I entered Italy without any difficulties. I rode along the coast via SS1 from San Remo to Genoa. It was a very beautiful hilly ride with beautiful warm weather but a bit stressful as the road was narrow, winding, lots of vehicles, traffic lights and roundabouts. The speed limit was 50kmh only. It took me almost 4 hours to reach Genoa which was only 200kms away.
Since my destination was Milano, I decided to take the A7 highway. I passed lots of tunnels. When I need to put gas in, I was surprised that the price for RON95 gas was EUR1.60, the most expensive for me so far. I reached Milano within 2 hours after that.
Milano is the most important city in Italy. After the 2nd world war, the city had rebuilt itself into a thriving cosmopolitan business capital. What made Milano interesting compared to other places was that the city was truly more about the lifestyle of enjoying worldly pleasures, a paradise for shopping, football, opera, and nightlife. Milano remains the marketplace for Italian fashion. In Milano, I took a free tour and was taken to the gothic cathedral Duomo, Piazza Del Duomo, the stock exchange building and Castello Sforzesco. I also visited the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, an ancient and glamorous arcaded shopping gallery, where I could only feast my eyes, but couldn’t afford to buy anything there. I also managed to drop by at San Siro Stadium, the AC Milan and Inter Milan football stadium.
My next destination in Italy was Brescia. I never include this industrial town in my route in the beginning, but after I found out that Brescia was where the headquarter of Givi was located, I made a detour. It’s a must and very important for me to drop by and visit Givi as they were my title sponsor for Global Dream Ride. It was an easy 110kms ride via the back road which filled with beautiful poppy flowers and I reached Givi HQ in less than 2 hours. Simona Montini and Miriam Martinazzoli, reps from Givi HQ greeted me and took me out for lunch. We talked about my ride and how the Givi products which had been given to me had performed. I told them everything was good and I was very happy and satisfied with Givi products. They also briefed me about the agenda for tomorrow’s event, where I would be doing a presentation in front of the media people. I felt goosebumps upon hearing that because its not the same when doing a presentation in front of ordinary people, and in front of the press. After that, we went back to Givi HQ where both of them let me try new outfits to replace the old ones. I was also given some gifts such as a casual sweater, Tshirts, and gloves.
I was introduced to the mechanic, Alessandro, and he helped to fix and replaced some items which had worn out due to the extreme ride. Well, actually all Givi items which I had were still in good condition (proof of what good quality Givi products were). Only the colours had faded because being under the sun and rain for more than 7 months already, but Alessandro insisted to replace them. He also offered to check my bike and changed the engine oil which I gladly accepted. After that, Miriam send me to the hotel (complimentary from Givi), and that night, Cristina Lodrini, Givi Direction’s assistant, took me out for dinner. We had a nice conversation while eating.
IN GIVI HQ (29 APRIL)
The date 29th April will definitely be the most memorable day in my entire life. To be honest. I didn’t sleep very well last night due to the thrill and excitement of what’s awaiting me on this special day. GD and I made our entrance at Givi HQ at 11am, and were given a big applause by all the staff and the journalists. Mr and Mrs Visenzi, and their daughter Hendrika were there to welcome me too. I was so thrilled. After that, I was taken to the conference room. I gave a one hour presentation and Giampaolo Deambrogi acted as my translator. I also showed the audience a piece of my video clip which showed my success to reach Ushuaia, “the end of the world.” I had no idea that the video moved some of them to tears. After I’m done with the presentation, Mr Visenzi handed me a bouquette of flowers. That was so sweet. After that, it was my turn to be interviewed personally by the journalists. I tried my very best to answer all the questions. I was very relieved when Cristina told me later that the presentation that I just did was very successful and all the journalists were very impressed. Thank god 🙂
Later, Cristina told me that Mr Visenzi agreed to help me for my ride and my living room in Italy. I was so speechless and couldn’t help tears. I hugged Mr Visenzi, whom I already felt as my father. What a kind man he was. I was so touched and I thanked him for his generousity. He patted my shoulder and just smiled while wishing me all the best for my remaining journey. I would never ever forget his kindness to me.
After that, Miriam and Mario showed me around. I was taken to the production site and watched how things were assembled. I was introduced to some of the staff and also watched a safety test for helmet. It was very impressive and now, I am more confident than ever to wear a Givi helmet. It was indeed the best and the safest helmet which you could really rely on.
Then, Miriam and Mario brought me for a ride into Brescia old city for a photography session. We were escorted by two traffic policemen. I posed in front of the Capitolium, Piazza Loggia – Town Hall, the old and new cathedral, and we also rode up to the castle. The view of Brescia from the castle was very nice.
Before going back to my hotel, I said goodbye to Simona and the office staff, and later Miriam took me back to the hotel. That night, two Miriams accompanied me for dinner. The other Miriam was an advrider too. Her name was Miriam Orlandi. We had a very interesting chat with lots of laughter. Miriam Orlandi happened to be a chiropractic and she gave me two free massages for my paining hands, on that night, (and the next morning). She also gave me a bottle of cream to ease the pain.
I went back to my hotel with lots of sweet memories. Even though tired, I was very happy and I felt a sense of fulfillness. Thank you very much Givi for not only supporting my ride with your awesome products, giving me some cash for my upcoming journey, but also giving me the chance to share my experience and to speak of my satisfaction on the items which had been given to me.
Thank you. Thank you very much.