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Around the World at 80 Km/h

Part one

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Title: Il giro del mondo a 80 all’ora. Parte prima.
Author: Luca Capocchiano
Year of publication: December 2019
Editor: La Caravella Editrice
Format: paperback, flexible cover
Language: italian
Pages: 484
Weight: 780 grams
Images: Present to support each chapter
Prices: for the paperback version 17,10 euro;
for Kindle 3,99 euro

The début piece

If the books by renowned Vespa traveller Giorgio Bettinelli fascinated and instilled in you the desire to discover the world on two wheels, make sure you read this author’s début piece. At one point in his particularly rewarding life, Luca Capocchiano decided to become the protagonist in a solo undertaking of epic proportions, part of which is told in this book. In fact, its 500 pages were not enough to come full circle and readers are already eager to get a hold of the second instalment.

Luca explored the planet on the saddle of a yellow 1976 Vespa TS, but his job as a mechanical engineer means he looks after drivers and motorcycles, which race at well over 80 km/h, in the Moto2 World Championship. An exciting yet challenging commitment, away from which the author must find time to write Part Two of his world tour, recommencing from Singapore airport where Part One ended, waiting to cross “that immense red desert that forms the heart of Australia”, before taking on South America. The second volume will most likely go into print at the start of 2022.
My fellow citizen, Christopher Columbus, left by sea seeking the East by way of the West. I’ll look to do the exact opposite, by road”, writes Luca in the prologue.
Departing from the waterfront in Genoa with the intention to travel obstinately east, before returning to the starting point, having set wheels in 5 continents.
Forty thousand kilometres or thereabouts, alone and with no sponsor, support vehicles or even GPS or a satellite phone. Wearing clothing that is anything but practical. Not even a windscreen on the Vespa, as we can see from the photos. But this is what Luca wanted.
“To prepare for a trip like this”, writes the author, “we must first have the ability to dream, and this is quite common. Then we must be prepared to fight for our dreams, and this is not so common. During these months, many people have said to me ‘I’ve always dreamed of doing that too! But […]’”
His “slow and steady” one-year-long world tour has taken him across deserts, roads dug out from rock, nearly 5,000 metres up the Andes and enormous fords, all while in the saddle of a Vespa that is over forty years old. On his site, the author describes how he changed four pistons, two cylinders and two clutches, travelled 1,500 km with no brakes, soldered the racks dozens of times and often drove at night with no headlights.
A fantastic experience, there’s no doubt!
What about the quality of the writing? Impressive… despite being written by an “engineer” (Ed.).