than Italy!! The familiar saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is so very true and thus “Buongiorno Bella Italia” will be a pictorial of our motorcycle travels through Italy. We will begin our adventure in Pisa. Thanks to Francesco and his team at cimt.it, we have arranged for the rental of a BMW R1200GS for the duration of our stay which we will pick up in Pontedera.

Other than booking flights and the first three nights’ accommodation, the plan will be to not have a plan but be in the moment and wherever that takes us. This is not an characteristic state for me but I am going to let go of attempting to be in control and see what happens and, for better or worse, so will you!! My wish for this trip is to immerse myself into the everyday lifestyle of Italy and interact with the citizenry and not put an emphasis on the more touristy aspect of this beautiful country.

I am often teased by my colleague’s as I read the Ride Reports as to why I want to look at other people’s vacations. My response is that not only do I see and visit lands through others eyes that most likely I will never see in person, but also to learn from others experiences and incorporate them which enriches my adventures.

Over the next two weeks, prior to our departure from Victoria, I will post a formal introduction and some thoughts on our pre trip planning. I welcome any pointers/tips that anyone wishes to share, after all, the experiences of others are invaluable!!

Ciao, Bryan
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:25 PM   #2
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Introductions

It is now just less than week until our adventure to Italy begins and its time for a proper introduction. My wife and I live in Victoria, BC, on the southern most point of Vancouver island. Having grown up in the prairies, I can say that here on the island we are blessed with some of the best weather in Canada which affords us with year round riding opportunities. Maybe best of all, we are mosquito free!!!!!

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The beautiful lady is my wife Denise who is the mother of our two wonderful grown sons. She also is an employee extraordinaire for Thrifty Foods as well as an excellent pillion.

The balding, goofy looking guy behind her is yours truly, the father of the afore mentioned sons, a Perfusionist with the open heart team at Royal Jubilee Hospital, and lastly, a pseudo adventurer!!!

And finally, my 2004 R1200GS "Baby".

I hope that you will enjoy the pics and my bland commentary as we spent two and a half weeks touring around Italy on a rented GS. As I have already mentioned, we have no plan formulated and we will just see where we end up. I invite all comments and advice during our travels and I hope that maybe our experiences will help others in some way.

Well until the next installment to this thread,

Arrivederci, Bryan
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:39 PM   #3
adriangmz
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I´m subscribed


Can´t wait to see those pics. best of luck!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIsland Rider View Post
It is now just less than week until our adventure to Italy begins and its time for a proper introduction. My wife and I live in Victoria, BC, on the southern most point of Vancouver island. Having grown up in the prairies, I can say that here on the island we are blessed with some of the best weather in Canada which affords us with year round riding opportunities. Maybe best of all, we are mosquito free!!!!!



The beautiful lady is my wife Denise who is the mother of our two wonderful grown sons. She also is an employee extraordinaire for Thrifty Foods as well as an excellent pillion.

The balding, goofy looking guy behind her is yours truly, the father of the afore mentioned sons, a Perfusionist with the open heart team at Royal Jubilee Hospital, and lastly, a pseudo adventurer!!!

And finally, my 2004 R1200GS "Baby".

I hope that you will enjoy the pics and my bland commentary as we spent two and a half weeks touring around Italy on a rented GS. As I have already mentioned, we have no plan formulated and we will just see where we end up. I invite all comments and advice during our travels and I hope that maybe our experiences will help others in some way.

Well until the next installment to this thread,

Arrivederci, Bryan
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:49 PM   #4
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I have a friend in Pontedera named Fulvio Pugliese on strada tosca-romagnola! If you ride by tell him I said hello!
Hope you make it up to the lake region where I grew up!
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:01 PM   #5
zadok
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Sounds great. I'll look forward to your updated reports and pics.
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:37 PM   #6
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Preparations

Our adventure is about to begin and it’s time to pack everything for the trip. I had contacted Francesco at CIMT.IT as to the volume of the luggage that is on the rental bike and it will be a situation very much as on my own. So with that in mind, this is what we have decided to bring, keeping in mind to pack as light as possible.

DSC_0021

We will each have a pannier bag for our personal clothing which will contain the following;

6 each socks, undergarment, shirts - all synthetic/quick drying
1 shorts
1 swimwear
1 sleep wear
1 Carhartt double front work dungaree (doubles as riding pants)
1 toiletry kit
personal medications

In the tank bag which I will use as a carry-on, will be the following;
Nikon D80 DSLR
iPad
travel documents (including passports, medical insurance, international drivers licence)
extra glasses
appropriate chargers/cables
1 each t shirt,undergarment,socks (if airline looses luggage)
note pad
maps
iPhone

In addition we have packed the following;

helmets
riding gloves
riding jackets
mini air compressor and tire plugs
helmet cable locks
cable to lock jackets to bike
multi tool
2 bungee cords
runners

Like a true Canuck worth his weigh in maple syrup, I packed it all into a hockey bag.

