I’ve been lucky enough to make the first 2016 adventure between Milano and Amalfi, last week (from 13 to 17 of may).
I did not really what to expect, but it’s really a creative and fun adventure .
First, drive the Ape Calessino is an experience : feeling to have a scooter handlebar (left hand for gear change, pedal brake under right foot, throttle at right hand), but without any balance problem, a big windshield to protect you, but still being outside in the air (more over when you’re in convertible mode). The rickshaw sticks to the road, and being close to the ground makes you feel faster than you really are (anyway, you won’t go more than 64 km/h)
On the road, you see landscape under a new point of view and it’s better to stay concentrated in the hairpins of the Appenines mountains (where event the GPS gest lost) or in the curves over the Cinque Terre’s clifs!
Hopefully, some bigs beelines towards Pisa gives you some rest, and offers the opportunity to improve your average speed! Napoli is still a long way to go !
At every stop, in Tuscany village, or at the gas station, nobody believes you when you explain going from Milano to Napoli “con questa macchina”. But everyone find your vehicle “bellissima”, and his small size allows you to park almost everywhere, and approach easily all the Italy’s hidden treasures.
Easy to find your place in the town’s traffic. Other drivers are curious and let you go without any problems. It’s a little bit different in Napoli, where the driving rules seems to have evolved differently than from the rest of the country. Negotiating roundabouts will make you sweat, and think to use paved street with moderation. Do not forget to attach firmly your phone on the dashboard (a scotch tape will be helpful to avoid jumping smartphone).
Travelling in group, the web page with realtime position of everyone, is of great help.
Wifi onboard is also nice : book your hotel, keep in touch with others, find the next gas station
Be cautious, technology is not always reliable. Paper map, working without energy or 4g network can save your life. When you discover, in the middle of nowhere, that your phone which was supposed charging get only 1% battery left, you will repent to have forgotten your Michelin Map at home!
So, after 5 days on the road, more than 1100 km, italian’s expressos, pastas with unknown names, but delicious, incredibles pizzas, breath taking landscapes and historics buildings everywhere, you get the feeling to have been gone since 3 weeks. And you are attached to your rickshaw, and wonder why you don’t go further, just few hundreds kilometers more…