'Round the World with an Italian Supermodel

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    It's difficult to maneuver around Milan without accidentally seeing the Duomo:

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    It's huge--and looks so heavy that I expected at any moment the ground to crack and swallow it whole.

    I went inside and saw that it was 10 Euros to get in. Fuck that. I leaned over a partition and started snapping shots until one of the staff members kicked me out.

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    What I wanted to see was on top. On the side of the building there's a small entrance where they let you walk up to the roof. They charged for that, too, but that was an expense I thought had some legitimacy to it.

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    #81
    kneedrag, Vegas800XC and Fred Oliff like this.
  2. mka

    mka Been here awhile

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    hey, AH, hope you have a real blast on this trip, it seems you could do with some good luck now after illness and waiting for your baby to land !
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    if you get a chance head up to lago di como, specifically a village called varenna, and sit and eat at a mighty place called caffe varenna.
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    you will not be disappointed and the staff are great there !
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    also if you can get time to scoot round the dolomiti alps, very nice and photogenic, perfect for a good photographer and artist like yourself !
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    i will be in andermatt september 11/12/13 hopefully, so if i see you i'll give you a big wave !
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    and by the time you have all your mainland europe done, if you get a chance come to ireland, you will be most welcome. i live on the west / north west coast and it is quite photogenic too (in good weather !).
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    for now, soak up the italian ways, relax, enjoy, by jesus you've earned it !
    #82
  3. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Molte Grazie, mka. I'll look Varenna up....and I look forward to Ireland!

    For a slight change of pace, I visited the a da Vinci museum that had wooden models of a lot of his drawings.

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    Pretty cool, but the unexpected exhibits were in the basement.

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    #83
  4. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Though I can't say I fell in love with Milan, I did fall in love with Milan at night.

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    #84
  5. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    There's a number of factors responsible for whether we like a city or not. Walkability scores, local taxes, schools and crime indexes may tell part of a cities story....but a part that is about as far divorced from the actuality as possible. It's a subjective and complicated experience. You simply can't rationalize yourself into liking or not liking whatever environment you find yourself in anymore than you can rationalize yourself into falling in love with a woman just because of her SAT scores. But up until now I've never visited a city that transforms so much between the day and the night as Milan. I guess, like women, some cities just look better in the dark.
    #85
    Fred Oliff likes this.
  6. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    A few days late to the party but...IN!

    Looking forward to this.:clap
    #86
  7. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    A few last pics of Milan before I set off.

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    My last stop in Milan: Hangar Bicocca.

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    I've admired Anselm Kiefer's work since introduced to it. The installation is called The Seven Heavenly Palaces and walking into the hangar was almost like being sucked into a vacuum of silence. For the first five minutes I had it all to myself. It's strange and eerie, like a Cirque du Soleil stage frozen in time. I'm sure there's all kinds of allegory and symbolism, but I'm more of a formalist than anything else and believe that once something is put out into the world, the artist/writer/director/musician's intentions are usurped by individual reaction and interpretation. I don't get too cerebral with the justification of meaning in artwork (which I believe dilutes the impact instead of enhancing), but I do believe that an artist succeeds when a small portion of the world is transferred inside of another.

    I failed to mention that when I arrived I asked if I could park my bike onsite. Alessandro, the cool dude in the pic below, obliged, and opened the castle gates. He happens to ride a GSXR--always cool to meet another motorcyclist--esp. when they understand the desire to walk back out to a parking lot and find your bike where you left it instead of finding only a broken lock.

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    Alessandra and Francesca were also super cool. Alessandro filled them in on my trip and for the first time in three weeks in Milan I'd met complete strangers who became instant friends.
    #87
  8. Trane Francks

    Trane Francks Been here awhile

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    I can't say just how delighted I am that you're finally on course. I hope that the delay just makes the whole experience the sweeter.

    Cheers, man. Ride well.
    #88
  9. SpikeC

    SpikeC Been here awhile

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    Holy guacamoly! That Cathedral blows me away... Thinking of how that was constructed with the technology of the time is hard to comprehend......
    #89
  10. manban9888

    manban9888 Adventurer

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    Hey AH, I know your trip started out a little rough but you're pictures are top notch as usual and I'm glad you're healthy again. I agree w your appreciation of the night. I worked nights most of my life and I still love being out there when everyone else is asleep. Most of my rides here in the summer are at night and I love it.
    #90
  11. desmodab

    desmodab Oversized Canuck

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    I've said it before and I'll say it again - your photos are absolutely amazing. I really don't know how you do it.

    Fantastic. Ride on!

    DD
    #91
  12. 2WheelieADV

    2WheelieADV Long timer

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    We just came back from Switzerland and Italy riding Alpine passes. Places you must ride and should not miss. Best roads in the world.
    What I like about riding in Italy (and entire Europe) is the freedom of riding. Motorcycles have no rules... In Italy they pass on dividing line even against the oncoming traffic. :D
    #92
  13. 2WheelieADV

    2WheelieADV Long timer

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    Looks like they not as money hungry as in the States :)
    #93
  14. 2WheelieADV

    2WheelieADV Long timer

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    That's strange. We got in for free...

    Yeah, I don't know what's up with graffiti there. I think it's a thing of the past in the States...

    More left for imagination in the dark I guess
    #94
  15. MotoGypsy

    MotoGypsy Occasional rambler

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    Good to hear the fever is subsiding. That always sucks on the road.

    Great photos AH. Love the selective focus. Mind sharing what app? Maybe you do.

    Looking forward to hearing your take on the world. Enjoy.
    #95
  16. Poucher

    Poucher Durham UK

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    Hey AntiHero,

    Before you leave Milan, go back into the Galleria ( shopping centre pic below ) and find the mosaic on the floor of the Bull - you'll notice its testicles are all worn away because apparantly there's a local superstition in Milan that says if you put your heel on the bulls testicles and spin around it gives you good luck :evil, could be a good omen for the start of your trip!

    I hope the new Panigale serves you as well as the last one did!!

    Good luck, stay safe and keep the rest of us poor souls chained to the 9 to 5 entertained :thumb


    #96
  17. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Poucher: I noticed other people spinning around, then put two and two together. I make my own luck--we'll see how well it works out for me from here on out. Just need to find a couple ladders to walk under, a couple mirrors to break and a black cat. :)

    I'll get a pic of my setup, along with my gear, soon. I wish I was as light as I was for the US trip, but this time I have full leathers, which means pants go into backpack, and I've got a tent and sleeping bag. Still very minimalist, but it's more than I care to carry.

    As for motivation--keep yourself pointed in that direction you want to go, keep doing as much as you can every day to get there and you will. Sometimes you have to blind yourself from the end-goal because it's so far away. The pleasures from the little steps are pleasures that can be enjoyed constantly.
    #97
  18. apophesis

    apophesis Adventurer

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    Makes sense. Just part of the trip that has to be accepted I guess. As a fellow Ducati owner, I appreciate the sacrilege of the following (not so serious statement): maybe you can rat the bike out some so it draws a little less attention? :eek1 :lol3

    First thing that came to mind when read your thread was Noah's experience in Ireland where he lost his bike shortly after getting her out of customs (http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781893). I haven't met him myself, but he seems like a great guy and I'm sure would be happy to share some words of wisdom that he collected in his travels through Europe (although, I think he's deep in the Australian bush ATM...). Also, it might be worth messaging Ed (aka the flyingdutchman177) as well.

    Anyways, looking forward to the stories and thanks in advance for the hours of entertainment this thread will provide us!
    #98
  19. pumpe3

    pumpe3 lazy Swede

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    Great to see it's finaly on! :clap:clap
    #99
  20. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    When I left Milan I wasn't sure where I was headed. I took some signs for Genova because, hey--I do like Salami. (Still not quite clear why the English translation for Italian cities are spelled differently than the original in Italian. It's not like we can't pronounce "Firenze" or "Genova" or "Roma". But whatever.) Genoa was awful. Imagine if Blade Runner was filmed during the day with an orange filter. Then add a lot of traffic, no skin jobs with extraordinary stories of what happened off the shoulder of Orion. Then add more orange, remove the plot, turn the heat in the theater up to 11, add more traffic and there ya have it....Genoa.

    Whenever I hit a city I don't like I just ride higher and higher. Gives me a good vantage point and removes a lot of the silt that clouds the lower stratosphere.

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    Only I didn't find anything up much higher. I definitely wasn't going to stay in Genoa for the night. If we go back to the 'some girls look better in the night' metaphor I arrived too early and didn't have enough to drink. I was sober, the sun was shining brightly and, though I admit I wanted to take off all my clothes, it was only because it was so fucking hot out.

    So I parked my bike in a parking lot near an underpass and got on my phone to search for a city a couple hours away.

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    PISA! Yes, Pisa, why the hell not. Almost immediately it became a good decision:

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    Found a campsite (for a banana-in-the-butt price of 23 Euro) in Pisa and set up tent.

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    An ADVer here who also backpacks and rides decided to make a better mousetrap. We began talking six months ago while he was engineering his second prototype. What better way to do R&D than give something to me? If a product has a deficiency I'm the guy to find it, and then articulate the hell out of why it sucks so much.

    http://sprocket67.com/

    https://www.facebook.com/Sprocket67

    But I have to say, incredible. The tent compresses to a size of Pomelo (large grapefruit) and has some genius features, including:

    Super crazy-light and waterproof material, allowing a dumbass like myself to travel light without being ill-prepared;
    Color coded tent-pole-hole-things which make it impossible to misalign your tent poles in the wrong holes;
    A pocket on the inside (by your head) to store the kleenex that replace your girlfriend at night (or in my case, tissues to blow the sinus ebola out of my nose);
    A top-of-the-tent ceiling net that:
    A) turns your cell phone into a spotlight that lights up your life
    B) keeps your valuables in an impossible to lose location
    Light-speed zippers that don't snag.
    Ducati Red Tent Fly that repels mosquitos and attracts hot Italian women (or so I'm told).