“Taurinorum Charity Rally 2012 – APEMAYA Official trailer” from Taurinorum Travel Team on Vimeo.
On my recent trip to Italy, I fell hard for the tiny Piaggio Ape (say AH-peh, means bee in Italian, for its pleasant hum), a glorified Vespa scooter with a truck bed or a back seat attached. In Italy and India, you see the adorable vehicles everywhere, outfitted as delivery trucks or touristy rickshaws. With its small footprint to park nearly anywhere, high fuel efficiency and low city speeds, I think the Ape might be the perfect car for a New Yorker who just wants it for IKEA runs and those times you find a really amazing coffee table on the street.
Researching the viability and legality of these cars outside of Italy (maybe okay in America, if you don’t take it on the highway), I found the Taurinorum Travel Team, a group who has been raising charity funds with some incredible adventures. They started in 2009 in West Africa, touring in a comparably large Fiat Panda. The first Piaggio Ape trip was in 2011, from Quito, Ecuador, to Machu Picchu, Peru, for the centennial celebration of the ancient city’s discovery and to support biodiversity (watch the little trike car make it over 4,000 kilometers here). The ApeMaya trip last year went through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize, ending in Chichen Itza to combat violence against women. The 2012 trip was designed to coincide with the end of the world as prophesied by the Mayans, but the tuk-tuk survived the 3,000-mile trip. Check out more of their beautiful footage here.
No news yet on their 2013 trip, but I hope they can stop by Brooklyn so I can take it for a test drive.
If you pass through Grand Central in New York today, you might catch a little piece of Bermuda during what’s being called “Experience Bermuda” day. The Bermuda Department of Tourism will be offering commuters samples of Bermudian cuisine and tropical beverages, chances to win giveaways, and live performances–including Bermudian musicians and the H&H Gombeys Cultural Dance Troupe.
Stop by to win one of 50 round-trip airline tickets to Bermuda in a dance contest that will place participants “virtually” on the island, or get a picture next to one of the pink Vespa scooters that can be seen on the island. The day will end in a Bermuda shorts runway contest on a pink runway, where one lucky winner will walk away with a trip for two to the island.
It’s all taking place in Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall (just off the main concourse) from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you can’t make it to the terminal, WCBS-FM will be broadcasting the event live from 6 to 10 a.m. on the “Dan Taylor Morning Show,” and will be giving away vacations for two to Bermuda from February 13 through February 17.
Photo of H&H Gombeys Cultural Dance Troupe by GoToBermuda / Flickr.
Travel guidebooks conceive of the world as a series of obvious, important monuments. This is particularly true of a brash and magnificent city like Rome. Your typical traveler could be forgiven for simplifying this complex historic capital down to a giant marble stadium, a series of famous steps and giant chapel mural. But writer David Downie reminds us there’s a lot more to Rome than its monuments. In fact, Downie argues, Rome is a city best savored through its secret places: the sensual and contemplative spaces unknown to the average visitor.
In his new book, Quiet Corners of Rome, Downie (a Gadling contributor) treats us to an insider’s tour of over 60 of Rome’s hidden spaces based on years of exploration. What he reveals is a city that is not about grand monuments, but instead the spaces in between: quiet courtyards punctuated by burbling fountains and the fresh scent of pine, the distant vibration of church bells in a shady courtyard and ancient stone plazas bedecked with intricate architectural details. Each sight is accompanied by a serene photo taken by photographer Alison Harris. It’s less a tourist guide than a dictionary of intimate discoveries and pleasant surprises – a sprawling, overwhelming city made personable, particular and specific.
Looking for a guide to Rome’s greatest and grandest sights? This is not that book. What Quiet Corners of Rome accomplishes however, is something altogether more authentic. It’s a highly personal, approachable and enjoyable way experience one of our favorite places as it was meant to be experienced: by cherishing every hidden nook and secret city view.
GadlingTV’s Travel Talk, episode 25 – Click above to watch video after the jump
For the final installment in our series on Rome, we’ve saved the best for last & are satisfying our thirst for adventure. Watch as we tour the Vatican, rent Vespas, and check out Rome’s impromptu night life.
On the couch, we’ll dissect the differences between the Vatican & the Holy See, and show you the one place in Rome to peer through a keyhole and view 3 separate countries. Tune in to see just how crazy Roman driving actually is, what the best place public place to go after hours is, and what else the Vatican has to offer beyond the Sistine Chapel.
If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.
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Want to find the ‘magic keyhole’ of the Piazza del Cavalieri di Malta? Look no further.
Rent your own Vespa in Rome! Check out Eco Move Rentals.
Read more about the Holy See right here.
Hosts: Aaron Murphy-Crews, Stephen Greenwood
Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea