Here in Italy, it seems everyone owns and drives “una moto” (motorcycle). There is a very big motorcycle culture here. However, don’t expect the majority of motorcyclists to be heavy built, salt and pepper bearded, bandana wearing men with cut-off denim vests over heavy metal t-shirts. Here the motorcycle culture is less stereotypical and composed of all sorts: young and old, male and female. In Italy, you can get a license to drive una moto when you are 16 years old whereas to drive an automobile you must be 18, so it really can’t come as a complete surprise that the moto would become such a prized possession.
The sound of a moto booming through the small streets of Carpanzano is something I have grown used to. It now blends in, for the most part, into the daily hum that is life in a small town such as this. The Pro Loco of Carpanzano, as part of its summer festivities, organized a “motoraduno”. A raduno is a meeting or gathering and this particular one happened to be composed of motorcycles. Motorcyclists from Carpanzano and neighbouring towns gathered in the piazza in Carpanzano and then all together rode to one or two neighbouring towns before returning back. They then drove through Carpanzano as the residents and visitors here watched from the windows and doorways of their houses. It was quite a sight to see the narrow tiny streets of this town flooded with motorcycles old and new of different colours and makes. It was a first for me, as this event wasn’t something that had taken place in the previous summers I had been here.
As night fell, the motorcycles took to the streets again for a night ride through the town before returning to the piazza where they were met with a live band and dancing.