travel books

 

 

This area is dedicated to the reading, very important and relaxing part pre-journey! I wrote a brief list of the last books I read, with their reviews as well. They proved of great help to me and not only give us some smart advices but they also make us daydream. Of course, this list will be updated all the times!

Have a nice reading!

 

 

 

198
Gunnar Garfors

"I have visited 193 of them the last 10 years, 3 in 1992 and 2 in 2000. I have travelled alone to 96 of the 198 countries and with at least one other traveller to the remaining 102.

I have visited most countries with my brother Øystein Garfors (35) and with my friends Andreas Munkelien (21) and Asbjørn Havnen (17).

All three of them, and another 9 friends and family members, joined the celebratory trip to the last country."

Buona notte signor Lenin...
Tiziano Terzani

In August 1991 Terzani is along the Amur River, in Siberia, when he hears about the attempt against Gorbacev, just happened in Moscow. He decides to start the trip that will take him in two months, across Siberia, Central Asia and Caucasus, till the capital. An amazing experience, remembered in his notes, reflections and in the pictures that compose this book: a testimony on line of a very important event of our history, a gallery of different characters and people, a panorama of legendary cities, of unknown places, of vestige of the past and of overbearing signals of the new that advances. A journey and a book that gives us the picture of the final decline of the Soviet Empire.

Pelle di leopardo
Tiziano Terzani

Terzani arrived in Vietnam in 1972. He saw and lived the cruelty og those days and gave his own experience of witness of war at the diary that the following year was published with the title of: "Pelle di leopardo". He came back to Vietnam in 1975 and he was one of the fewer Western journalists witnesses of the liberation of Saigon. In "Giai Phong!", published in 1976, reported the diplomatic and war back stages of those hard months. The two books, gathered in one, describe not only the battles of a war who became the myth for a generation, but also the suffering of the civilian people and their moral and material change after the end of the encounters.

La porta proibita
Tiziano Terzani

In February 1984 Tiziano Terzani has been arrested in Beijing, searched, interrogated and, inf the end, expelled from the Country. He has lived there for four years with his family, trying to feel "Chinese": he sent his son to the local school, reached places unknown for the tourists, he discovered a different China. Rich of news and notes, considerations and impressions, this book is at the same time a reportage, a journey diary, an essay of contemporary sinology and the passionate novel of an human adventure.

Avventure in Africa
Gianni Celati

This book reminds me of the first part of “Caro diario” by Nanni Moretti. There a man was strolling around a desert Rome by Vespa, and this gave the emotion of seeing the images of the roads, the houses, the everyday local silence, as we would hear and see everything for the first time. In "Avventure in Africa" there is the same feeling of seeing the mages of life, as a first glance in the morning that ransoms all he experiences of a journey, the imagined and the lived one too.
As the one by Nanni Moretti, this is a diary as well, that becomes a tale, often funny, and with a faithful study of the life of the tourists. It seems as an invisible telecamera follows the man who is writing along the way across Mali, Senegal and Mauritania, just to make us watch the world with love.

Un indovino mi disse
Tiziano Terzani

In 1976 a Chinese fortune teller warns Tiziano Terzani, correspondent of the "Spiegel" from Asia: "Beware. In 1993 you will risk to die. During that year you must never fly ". In 1992 Terzani feels tired, doubtful about the sense of his work. He remembers that prophecy and he reads it as a chance to watch the world with different eyes. he decides not to take planes for one year, without renouncing at his job. The result of that experience is a book that is an adventure novel, autobiography, journey tale and reportage at the same time.

Quella volta che in viaggio...
Luciano Del Sette

Collection of anecdotes, memories, micro-tales and impressions of a tourist after twenty-five years of trips.

 

In Asia
Tiziano Terzani

Tiziano Terzani and Asia, a story long as a life. But is Terzani telling us about Asia or Asia is telling us about Terzani? It's hard to say, because the bond that this man presses with it is very strong since 1965. Reading this book we live again all the most important events happened in this mysterious continent in the last 30 years, you about the great ideals that formed it and all her main characters, until you give a glance about her future. At the same time Terzani invites us to pay attention at the other voice, the one of the real Orient, lived everyday, between the women and the men, the difficulties, the contrasts, rites, and curiosities...

