This is the story of two bike lovers who go cycling as often as they can, and decided to visit Italy on two wheels. Vladas and Gediminas from Lithuania love to travel freely, setting up their tent in the vineyards, amid wheat fields or in any other quiet place away from busy cities. As real nature lovers, they prefer the beauty of the mountains over the city, so they went for Italy's natural landscapes and paths.
Knowing that they had to ride long hours on some tough, hilly trails, they decided to use a Scientia M-3 saddle, which they chose according to the shape of their own sit bones, padded with 3d Skingel to reduce discomfort and soreness.
The two friends left from Bergamo and travelled eastbound, riding along back roads through the villages overlooking Lake Garda and the beautiful Verona and all the way to Venice, some wonderful places that would deserve their own chapter... From there, they headed to the Alps, having what is possibly one of the best travel experiences they had ever had; from the San Pellegrino Pass to the Stelvio Pass, they faced steep hills and long, damp tunnels, carrying some 40 kg of equipment and still wanting to ride up those paths!
After getting lost in some Swiss ghost towns, they got back on the right road towards the sea and reached the Cinque Terre, where they tackled challenging hills, then Pisa with its famous tower, and finally Rome and Naples until they reached the destination they were longing to travel to: the Vesuvius, the killer of Pompeii! With a little effort, they got to the slopes of the volcano in half a day, but they were stopped by the price to ride to the top: 10 Euro. Paying to climb a mountain was not really their thing, so Vladas and Gediminas decided to steer to other places.
They set off again and got to Villa San Giovanni, Calabria, where they caught a ferry to Sicily. They spent the night on a beach in Messina, but it turned into a nightmare; a fierce storm with thunder and lightning shook their tent all night long, scaring them to death!
The next day they ventured onto the slopes of the Etna. Compared to the hard work they had done up to that point, riding up the volcano felt much easier than expected, so they stopped to eat sandwiches and slept in a pine forest on top of the mountain; at some point, they woke to a weird noise... someone was stealthily approaching their tent ... They reached for their flashlights, pointed them towards the noise and there they saw it: the eyes of a fox. Quite hungry and not at all frightened by their presence, it started to eat up all that they had left near the tent. And it was determined not to leave until it was all finished!
The next morning they were back in the saddle and started a veritable tour de force across Sicily's rural areas, made of dry, sandy landscapes that look like African deserts, where cycling became particularly hard. But their effort was rewarded when the stunning beach of San Vito Lo Capo appeared in front of their eyes, surrounded by a crystal clear sea and gentle hills to complete that fairytale landscape. From then on, they had a wonderful time: Trapani, Marsala, Sicilian wine, and the local delicious food put an end to thirty-three days of cycling across the country.
The day after, Vladas and Gediminas got back to their everyday life, bringing with them the emotions and the fond memories of an extraordinary 3197-km journey on two wheels throughout Italy, one of the world's most beautiful countries.