Biking Italy Tour, Day 5: Turin

Fifth day of travelling for me yesterday, with first wake up in Turin city.
I woke up early in the morning to go out and have a cheap breakfast, and I’ve sadly figured out that in these days mornings aren’t that hot. 15 degrees are too few ffor me 🙁
I’ve bought my stuff from an automated vending machine and I came back to start my daily activities, just after a taste of good Lavazza coffee, commercial partner of Attic Hostel.

The hostel’s living room

Travel Blogger’s life

Now, without writing out so much details because I could be boring for somebody, I have to admit that in these first days of blogging I have revalued my opinion about the complexity of this kind of works. Honestly I believed that it would have been easier and less onerous. I have discovered that to update daily an online travel diary, create multilingual contents, build up even amateur movies and add slightly edited photos you need a lot of time. Not considering that the blog also needs more and numerous other activities for advertising, optimization, networking and sharing.
I have to say that, apart from a small lunch break from 2 PM to 2.30 PM, I wasn’t able to close my computer until 4 PM.

SoloAround.com travel blog 🙂

However not bad at all, in the living of the hostel the staying was really comfortable. How many guests here are saying, the atmosphere is so familiar that you feel like home in their place.
Talking about this, I also had the opportunity of have a lunch with the owner’s family, as you can see from the daily video, noting how much love for hospitality is not only a business attitude for who is doing this kind of jobs. My best compliments.
I take this opportunity to describe the whole structure.

Attic Hostel, Turin

The Attic Hostel is an elegant hostel located a few meters from the Porta Nuova train station in Turin.
The location is extremely charming, obtained from an attic in an ancient palace situated in Piazza Paleocapa.

The front side of Attic Hostel in Piazza Paleocapa, Turin

Getting into the building, you can reach the entrance at the fifth floor of the palace by using a comfortable elevator. Here you are immediatly welcomed in the beautiful living room of the hostel.
This business has a very particular story: Carlo and Silvana, the owners, are a couple of architects whose in a moment of change in their life, have decided to mix their skills about structuring and furnishing premises with the passion about hospitality, creating Attic Hostel in March of 2017.

The entrance of the hostel

Spaces are rich of details, and the ambient gives to the guests good feelings, even to people that are not so usual with staying in a hostel.
There are different kind of rooms, single, doube and small dorms.

Double room

One nice feature of this place is about castle beds situated in every dorm: they are the result of a design project made by the owners and artigianally realized by a local blacksmith, really charming touch for the whole situation.

Dorm with castle beds

Turin

As described before I had an intense day full of content-making activities, so I didn’t had so much time to explore the city of Turin.
So I decided for a small tour by foot of a couple of hours, making a classic touristic itinerary that made me visit, in chronological order:
Piazza San Carlo
Piazza Castello, Palazzo Madama e Palazzo Reale
Mole Antonelliana
Piazza Vittorio Veneto
Murazzi del Po

Palazzo Madama, Piazza Castello,Torino

These zones and the nearby monuments are the icons of Piedmontese chief town, historical symbols not only for the city but of the entire nation, and I’ve wanted to make you able to reach the stateliness and the beautiness of these sites filming them with long shots inside the 360 degrees daily video, in order to let you calmly scroll the frame for the best possible experience in viewing the architectural and cultural show.

Palazzo Reale, Piazza Castello, Torino

Video and music

In today’s video I’m starting with a little panoramic view inside the Attic Hostel, including a bit of the shared lunch had with the staff; after that I show you the best squares and monuments all over Turin. The soundtrack is the song “Maggie” singed by piedmontese artist Sergio Moses, who’s in Spotify with the album “Fuori di me”.

That’s all for today, I’m going to reach Milan, first with a train from Turin to Vercelli and next with this bicycle itinerary:

See ya tomorrow 🙂

Biking Italy Tour, Day 4: Turin

Yesterday was really a great day!
I woke up in Alessandria with an enjoyable climate, a wonderful sun with a slight wind that waved out all the clouds in the sky, and a thrilling clear sky. Maybe this is why my ugly morning selfie is a bit less ugly

The ugly morning selfie

I stayed in the bed and breakfast Arcobaleno places until 1 PM, in order to do the customary blog related activities.

Best friend of every blogger

Second bicycle step: Alessandria – Torino

So I’ve left Alessandria to reach Turin with the map in my pocket. The choosen itinerary meets in the first stage the village named Quargnento, with its beautiful square. Following the entire gps data for the itinerary from Garmin website.

Here started a route articulated in the hills of Montferrat , World Heritage Site named by Unesco, and it’s really unique.
Thanks even to the perfect climate condition of the day to enjoy a bicycle ride, I was enlightened from the beauty of hills sights in these zones, that creates a series of ups and downs embedded in dreamy landscapes fantastic for riding and shooting.

Countryside near Montemagno

The zone that I liked more than others wa surely the one between villages of Fubine – Altavilla – Montemagno – Grana. I’ve shooted a lot of photographies of the surrounding hills, but I don’t put all of them in the blog because there are too much.

Countryside in Monferrato

Going straight the street is becoming flat for a small period, to change again with altitude later, never too much honestly. Very nice the land between Cunico, Piea and Boscorotondo.
Passing through the city of Chieri, I was approaching the final stage of the daily itinerary, that had the hardest altitude difference in the day: the hill of Pino Torinese: its 500 meters above the sea level.
In proximity of this hill I’ve took a wrong way, even for few hundred meters. The web service I use for drawing itineraries doesn’t know that the Pino’s tunnel is forbidden for bicycles. Not bad at all however, for this reason I had the opportunity to cross the hill’s peak and to enter the city of Turin from the panoramic Corso Chieri.

Turin view from Corso Chieri

Turin and the Attic Hostel

Entering Turin from this zone is magnificent, first of all you’ll find the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele I and then the Ponte Umberto I, both massive looking creating a junction between the two shores of Po river, the biggest Italian river that is flowing through the city.
Near the Porta Nuova train station, I’ve reached in few meters the accommodation place that will host me in these two days in Turin: it’s the Attic Hostel, high class hostel situated in Piazza Pietro Paleocapa. I’ve been immediately welcomed with a regal treatment by the owners Carlo and Silvana, whom are really enthusiastic to join the Biking Italy Tour and wanted to shoot a photo together.

Riccardo and Carlo, Attic Hostel. Turin

In tomorrow’s post I will describe with more details this wonderful place.
After a regenerating shower and a pleasant chat with the owners, I get out to reach the city center in order to have a dinner in the restaurant suggested to me by Paolo of Foodo, the food blog that follows my trip to write about Italian regional cuisine and create in their kitchen the dishes that I taste around the Country.
Arrived in front of the restaurant I’ve discovered with big disappointment that it was closed for holidays until 5th September.
I had to taste the agnolotti, typical fresh pasta dish of these zones, so I moved to a district full of cafes. Unfortunately I hadn’t the opportunity to taste that plate, but I ate some great “tajarins” at “da Cianci”, famous local tavern.

Tajarins @ Tavern da Cianci

Video and music

In the spherical video of this Sunday the shootings are principally dedicated to the bicycle itinerary, and the soundtrack is gently provided by Li Bassi, singer and writer from Turin that with the track “La sindrome del salmone” gives us a funny and groovy melody for the forth 360 degrees video of BIT.

The track, coming from the album “Il lato giusto”, is on Spotify.

Latest picture of the day was taken in the Attic Hostel’s lift: the combination with my face, the tshirt and the surroundings gived a psychedelic atmosphere made to be shared with the entire World 🙂

Moments of vanity at Attic Hostel

For today it’s over, let’s read out tomorrow!

Biking Italy Tour, Day 3: Alessandria

After two days discovering Genoa, perched regional capital of wonderful Liguria, yesterday finally was the right moment to move my legs.
The target for the day is to pass the Appennino Ligure near the Bocchetta Pass, to reach without hurry the Po Valley and the city of Alessandria. Circa 80 kilometers with discrete altitude difference.