Ebano
Ryszard Kapuscinski

Ryszard Kapuscinski let himself down in the African Continent and make him flood, avoiding the classical steps and stereotypes. He goes to live in the houses of the poorest sub-urbs, full of cockroaches and invaded by the hot, he gets ill for the brain fever; risks to be killed by a warrior. Kapuscinski never looses the smart glance of the reporter.

Lettere contro la guerra
Tiziano Terzani

This book collects some unpublished letters and some other published on the "Corriere della Sera". With these correspondences - from Kabul, Peshawar, Quetta, but also from Orsigna, Florence, Delhi and from his refuge on the Himalaya - Tiziano Terzani starts a pilgrimage of peace between Orient and Occident. According to the author in fact "it's not enough to understand the drama of the Muslim world in his comparison with the modernity, the role of Islam as ideology, the need for the Occident to avoid a religious war", we need to understand, above all, believe that the only way out from the hate, from the discrimination, from the pain is the not-violence.

Il giro del mondo in moto
Marco Deambrogio

Marco Deambrogio has a strong passion: to go far, to discover what there is beyond the following curve... He says he is not an extreme traveller, but looking at his expoilts, it's hard to believe him: from New Guinea to Amazonian till the North Pole with a Russian expedition. Maybe everything starts when he reads, as a child, Salgari's, Stevenson's and London's tales, or maybe when he tried to go across all the Po Plain by motorbike, dreaming to get to Beijing. Then, in 1996 the fantasy becomes reality and here kilometres run with every mean: on foot, by ski, by car and in the end by motorbike. He writes diaries following the example of famous predecessors. And one day, while he was crossing the Australian outback by jeep, he was impressed by a vision: along the border of the sand runway, in the middle of nowhere, there was the skeleton of a motorbike. Monument to a brave who failed, trying to do the unthought. A crazy thing, of course, why shall we cut our wings by ourselves, why not planning a trip at the limits of the impossible, among warriors and snow storms, corrupted policemen, geyser, sperm-whales and mysterious craters? Actually, in order to do a trip around the world you have to prepare yourself as all the other trips: face step by step and enjoy everything.

La strada sbagliata
Peter Moore

The author, nostalgic lover of the hippy freedom and of the journeys - but also without money - decides to do a very adventurous thing: go back from London to his birthplace Sydney travelling across Europe, Medio Orient and Asia with a poor budget and without using planes. Novel on the road with a nice musical soundtrack, "La strada sbagliata" offers to the reader a curious glance on very different worlds and realities, giving pages of escape and freedom.

Le porte dell'Arabia
Freya Stark

Freya Stark in '20s and '30s walked - on foot, on a horse, camel and donkey, and with all the other local means - the Medio-Oriental territories of the Islam, collecting every kind of material. In this book she tells about the very adventurous trip from the Aden Port till the Hadramaut on the tracks of the disappeared 'incense roads' and of the lost Mineum, Sabeum, Imiarite Empires. A trip that she does alone because this was the only one way for the foreigner to have a contact with a strange Country and people.

La prima guerra del football
Ryszard Kapuscinski

A bit older than twenty-five, Ryszard Kapuscinski leaves in 1958 to Africa and keeps on his trip across South America and the rest of the world. In this book the Polish journalist offers his first impressions of careful observer of the society and of the politics offer places, as Ghana, Congo, South Africa, Algeria, Honduras, Salvador.

Farfalle sul Mekong
Corrado Ruggeri

It's a novel of the reality written with the journalistic style. Banquets in the villages on the mountains of Thailand, among the tribes that cultivate the opium, with menu of dog's rissoles or Vietnamese dinners with the cobra killed in front of him, to drink the blood still hot. A trip between Thailand and Vietnam where the tourist deluxe of Bangkok contrasts with the poverty and the poetry of the modern Vietnam, where the guerrilla girls, killed fighting, dressed with their traditional black dress, have the wings and became the coloured Mekong butterflies.

Rhapsody in black
Giorgio Bettinelli

20.000 kilometers by Vespa, six months and half inside a trip of 144.000 kilometers and three years and eight months from Chile to Tasmania: a trip across Angola, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti, in order to complete the periplus, started in Morocco, of a Continent where the injustice, the vulnerability and the tragedy are the most common things, a Babel where little guys trained by the guerrilla have already killed and drunk the blood of their enemies; where the corruption and knavery are virtues to survive.

