Che bella moto!

Riding the Transitalia Marathon 2017.

Pasta, pizza, Parmesan – and that's not even the half of it. Especially for 290 enthusiastic enduro adventurists. They're taking part in the Transitalia Marathon, which was launched in 2015 by former racer Mirco Urbinati. The Transitalia Marathon is not a competition. Rather, it's a big, communal adventure – the ideal event for heavyweight enduros. In other words, the perfect terrain for the GS community to pursue that spirit of discovery once again – set to the tune of enthusiastic Italians cheering along the road side: che bella moto!

The sweet life – and the dusty life

The event starts at Piazzale Fellini in Rimini. Participants register for the race here and receive their mandatory t-shirt, wristband and roadbook. This 400-page book will guide them over the next three days. The approximately 920-kilometre route follows the course of the Rally del Titano from the 1980s and weaves its way up and down through the Appenine Mountains. This picturesque mountain range extends 1500 kilometres from north to south through a large part of Italy and San Marino. Pure passion, perfect organisation and precise attention to detail are palpable even before the event kicks off. The starting point was named after Federico Fellini, the city's most famous native son and director of such masterpieces as La Strada and La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life). Very fitting, because the riders are in for quite a cinematic experience. But before the first stage kicks off the next morning, they enjoy an Italian feast – one last taste of the sweet life before the dusty life begins.

+ Read more

How about an espresso? Actually, make it two.

How about an espresso? Actually, make it two.

The rules of the Transitalia Marathon explicitly state that the purpose of the adventure is to experience the culture, people, scenery, history and traditions of Italy. The event is not about competition or even riding by the clock. Participants learn to take it easy. So it's no surprise that riders are overtaken after just a few kilometres: by the Italian way of life. Although they start out in groups of three, a dozen riders might make a quick pit stop for an espresso or two at local points of interest, like cafes. Between these stops, the enduro riders enjoy everything from challenging fast jaunts to demanding slow stretches over gravel, asphalt, dirt trails and through olive groves. The sunset at Lake Trasimeno, the first destination, is the perfect finish to an authentically Italian first day.

+ Read more

Hot tyres for a cold beer.

Hot tyres for a cold beer.

The riders are already back on their bikes before the morning fog has lifted. The high roads overlooking the valleys are especially beautiful during these early morning hours. The sun slowly rises up out of the sea. A truly cinematic scene. Right then, one rider has to stop because of a punctured tyre. Before long, a group of riders has formed around him. Thankfully, Frederico, a well-prepared participant and experienced rally racer, has a spare tube. The repair goes quickly and help is a matter of course among the kindred spirits. They quickly set off again, hoping for a day free of mishaps. The help is repaid with an appreciative smile and a cold beer in Leonassa that evening. Here, in the middle of Abruzzo, the entire town celebrates the riders with a festival of dancing and music as well as dinner in an old monastery building.  

+ Read more

Lonely but never alone

Before heading to Fermo, their final destination, the smell of fresh coffee hangs in the air along with a sense of wistfulness: The past few days have been too magical for words. Pure enduro pleasure. You can wash off dust and mud, but experiences leave an indelible mark. The remote feeling and magnificent views of centuries-old cultural landscapes will forever remain in the hearts and mind of the riders. In every town, every village and on every farm they are met with enthusiastic hospitality. A small table on the edge of the road with fresh bread and bacon is just as natural as the clearing of piazzas for the riders or welcome passage through magnificent city gates in the evening. After a while, no one is surprised when they stop to ask for tools from a local's shed and the owner turns out to be an enthusiastic enduro rider. In an instant, the old shed is transformed into a impromptu workshop, full of stories about engines and marathon riders enthusiastically tuning nuts and bolts – after all, there's always something that needs tightening.

+ Read more

Da capo al fine.

On the final evening, it's the same scene that everyone has become so accustomed to during the trip: long tables packed with exhausted but joyful enduro enthusiasts sharing stories of experiences not everyone gets to have. The dusty trails and tracks opened up especially for the tour not only lead the riders to the locals, but provide a direct glimpse into their lives. A path through a farmyard, normally reserved for a tractor, is suddenly all their own. Even grazing cows and livestock on the side of the road appear unfazed as the all-terrain riders pass by. For three days, the riders have immersed themselves in this incredible enduro landscape, their sights always focused on the sea, the valley or even better – the future. For almost everybody sitting at the long tables on the final night, it's already clear: da capo al fine – one more time, please!

+ Read more
More stories you might be interested in.
The right motorcycles.