I like so much the ugly morning selfie

First step by bicycle

The day started with blog related activities, that are becoming an enjoyable habit. After a light but energetic breakfast, a bit of social media.
La giornata inizia con le attività di blogging, che stanno diventando una piacevole abitudine. Dopo colazione, leggera ma energetica, un po’ di social media. Managing Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram, contents and activities to manage are not few 🙂
After thanked and greeted the Manena Hostel, at about 11:30 AM I was able to be on the street with my bicycle. The backpack, with its 12 kilograms weight, wasn’t properly light, but the enthusiasm of the first travelling day made me feel it lighter.
To introduce properly the biking subject, I need to show you the vehicle that will accompany myself in the 2400 kilometers of the Biking Italy Tour. It’s a 2016 Specialized Tarmac with Axis wheels and brakes, Shimano 105 gear and 25 millimeters tires.

My Specialized Tarmac

Bocchetta Pass

Reached the Polcevera creek, honestly without any water, I turned right in direction of SP 35 – SP 5. The street that brings to the villages named Campomorone, Langasco and Pietralavezzara is historical: it follows the ancient roman itinerary of Via Postumia. In some sections the sights of Appennini are really suggestive.

The Ligurian Appennino

Passed with satisfaction and fatigue the quoted Bocchetta Pass at 772 meters above the sea level, the Piedmont region is reached with fast and panoramic downhills. These streets for biking lovers are famous for being the hometown itineraries of the great Fausto Coppi, big champion in the last century.
In this moment I’ve met Sergio, nice biker living in these zones that had the gentleness of offer me a coffee and ride with me for some kilometers. Thank you Sergio!

Me, Sergio and a bikers lover dog-sized horse

The arrival in Alessandria zone

Going straight the route continues to lose altitude, crossing the villages of Gavi and Novi Ligure. At a certain point, following the directions of an anonymous road signal, I got in a very tight street that was supposed to go to Alessandria, discovering that the last segment wasn’t asphalted. Not bad at all, in this way I’ve tested the strongness of my brand new Michelin tires mounted on my bicycle. Here below the gps track of the itinerary Genoa – Alessandria.

B&B Arcobaleno, Alessandria

B&B Arcobaleno, Alessandria

The arrival in Alessandria at Bed & Breakfast Arcobaleno have pleasently surprised me for the beauty and the hospitality of its places located in a palace made in 1800. Big thanks to the staff really enthusiastic to join the project.

Sight from the patio of B&B Arcobaleno

The locals, numerous, spacious, new and coloured, are arranged in an internal yard that accommoodate even the breakfast room.

The “Verde” room of B&B Arcobaleno

If you are in transit in the beautiful Alessandria I suggest to stay in this wonderful example of italian hospitality.

Not to miss in Alessandria

When in the city is a visit to the Cittadella is a must. It’s a permanent fortress build up in the eighteenth century that’s a national monument, historical site extremely fascinated.

Cittadella of Alessandria

I even suggest a visit to the city center: Corso Roma is a street really coloured and full of life.

Corso Roma, Alessandria

Video and Music

The 360 degrees video of this day is mainly dedicated to the road trip made with the bicycle, with spare views from the destination city. The soundtrack of the video is gently provided by The Wonderland, young band from Piedmont, and the title of the track is “The Promised Land”.

Now it’s time to shutdown the computer, I’m departing to Turin with this itinerary:

Let’s read up tomorrow!

Biking Italy Tour, Day 2: Genoa

Yesterday, Friday 1st September, I’ve added the second badge to the journey that will bring me from here till mid October across fourteen italian regions.
If you’ve missed the previous post, I suggest you to read it
Se vi foste persi la puntata precedente, vi suggerisco di leggerla

Riccardo Mazzolo loves ugly selfies in the morning

Friday 1st September, 8:00 AM

After a good continental breakfast, I’ve dedicated a couple of hours to blog related activities on my computer: technical adjustments for the website, finishing touch for some copy, final procedures for the upload of the latest Youtube video…
Dopo una robusta colazione continentale, mi sono dedicato ad un paio d’ore di attività al computer correlate al blog: sistemazioni tecniche al sito, rifinitura al contenuto dell’articolo precedente, procedure finali per il caricamento dell’ultimo video su YouTube… ordinary administration.
10 AM arrived very fast, starting time for the principal activity of my day, a walking tour of the city of Genoa organized by Manena Hostel.