La fine è il mio inizio
Tiziano Terzani

Tiziano Terzani, when he was informed that he was arrived at the end of his path, talks to his son: Folco about his life and his opinion of life: "If you have understood anything you want to leave it in a box", he says. He tells about a whole life spent travelling around the world searching the truth. Trying to find the sense of all the things he did ad of all the characters he has been, he outlines a picture of all the passions of his time. "If you ask me in the end what do I leave, I leave a book that maybe can help someone to watch the world in a better way, to enjoy more his own life, to watch it in a bigger space, just as the one I feel so much."

Vado verso il Capo
Sergio Ramazzotti

A journey across Africa, through the Sahara Desert without jeep, facing the red and slippery slush slopes in the heart of the jungle on a rusty bike, using every type of mean - trucks, trains, taxi, ferries, vans, small boats - or on foot and without money to corrupt the authorities.

Il vecchio e il mare
Ernest Hemingway

Set in Cuba. Its simplicity is full of meaning and the figure of the old man is amazing: his tenacity is model and admirable. Unexpected ending that gives realism at the book, otherwise, it could have been too moralistic.

Quel poco che abbiamo capito del mondo facendo i turisti per caso
Syusy Baldy e Fabrizio Roversi

This volume is a small guide to know the Earth and her inhabitants, written by the two amateur travellers, a scary and lazy one, and an unconscious and tireless one. One prefers the certainties, the other the mystery. In this books are collected all the things that the two "Turisti per caso" couldn't tell in the TV program with their images, but that they were worthwhile writing them. The most wonderful dawns of the planet, the panic in the metropolis, the weirdest foods, sexual traditions, the equivocal in the language... everything with suggestions for the amateur traveller.

Un altro giro di giostra
Tiziano Terzani

Travelling has always been for Tiziano Terzani a way of life, so when he is informed that his life is in danger now, he decides to start another journey as answer to that news. But this is a different trip, it's also the most difficult one because each step, each choose - sometimes between right or craziness, between science and magic- deals with his survival. In the end the external trip searching a cure turns into an interior one, the trip to the divine origin of the man.

In India
William Dalrymple

Dalrymple has lived for long time in India, his second Homeland, six years in Delhi and four around the whole Country: from the forts of the drug chieves next to the North-West border till the Tamil Tigers jungles, from the cocktail party in Bombay till the temple, in Kerala, of the Goddess Parashakti, "the one who sits on the throne of the five corpses". This book is the portrait of an India hanging between very ancient traditions, the Western model and the chaos threat: India of the Kali time, the one that comes before the destruction of the world by the "the fire of the one thousands suns".

Viaggio in Italia
Guido Piovene

It started from Bolzano the trip in Italy by Guido Piovene and it kept on Region by Region, city after city, till cover every land, even the most forgotten one. It lastes three years. A very ahrd exploit that gives the birth to a very original book, scrupulous as a census, faithful as a photography, detailed as an accusa act. Italiy described by Piovene is the one of '50s, between rebuilding and econonical revival and that should appear, by a modern glance: ancient and far. In stead it's not like this. Piovene manages, as an anthropologist, to underline the National character, the one that never changes, that resists to all the fashions and historical setbacks.

C'è di mezzo il mare
Matteo Scarabelli

Mediterranean Sea, border, indefinite edge, between Continents, Countries, religions, place of infinite meetings and encounters. The word "Mediterranean" means "inside a land", but which is this land? Who are her inhabitants? Matteo Scarabelli decided to discover it at his way, by bike, riding 13.000 kilometers crossing three Continents, twenty Countries, hermetic seals, impossible visas and unsuspicious lifts. Becoming a bit Morrocan, a bit Bedouin, a bit Muslim, a bit Jew. At Egyptian and Albanian's home he discovered brave stories of many emigrants, from Abdel Fattah Hassan to Giuseppe Ungaretti. On his faithful Ronzinante he found fantastic hospitalities, guerrillas and terrorist attacks, mint teas, angry dogs and wonderful women. Ten months alone on his bike, a tiny odyssey of the soul. A crazy trip around a difficult sea. Hard to digest, impossible to forget.