DSC_0024

Well I think that’s it. I’m still on-call at the hospital until 21:00 tonight and hoping to get five or six hours of sleep until a early start at 04:30.

Our flight leaves Victoria at 06:45 and so we must arrive at the airport by 05:45. The first leg of the flight is to Toronto followed by a four hour layover then on to London. Once arriving in London, we have a two hour layover followed by the remaining flight into the Aeroporto Galileo Galilei in Pisa. The total flying time will be approximately fourteen and a half hours with a total layover time of six and a half hours.

Over the course of the next seventeen days, I will do my best to update this thread daily with a good assortment of pics and please forgive my drab commentary.

The Adventure Begins!!

Ciao,
Bryan
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:27 PM   #7
ShaftyNZ
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Excellent - I share your excitement - taly is on my bucket list so I'll follow your adventures with anticipation!

Shafty
New Zealand
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaftyNZ View Post
Excellent - I share your excitement - taly is on my bucket list so I'll follow your adventures with anticipation!

Shafty
New Zealand
I'm honored!!

Bryan
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:49 PM   #9
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We finally made it!!! Here we are in Pisa after a very long day and night traveling. Our day started at 04:30, arrival at the airport for 05:30, and ended twenty two and a half hours later

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Three different flights which included having knees jammed into the seat ahead, not being able to sleep, two layovers, and the mandatory crying of babies. We lost nine time zones in the process so it doesn't take too much to imagine how exhausted we felt when we arrived. So exhausted in fact that I forgot to get a pic of the Galileo Galilei Aeroporto. After a quick taxi ride to the Hotel Bologna, we rested in the courtyard before a quick shower and nap.

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Time to explore. The leaning tower is only a fifteen minute walk from our hotel so off we went but first things first and that happens to be gelato!!

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On to the tower. We are getting close.

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The BellTower, Cathedral and Baptistery.

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A few pics wondering the streets, enjoying the views and finding a place for dinner. We had the classic (as we know it) italian dinner of pizza and spaghetti. We were too tired to try anything more adventurous but that will come.

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Parking Italian style

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Now for a good nights sleep and tomorrow we pick up the bike.

Ciao,
Bryan
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:18 AM   #10
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Looking forward to the RR and more pictures.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:27 AM   #11
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Your pictures of Hotel Bologna brought back memories of my trip to Italy in 2003. They had a very accomodating staff and allowed me to store my bicycle there for a week while I traveled to Rome and Florence. I highly recommend visiting the restaurant La Topa in the little walled Tuscan village of San Donato (Poggio/Chianti). It was the best restaurant I ate at during my two weeks in Italy. It's about 25-30 kilometers from Florence. Have a great trip.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:42 AM   #12
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Lucca, the walled city.

Our morning started with a fifteen minute walk to the train station and then another twenty minute train ride to the town of Pantedera to pick up the rented GS.

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After getting underway and getting lost, we found our way to Lucca where we spent the day walking exploring this ancient city. It is hard to imagine while walking around its walls and absorbing the beauty, that these walls were built during a time when there was need for protection against invasion!!! Take a walk with us around this amazing city!

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Ciao, Bryan
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:41 AM   #13
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Marina di Pisa - Livorno - Castigiloncello

Today we ride along the coast line from marina di Pisa to Castigiloncello with a stop in Livorno for lunch. The Tryyhenian sea is magnificent, the sky is so very blue, the sun hot, and the scooter drivers are as crazy as ever. Riding in Italy is an experience, very chaotic, fast paced and frenzied but I love it!! Due to very slow wifi connections here, my reports will be brief.

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Livorno, everyone should try riding here, quite the maze of one way roads!!

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Time for a gelato break in Castigiloncello.

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Ciao, Bryan
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:19 AM   #14
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Hey Bry

Finally able to post. Love the pics... We really enjoy folowing you guys on your adventure through this site. That tower is leaning more than I thought. Hope you get good weather. Is the pasta amazing or what? Looking forward to your updates. Hope this post goes to the right place, still learning the site.

all the best
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:04 PM   #15
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San Gimignano

On our ride to Sienna, we visited the walled city of San Gimignano. Walking the streets of these beautiful ancient cities makes one wonder what it was like living there during their period of dominance. We take so much for granted such as security but these walls were to protect the citizens from invaders, what a different time it must have been!!
At every turn there was a post card perfect picture. During our ride, we set the GPS to avoid the autostrada, stay on the back roads and thus we were rewarded with the most panoramic vistas imaginable. The only problem today was that it was hovering close to 40 C and stopping for even a brief moment meant stripping off the riding gear!! I have never in my life purchased so much water!!
Walk with us through San Gimignano.

Finally figured out how to use the self serve gas pumps!

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Ciao, Bryan
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