Spyros and the people of Genoa walking tour

Genoa walking tour

The experience started well: multiethnic group of 13 people and I was the only italian. Everybody were nice and very smiley, and our guide was a greek guy that was obviously speaking only in english. Wonderful
We really made a beautiful tour of the city, that I’ve tracked down with my gps watch. In its opinion we made more than 10 kilometers in 4 ours, but I think that at a certain moment it went out crazy tracking a sort of teleportation to the pier, in that zone the gps cover wasn’t that good.
However here below you can see the whole itinerary.

Spyros, our guide for the day, is a really charismatic leader. He rapidly involved us in the city atmosphere with excellent savoir-faire, showing remarkable communication skills and great historical knowledge about the territory. With high proficiency he was able to guide us in a long tour discovering the genoan center, enriching the experience with lots of citations coming from the glorious “zeneise” past alternated with funny things about modern customs and traditions. A big thanks to him and who with him gives soul and body in order to promote their own city.

Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, Genoa

Following here a summary of the places included in the walk:

Walking tour in the streets of the historical center

The video of the day is totally dedicated to this long city excursion in the streets of the historical center, you can spot a lot of places from the previous list and is visible here below, in 360 degrees mode.

Maybe Heaven is similar to the vision of this artist

Music

The soundtrack for the day is an occasion to greet and thank the Società Cooperativa di Multiservizi per lo Spettacolo Esibirsi, media partner of Biking Italy Tour. From the roster of this company comes the genoan artist Chiara Ragnini, whom has gently gived us the rights to use the song “In ogni angolo del mondo” for the second step of the journey.
The whole album “La Differenza” is available on Spotify.

The Manena Hostel in the historical center of Genoa

As promised yesterday, in this post I’m going to describe in a more detailed way the accommodation that welcomed me in these two days in the Ligurian capital.
The Manena Hostel is the first hostel born in the historical center of Genoa, made in 2012 by Giulio and Manuel. The building is really nice, with a typical high vertical development.

The entrance of Manena Hostel, Genoa

The staff is nice and cozy, the service is excellent, with three rooms for 5, 8 and 12 people and the toilets are several, big and always clean.

One Manena Hostel’s room

Prices are really convenient and moreover, as written before, the hostel is an organizer and promoter of the city walking tour already described in the last video. Another plus is a local cuisine experience: if interested you can book a small course that teaches you how to prepare the famous Pesto alla Genovese.

The kitchen of Manena Hostel

The visiti s highly recommended by me, for the reasons described before.

Manena Hostel’s living room

I’ve made with the boss Manuel a 360 degrees video in order to show you why and how this hostel is really beautiful.

Everything for today people, now I’m going to ride my bike to Alessandria (TO), for the very first biking step of this journey, with a light but unlikeable drizzle.
This is my itinerary for today:

Let’s read ourselves tomorrow!

Biking Italy Tour, Day 1: Genoa

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The big day

The big day is finally arrived: yesterday at Genoa Biking Italy Tour is started.
I’m really excited, I could not wait to start this wonderful adventure.
So let me start telling you the first gorgeous day of this long trip.
For climatic reasons, I decided to face up these 2400 kilometers across the whole Italy passing through the north side of the Country at the beginning, in order to avoid any possibility of meeting up with cold situations at the end of the travel, because I will run with my bicycle until almost mid October.
To so do, I had to move from my home in the deep North East, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, to the longitudinally opposite side: the Liguria region.

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Wake up selfie, known modern pathology

Personal driver

Yesterday morning, after a huge breakfast, I’ve finish to pack luggages, my brand new giant 34 litres backpack and the bicycle, dismounted in a travel bag for the occasion. Meanwhile the personal driver that I’ve hired for the special event has reached my house: for privacy reasons I can’t write his name, but I’ve obtained the rights of publishing the videos took with the 360 degrees cam. Expectable, by the way, my friend is a very important person 🙂
Together we arrived at Casarsa della Delizia train station, where the great Mattia was waiting us. I have to thank him for the wishes and for the motivational coaching 😀

Me, the driver and Mattia in Casarsa station

In train

At 10.55 AM, really on time, my train has departed going to Genoa. An enjoyable trip through the Po Valley, in a great day to travel: not too much sun and neither too much hot outside. On board a nice poutpourri of people, college students in slow recovery, business men and women on work transfer, flushed seniors not too much confidents with train doors, and even a couple of albanian newlyweds living in Milan since 15 years that, going on holiday to Massa Carrara, told me in secret that their dream is moving to Tuscany before they’re getting old. Best wishes to everybody 🙂

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An end of August train

Manena Hostel

Small delays in the journey haven’t ruined the entire voyage, all the train links went good and I arrived at Genoa train station almost at 6 PM. I’ve remounted my two wheels companion and I’ve flown in the direction of the first accommodation that hosts me in this travel: the Manena Hostel, very likeable hostel in the city center that have welcomed me and my Biking Italy Tour project with an enthusiastic mood becoming one of my first sponsors. Today I will make a shoot in their premises so tomorrow you can admire it in all its beauty.

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Focacceria Da Boris, Genoa

Focacceria Da Boris

After a little shower I went to the first step of the trip, dedicated to food: the pizzeria focacceria Da Boris, recommended to me by Paolo from Foodo, that will work for the whole period with the project. He will give me food tips for the most famous destinations, while writing on his food blog about recipes related to the recommended plates coming from the whole Italian Country. Thanks, Paolo! 😀

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Cheese Focaccia 🙂

360° video

In order to complete with some relax the first day, four hours in front of the computer are always a good therapy. I’ve exceeded midnight at the keyboard but I absolutely had to write out this article and moreover the first 360 degrees video of this journey: taste it here below, or on YouTube, paying attention to the moving perspective on the screen, you can see the places as you’ve been there with me 🙂

Music

The soundtrack of the video is made by Cosmic Bloom, band formed by Manuel Baldassare.
The title of the song is Delicate Mind: you can find the entire album Star of the East on Spotify.

For the first day is everything here people, today I go out to discover Genoa, let’s read ourselves tomorrow!

BIT, Biking Italy Tour, is going to start

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BIT, acronym of Biking Italy Tour, is going to start.

I can’t wait for it, months of preparation are going to concretize.
The bicycle is already at the mechanic store for latest works on, but I will take it tomorrow morning. Thanks a lot to Renzo from EuroBike, Casarsa della Delizia, for the incredible working speed 🙂
I had the opportunity to tell my willing about realizing this idea to a lot of people, I have to say that they give me more positive feedbacks that I could have imagined.
I want thank here my friends and my relatives that have shown me their support and their willing to follow my trip around the Italian peninsula when they’ve received the news.
Thank you very much, it’s very beautiful feeling you with me 🙂
I have obviously received even less enthusiastic opinions, but you can’t please everyone.

In these days a lot of things happened, the project had a good presence in media thanks to the support made by TelePordenone, a local television, and two newspapers, Il Gazzettino and the Messaggero Veneto.


Read the article made by Il Gazzettino

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BIT has also received the first official sponsorship from Froggy Line company, located in Spilimbergo (PN), that produces custom cycling clothing.
Thanks to them I will be able to bring around Italy the blog’s logo and the website address, with their brand name printed on the uniform. I’m going to add a photo of the great work done by them soon 🙂

The accommodations that has decided to join the project are raised at 16, so I will write a good number of reviews for the various hostels, bed and breakfasts and hotels that I’ll find on my route.

I’ve done a lot of training in these weeks, and thanks to my new ‘toys’ made by Garmin I’ve realized the first 360 degrees video of this travel blog, that is a preview of what you’ll see daily in my posts, where the video pills will be posted with the daily summary. Here below you can see this preview, directly from my YouTube channel, and the complete itinerary of that training session.

 

I’m going to finish with a couple of photos to show very quickly what I will pack in my backpack and how you can fill very good a wonderful one 😀


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That’s all for today, see you tomorrow, starting from Casarsa della Delizia’s train station at 11 AM circa 🙂