Il viaggiatore
Gary Jennings

They say that, while Marco Polo was on his death bed, a lot of people and friends exhorted him to admit that all the things he told were just mean lies. The old warrior rised up on the pillow, cursed everybody and declared: “I haven't told neither the half of what I have seen and done”. Jennings, in these pages, tells us what Marco Polo, the great traveller, saw, lived and suffered and that was never told.

La via crudele
Ella Maillart

In June 1939 two young women leave Europe to go aboard of an old Ford towards the East. Their itinerary goes along Italy, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. But the two women follow also another path,close to the geographical one, exploring the deep of their soul searching new balances. Apath run by two differente personalities: next to the authoress, prototype of a strong woman, she travels in fact, hidden under the pseudonymous of Christina, a fragile creature, Annemarie Schwrzenbach. A writer too, Christina tries to hardest path: the one that could dissuade by the destruction of her own choices.

Sulla linea dell'equatore
Mike Horn

Three Continents, three Oceans, 24 time zones, 40000 kilometers across land and sea. Cover the whole circumference of the Globe along the equator is the deed that only an adventure man could do. His name is Mike Horn. His mission is Latitude Zéro.

Sulle ali di un Ape
Paolo Brovelli


In 1998, during the celebration of the Ape Piaggio, Paolo Brovelli and Giorgio Martino (architect, photographer, traveller) planned the EurAsia Expedition: an itinerary of exploration and research across the euroasian Continent. Aboard of two Ape TM703, prepared on purpose by Piaggio, they left from Lisbon on 30 April to get to Beijing on 28 November, after covering 25.000 kilometers in 200 days, crossing 20 Countries with a medium of 120/130 kilometers per day. Torn just for the great feeling of the research, the contact with different people, by the adventure spirit, they touched - across impassable paths, ruined or simple paths and nothing more some of the most remote and unknown regions (but really charming) of the Earth. From the Anatolic tableland till the Tibetan one; from the deserts of Turkmenistan till the Ganges Plain; from the ancient caravaneer centers of the Central Asia to the cities of the classical China; from Karakorum till Himalaya. Different landscapes, ethnical sceneries and political-social at the antipodes, trying to overcome the distance - phyisical, but above all mental - between Orient and Occident, to find again that contact between the two civilizations that seems to be lost always more.

Nelle terre estreme
Jon Krakauer

In April 1992 Chris McCandless started a trip alone in the immense wild spaces of Alaska. Two years earlier, completed his studies, he abandoned all his possessions and donated his savings to charity: he wanted to leave civilization to immerse himself in nature. Not properly equipped, without any preparation to extreme conditions that would have met, he was found dead by a hunter, four months after his departure for the land north of Mount McKinley. Beside the corpse a diary, that Chris had opened at his arrival in Alaska, was found and that made it possible to reconstruct its last week. Jon Krakauer fell almost by chance in this affair, remaining almost obsessed, and wrote a long article in the magazine "Outside" which aroused enormous interest. Later, with the help of Chris' family, dedicated himself to rebuild the long journey of the boy: two years through America following a dream. This book, in which Krakauer tries to understand what may have prompted Chris to seek a state of absolute purity in contact with unspoiled nature, is the result of three years of research.

Il giro del mondo in barcastop
Alberto Di Stefano

Just walked the threshold of thirty years, with a solid job in finance in Milan, Alberto Di Stefano decides to leave everything and leave for the tour of world by sailing. Dream in itself not very original and increasingly frequent, however, that turns into a real new way to travel. The book is the record of a year of travel with improvisation. On the one hand narrative of travel and meetings, on the other: manual on how to build an experience of barcastop minimizing the risks and exploiting the full benefits.

In vespa
Giorgio Bettinelli

During a stay in Indonesia, Giorgio Bettinelli receives as gift an old Vespa. Until then, he had never led a two-wheeled vehicle. After his "apprenticeship by scooter" through Indonesia, he decided to go back to Italy to embark on a journey from Rome to Saigon, by his inseparable Vespa. He rides 24000 km through 10 countries. Each chapter of the book is set in one of several nations and tells of roads in poor conditions, of "difficult" countries or tormented by internal conflicts and guerrilla fighters, but also moments of unbridled freedom, landscapes and unforgettable meetings, on the background of a poor and affluent, tragic and exhilarating Asia.

