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Follow here my journey and stories around the World. 


Filtering by Category: Italy

100 times! Viva il Giro!

Ivan Blanco

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39,8 km/h… average speed!!!

That’s a speed that only the best of the best can achieve and is the equivalent of going at 100, in cycling terms obviously. It is in fact, the average speed the Giro d’Italia riders did for the 100th edition of the first Grand Tour of the year. Just a small detail, but FYI, they did it after more than 3500 kms in 21 days…

100 Giro d'Italia 2017 © Ivan Blanco Vilar

100 editions full of passion, 100 amazing winners, 100 amazing Giros and 100 unique moments that made history since its beginnings in March 13, 1909. This time, in addition of the big tribute to Italian culture and its breathtaking landscapes, it really showed us the Italian beauty from south to north and gave tribute to legendary cyclists like Fausto Coppi and some of the most famous cycling climbs like the Passo dello Stelvio.

100 Giro d'Italia 2017 © Ivan Blanco Vilar

Which such a pedigree, the protagonists themselves were up to the plate and gave an amazing show with 5 of the best riders of the World fighting for the ultimate and winning Maglia Rosa right to the last seconds… thank you Zakarin, Pinot, Nibali, Quintana, Dumoulin and their teams for one of the most exciting Giro’s ever!

100 Giro d'Italia 2017 © Ivan Blanco Vilar

So, with a friend living in Torino, and stage 14 close by, the decision to jump over to the former capital was quite easy and to make it even more cycling intense, we went out for a morning ride of ‘mere’ 120km at 27km/h average and 1500m elevation gain… now you see why 39,8 km/h is massive ;)

Giro giro Moncalieri © Ivan Blanco Vilar

Even if with a strong fatigue mix from work, travel and intense cycling weeks behind me, the little more than 4h ride was yet again a blast and let’s the pictures, and coffee, speak for themselves :)
Click click click for big big big

But wait wait, don’t leave yet, the best is to come, and probably the reason you are here, so without delay, here you have the photos of Stage 14 of the 100th edition of the Giro, started at the birth town of Fausto Coppi and with a win of, almost like a sign of the future winner, Tom Dumoulin!

You like what you see, then head over to my social media accounts for more cycling adventures and inspiration!

Keep riding and always with a helmet!

When orange is a battle: Storico Carnevale di Ivrea!

Ivan Blanco

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Ivrea! A town that during Carnival includes freshly pressed orange juice as their main treat...

Welcome to the Storico Carnevale di Ivrea, one of the lesser known Carnivals and events of the World, but probably one of the most peculiar, traditional and historic ones there are. Overshadowed by the World famous Carnival in Rio and their neighbouring Carnival in Venice, these may almost be deemed soft Carnivals when compared to the one in Ivrea… Since a picture is worth more than 1000 words, I let you draw your own conclusions with this photo ...:

Yes, this is a Carnival!

As you can see, it is one of those events that doesn’t go unnoticed to anyone who has the chance to take part in it. It is one of those manifestations that perfectly mixes passion, action, tradition and history in a very unique way, transforming it in one of those life-experiences that has to be lived at least once.

What can be said then about one of the oldest Carnivals in the World?

Did you know that the Storico Carnevale di Ivrea dates back as far as 1808?

If we let the local Italians speak: si caratterizza soprattutto per il complesso cerimoniale folcloristico denso di evocazioni storico-leggendarie; it is mainly a complex and dense revelation of the legendary and historic ceremonies deeply ingrained in the regional folklore. That isn’t a blant statement without reason, the historic Carnival of Ivrea dates back as far as 1808, being one of the few with Middle Age origins and still surviving without interruption to our most recent days.

In addition to the typical parade with military dressed locals, generals and orchestra, one of the main protagonists is the Mugnaia (= the Miller’s daughter), who could be seen as the queen of the carnival and is a dream to every local girl since a very young age.

La Mugnaia!

The peak moment of this ancient celebration is however the long awaited battaglia delle arance, the orange battle, which gathers thousands of people on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday during the Carnival period, engaging in one of the most citric battles ever. With a historical background where throwing beans and other objects was a way of communicating dissatisfaction with the parading nobility, today’s representation is transmitted through tireless battles in several parts of the city. The nobles ride on carriages called carri da getto, and the angry crowd, organize into groups and neighbourhoods, who are known as the aranceri.

A tip for the beginners: arm yourself with a red hat, with which you’ll show your your neutrality and, hopefully, will get less orange bullets on your head... Otherwise, the aranceri will show you what a 5€ investment would have spared you...

If only 5€...

... even the kids know better ;)

If you get the chance, do not hesitate, you will live a unique carnival with tremendous energy, full of tradition and where the main costume is the strength and tenacity of the people!

The end of a big battle!

Remember the battle dates:

Every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday during the Carnival weekend, starting every day at 14:00

Click here for more info.

This post is part of my Riviera Carnival Triangle, stay tuned
on Twitter & Instagram for more!