ALDO FIORDELLI, Florentine, journalist and restaurant critic
If you should describe yourself briefly, how would you introduce yourself?
I'm nearly 40 years old, I'm a professional journalist and I work as a restaurant critic for L'Espresso, an Italian famous weekly magazine. I spend most part of my time sitting at a restaurant table so that I'm able to tell people where they can eat good food in Tuscany and in Italy too. I get from a place to another and I eat a lot, but you need to be hungrier.
Tell us what it means to you to be a scrambler rider.
It´s no accident that Steve McQueen escaped on a Scrambler. What is more essential and simple of a naked? Saint-Exupery wrote that “it is clever to travel light”. In the agility of Ducato Scrambler I've found all this: lightness, travel, freedom. Freedom to go faster leaving everything and everyone behind, freedom to travel for the pleasure to travel and not just to get to destination, freedom from false needs which consumerism tries to make us used to, whereas a motorbike let us get rid of them.
Which are your favourite routes when you ride your motorbike?
As Florentine that loves engines my first route was Passo della Futa. For who doesn't know it, that was not just the Apennine Pass until the early Sixties, before the Autosole was built, but also the myth of the Mille Miglia. Here you could win or lose the Freccia Rossa (itinerary: red arrow), from Bologna to Brescia the route is wholly flat. In this place Nuvolari wrote the history of the racing stable Scuderia Ferrari. Here in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, the most beautiful bends of the old race track of Mugello inspired the architects that projected the homonymous motor racing circuit. Here I rode my simple, easy and fantastic Scrambler also with someone on the back. The Pass is full of charm, but immediately after there is the Traversa Fiorentina, where you can find the Trattoria da Bibo. Alessandro Cianti is a young and a host with direct manners that has a thing for quality, but doesn't like formality. The guide of L'Espresso has been the first to write about it and today it's famous for the best grilled T-bone steak of the Florentine province. But, because Bibo was originally a newspaper kiosk and a bar where you could eat rapidly something, you can still stop for a delicious panino, a sandwich with two slices of bread, baked into a wood-burning oven, and ham, in this case from Spain: Joselito, the best ham in the world.
Another route that was on my mind in summer mixing passion, interests, engines, cinema and food was the Calafuria. The rock under the main road that goes from Livorno to Castiglioncello and that runs along a stretch of coast high up above the sea, the same road you can see in the famous Italian film Il sorpasso. Livorno is a fascinating port and as all ports has a cosmopolitan atmosphere, due also to its origins: It was founded by the Signoria dei Medici to host people that were not welcomed in Florence. The Leghorn attitude suits good with the essentiality of a Scrambler. Try to ask for an information on the street: They will answer you with a few clear words. Their food street reflects this way to be. They call it “five and five” that means five Lire for bread and five Lire for torta, the Italian word for cake. Torta for us Tuscans, contentious persons, is a salty schiacciata, a sort of pizza, with chickpea flour, salt and pepper. Its colours are yellow and black like a sports Scrambler. You can eat the best torta in the central market, in the Torteria da Gagarin, a local recalls the setting of a “Mediterranean Trainspotting”. After the Torta we use to drink a typical Tuscan fizzy lemon drink called the spuma bionda, that is perfect before hitting the road again. And since, as Saramago said, every journey is a pilgrimage, I kept on traveling and driving along the sharp turns that go from Livorno to Montenero. A cliff from which you can see the sea, the islands and Livorno also by night, dominated by the sanctuary of Madonna di Montenero, the “Queen of the Tyrrhenian Sea”, patron saint of the sailors. Besides the memorial chapel of illustrious Leghorn people in the sanctuary, there are also the voting offerings made by people whose prayers were granted by the Madonna, including the ones of motorcycle racers. For those who wish to stop off, I suggest the restaurant La Vedetta because of its simple cooking as well as the possibility to stay overnight. Thanks to them I found out La Castellaccia and its route. It is a shortcut going from Montenero to Quercianella and Castiglioncello, through the hinterland, without going down to Livorno. Practically, whereas the bends that you see in the film “Il sorpasso” run along the rocks, those of Montenero and La Castellaccia pass through the hinterland. There is barely traffic and the ground is better for the most part. It's here that I have driven faster on my Ducati Scrambler that is stable when I lean over and which allows me to take corners that are very sharp changing position on the saddle. Accelerating and decelerating into the pinewood where you could hear cicadas chirping and then reaching the main road Aurelia to get to the sea.
Taste of Joy: Where are street foods (restaurant, booths, pubs, holiday farms) that you have to know?
Lo Scoglietto di Rosignano http://www.loscogliettorosignano.it
Casale Podernovo di Terricciola http://www.casalepodernovo.it
Forno Alimentari Giotto di Chiesanuova
Marco il Trippaio in via Gioberti, di Firenze
Pizzeria Rizieri, di Viareggio
Bagno Texas, Marina di Pietrasanta