Brum brum
Giorgio Bettinelli

Between 1994 and 1995, Giorgio Bettinelli begins his journey from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego and between 1995 and 1996 crosses by Vespa the 52,000 km that separates Melbourne from Cape Town. After thousands events and meetings of the first stage, Bettinelli ventures on a journey that lasted over three years from Chile that led him to Tasmania, through the Americas, Siberia, Europe and Africa.

Il grande viaggio
Giuseppe Cederna

In November 1999 Giuseppe Cederna leaves with some friends for North-West India, the destination for a Hindu pilgrimage to the sacred river source for excellence, the Ganges. Guided by a series of coincidences, he travels by car and on foot the path of sources and Confluences. A story of the wonder of nature that manifests itself as yet unknown and miraculous, extraordinary meetings, the reconquest - precisely through the filter of distance - of a closeness to itself deeper and images of childhood..

In Patagonia
Bruce Chatwin

After the last war, some British children, including the author of this book, pausing on maps, were looking for the right place to escape the next nuclear destruction. They chosed the Patagonia. And in Patagonia was pushed Bruce Chatwin, not to be saved by a disaster, but on the trail of a prehistoric monster and a relative navigator.

The kite runner
Khaled Hosseini

It is said that time cure any wound. But for Amir, the past is a beast with long claws, ready to catch him when he doesn't expect it. Many years have gone from the day when the life of his friend Hassan is changed forever in an alley in Kabul. That day, Amir has been terribly guilty. So, when an unexpected phone call reaches him at his home in San Francisco, he understands that he has no choice: he must go back home to find the son of Hassan and settle the accounts with his mistakes never resolved. But waiting for him, in Kabul, there are not only the ghosts of his conscience. There is a shocking discovery, in a violent world where women are invisible, beauty is outlawed and kites don't fly anymore..

Autostop per l'Himalaya
Vikram Seth

"I always wished to go to Tibet, but I know that this desire is largely due to the fascination that surrounds the unknown. I know very little about the region of Tibet and I'm going to know by direct experience its climate and its geography. I don't have Tibetans friends. A photo of the Potala, Tibetan dancers seen in Darjeeling, a couple of articles on the Dalai Lama are all my stock of knowledge; my idea of Tibet is formed by similar fragments. And in a sense, my intention is not to make a trip to Tibet, but simply to cross it. "

Il mio volo polare
Roald Amundsen

Between May and June of 1925 Roald Amundsen, the great explorer of the Antarctic continent, led an expedition on board of two seaplanes and get so close from flying over the North Pole. An epic adventure that saw a handful of men challenge nature in one of its most surprising and terrible aspects, the eternal ice. A struggle against the weather, cold and deprivation within the limits of human possibility. This book collects the reports of that drafted by Amundsen and his companions. A faithful chronicle of facts that really happened that has all the taste of the most exciting adventure novel.

In Afghanistan
Rory Stewart

In January 2002, shortly after the invasion of U.S. troops, Rory Stewart takes the path that leads from Herat to Kabul, in Afghanistan, through the mountains of Ghor. The purpose of the trip - all on foot - is to walk along places not unattainable, but certainly not achieved by modernity. His Afghan itinerary, crossed five hundred years ago by the Indian king Babur the Great, today is a path between impervious stony and snowy valleys, made even more dangerous by the presence of landmines. Who adventures with the requisite slow has, however, the possibility of discovering an extraordinary nature, the remains buildings and mysticism of ancient dynasties extincted by now..

1000 posti da vedere prima di morire
Patricia Schultz

Around the world, continent by continent, here is the best the world has to offer: 1000 places guaranteed to give travelers the shivers. Sacred ruins, grand hotels, wildlife preserves, hilltop villages, snack shacks, castles, festivals, reefs, restaurants, cathedrals, hidden islands, opera houses, museums, and more. Each entry tells exactly why it's essential to visit. Stop dreaming and get going.

Professione peacekeeper
Andrea Angeli

An exciting book full of life lived intensely. The story of a friend in the forefront from Pinochet's Chile to Cambodia, from Iraq of Saddam Hussein till the Balkans. So many amusing and curious anecdotes but also so many stories that leave you deep in thought.... Dear Andrea, there is the Afghan part missing... We expect soon a continuous of your book!...

 

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