THIS is a travel around the world!

Let’s face it: we are all amateurs… At least when it comes to travelling around the world. Why do I say so? Well, try typing the name “Giorgio Bettinelli” on Google Images. The photo below is probably the first one that will show up:

Giorgio Bettinelli on his Vespa, somewhere in the world...

It is, for sure, a very small motorcycle, that Vespa. Isn’t it? Smaller than a Harley Davidson, smaller than the trains, buses, and Ryanair aircrafts we use to go from point A to point B over this peculiar and interesting sphere. But this Vespa was all Giorgio Bettinelli needed to travel to these places:

Route for the "Giro del Mondo" tour, on the Vespa!

No, I didn’t find out about him by typing random names on Google… Actually I was yesterday on a used-book store near Fontana di Trevi, here inRome. I love going there and talking to Franco, the old man who owns the place and deserves a post only about himself, some time soon… Looking for some book of the “Universale Economica Feltrinelli” collection, to learn a bit more of Italian, I suddenly saw this title: BRUM BRUM. It couldn’t be something normal. Either something very stupid written by someone trying to sound cool… or something naturally cool and different. You know it is the case for the second option, when you read the subtitle: “254.000 chilometri in Vespa”. I bought the book, of course!

I got so excited already with the first pages, that I thought: may be I could meet this guy here inItaly, if he is back here!  To my great sadness, though, I learned he died in 2008 inChina, where he was living with his wife. Bettinelli had an intense life. He was also into music, and wrote an Italian song which went famous in the  late 70’s (for the Brazilians here: this song is about a guy broken-hearted who gets drunk and talks to the barman… Does’t it remind you of Reginaldo Rossi?)

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Researching a bit more about him, I found this interesting website, where there’s a beautiful video with a nice tribute to this amazing traveler. The site is in Italian, but there is a quote by Bettinelli which I will try to translate. It reads something like:

“… I felt for a few seconds, without a cause, absolutely happy, while the hairs of my skin got winced… Only a few seconds, for which it is really worth LIVING.”

I like this idea of a burst of deep happiness striking by surprise for only some seconds. Some very special seconds.

To see the video, click here:
http://current.com/e/89368260/en_US

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About Axel Pliopas

Between flying and engineering, I try to find some time to explore everything I can... Looking for interesting people and places, and trying to tell some of the interesting stories I find, is the objective of this blog. In the process, hopefully, my pictures will get better and better (they all say experience time has something to do with this...)
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8 Responses to THIS is a travel around the world!

  1. That Giro del Mondo tour looks amazing. I could almost do that in reverse (I’m in Australia). One day I just might! 😛
    Cool blog!

  2. Adriano Axel says:

    Australia!!!!! I met some people from Australia here in Rome and in Japan before coming here… they are always friendly and easy going, making me think Australia is still a place where you can find some peace of mind more easily. Or may be these nice people are the only australians traveling, because I never met any other kind! 🙂 Thank you for your visit!

  3. ***The LensMaster says:

    Finally, I found someone who was able to travel the world like how Bettinelli did…so it’s really possible!!! Can’t wait to do this!!! I’ll do research on how to do the Giro del Mondo and compute every expenses, look for for best routes, and network with people in every destination to know more of the place…Does the book you got left some pointers on how Bettiinelli went from point A to point B?

    • Axel Pliopas says:

      Well, I’m reading the book very slowly… the only thing I know is that he had sponsors, but it was not the internet era… I don’t know how he planned the routes, how the money of the sponsors could find him, and how was it when the Vespa had some mechanical problem… But yes… there are people travelling the world like this, and other people doing amazing things too… I’ll write more about those I know… And if you know about some other crazy people who bravely fought the distances of our planet, let me know! 🙂

  4. VIOLETA says:

    Reblogged this on oceangrins.

  5. VIOLETA says:

    wow, incredible post!!! hope you don’t mind that i reblogged it. it was so inspirational. thanks for sharing it.

    • Axel Pliopas says:

      Of course I don’t mind! Something like this is inspirational in many senses, I think not only for travelers… It’s more like… “just go there and go on with your craziest dream and be happy”, something like this… 🙂 I loved to find out about this story!

  6. Gilly Gee says:

    Now that’s what i call travel – wow!

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