Around the World with an Italian Supermodel - Page 3 - - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #21 of 560 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2014, 4:17 am Thread Starter
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There's a number of factors responsible for whether we like a city or not. Walkability scores, local taxes, schools and crime indexes may tell part of a cities story....but a part that is about as far divorced from the actuality as possible. It's a subjective and complicated experience. You simply can't rationalize yourself into liking or not liking whatever environment you find yourself in anymore than you can rationalize yourself into falling in love with a woman just because of her SAT scores. But up until now I've never visited a city that transforms so much between the day and the night as Milan. I guess, like women, some cities just look better in the dark.
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post #22 of 560 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2014, 4:18 am Thread Starter
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A few last pics of Milan before I set off.

My last stop in Milan: Hangar Bicocca.

I've admired Anselm Kiefer's work since introduced to it. The installation is called The Seven Heavenly Palaces and walking into the hangar was almost like being sucked into a vacuum of silence. For the first five minutes I had it all to myself. It's strange and eerie, like a Cirque du Soleil stage frozen in time. I'm sure there's all kinds of allegory and symbolism, but I'm more of a formalist than anything else and believe that once something is put out into the world, the artist/writer/director/musician's intentions are usurped by individual reaction and interpretation. I don't get too cerebral with the justification of meaning in artwork (which I believe dilutes the impact instead of enhancing), but I do believe that an artist succeeds when a small portion of the world is transferred inside of another.

I failed to mention that when I arrived I asked if I could park my bike onsite. Alessandro, the cool dude in the pic below, obliged, and opened the castle gates. He happens to ride a GSXR--always cool to meet another motorcyclist--esp. when they understand the desire to walk back out to a parking lot and find your bike where you left it instead of finding only a broken lock.

Alessandra and Francesca were also super cool. Alessandro filled them in on my trip and for the first time in three weeks in Milan I'd met complete strangers who became instant friends.
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post #23 of 560 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2014, 5:49 pm Thread Starter
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When I left Milan I wasn't sure where I was headed. I took some signs for Genova because, hey--I do like Salami. (Still not quite clear why the English translation for Italian cities are spelled differently than the original in Italian. It's not like we can't pronounce "Firenze" or "Genova" or "Roma". But whatever.) Genoa was awful. Imagine if Blade Runner was filmed during the day with an orange filter. Then add a lot of traffic, no skin jobs with extraordinary stories of what happened off the shoulder of Orion. Then add more orange, remove the plot, turn the heat in the theater up to 11, add more traffic and there ya have it....Genoa.

Whenever I hit a city I don't like I just ride higher and higher. Gives me a good vantage point and removes a lot of the silt that clouds the lower stratosphere.

Only I didn't find anything up much higher. I definitely wasn't going to stay in Genoa for the night. If we go back to the 'some girls look better in the night' metaphor I arrived too early and didn't have enough to drink. I was sober, the sun was shining brightly and, though I admit I wanted to take off all my clothes, it was only because it was so fucking hot out.

So I parked my bike in a parking lot near an underpass and got on my phone to search for a city a couple hours away.

PISA! Yes, Pisa, why the hell not. Almost immediately it became a good decision:

Found a campsite (for a banana-in-the-butt price of 23 Euro) in Pisa and set up tent.

An ADVer here who also backpacks and rides decided to make a better mousetrap. We began talking six months ago while he was engineering his second prototype. What better way to do R&D than give something to me? If a product has a deficiency I'm the guy to find it, and then articulate the hell out of why it sucks so much.

But I have to say, incredible. The tent compresses to a size of Pomelo (large grapefruit) and has some genius features, including:

Super crazy-light and waterproof material, allowing a dumbass like myself to travel light without being ill-prepared;
Color coded tent-pole-hole-things which make it impossible to misalign your tent poles in the wrong holes;
A pocket on the inside (by your head) to store the kleenex that replace your girlfriend at night (or in my case, tissues to blow the sinus ebola out of my nose);
A top-of-the-tent ceiling net that:
A) turns your cell phone into a spotlight that lights up your life
B) keeps your valuables in an impossible to lose location
Light-speed zippers that don't snag.
Ducati Red Tent Fly that repels mosquitos and attracts hot Italian women (or so I'm told).
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Last edited by AntiHero; Aug 14th, 2014 at 6:14 pm.
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post #24 of 560 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2014, 6:15 pm Thread Starter
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Lesson #453:
The destination may be alarmingly different than the road that took you there.

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post #25 of 560 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2014, 7:50 pm
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Great write-ups as usual. In for the stories and reminder to keep traveling.
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post #26 of 560 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2014, 11:06 am
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Excellent stuff already, another adventure that goes far beyond the thinking that a vacation is hiding at a St. Regis. Thanks Dennis !
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Some of the most asinine things people do are typically preceded by the two words "Watch this."
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post #27 of 560 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2014, 5:07 pm
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Dennis I so envy the trip and can not wait for further installments. Vicarious is the only way I can live it my friend.
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Take care, ride safe.

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post #28 of 560 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2014, 5:29 pm
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The Night

You can find the mystical city can't you? You feed my soul!

Take care, ride safe.

2006 ST3sABS

Last edited by Chuckracer; Aug 20th, 2014 at 10:02 am.
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post #29 of 560 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2014, 7:15 pm
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Dennis I wish I was in the position to do what you do. However my beautiful wife and 5 children are my current adventure! But I will start following your thread now. Your writing is captivating and the places you get to see are inspiring. I look forward to what's next. Keep it shiny side up brother!

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post #30 of 560 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2014, 7:37 pm
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Excellent Adventure -- thanks for sharing

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