3000 km between Tunisia and Italy for a humanitarian issue

Vincenza, an Italian solo bike traveler around Tunisia and Italy


2 Months

3000 Km

Tunisia & Italy

Vincenza, an Italian young woman for a humanitarian cause, rides her bike from Tunisia to Italy. She set off from the city of Sidi Bouzid and traveled 1,500 km alone around Tunisia, then moved to the other bank to complete the rest of the distance.

All the donations you collect will benefit an association specialized in the destruction of the victims of the sinking of illegal immigration boats.


We asked Vincenza : Introduce yourself and how did the experience of traveling on a bike begin?

She said : Hi everyone, I’m Vincenza from Milan and I’ve recently discovered my interest in cycling. Well, I’ve always been moving around my city with a bike, which is an alternative way to not use the car, be mindful of the environment and be fit and healthy, but not only.
4 years ago, after injuring my knee during a soccer match (I’m also a former soccer player) later in the shoot the doctor convinced me to change to get my muscles back and I started loving cycling day in and day out.

Question : What is your purpose for travel?

Well, she said : there are at least three main reasons:

-The first objective : the primary objective, to raise funds for the association “RESQ – People Save People” which is a civilian ship in the Mediterranean, working to rescue people and migrants and to transit through Europe to Italy, often dying at sea. The ship is civilian and the government does not finance it, but it is financed by civil society.

– Second and third objective: The dual personal goals are athletic and spiritual.
The 3,000 km course is an athletic challenge, and as an athletic person (I train at least 3 times a week), it’s also a spiritual journey outside and in. I spend hours and hours alone, talking to myself, my thoughts, my inner feelings, my hidden fears. It’s an investigative journey that pushes you to take on and challenge yourself as well, off the beaten path.

Question: Is it easy for a woman to travel alone, according to your experience?

She said: I have been traveling alone for 6 years because of my work. I am a human being, work with international organizations and travel all over the world. So I got used to that kind of life. I travel for nature. Of course it’s never easy, especially when you’re alone in a foreign country that you don’t know well and you don’t have a perfect command of the local language, and it can lead to communicating with the wrong people. Everyday life, in simple exchange with local communities. I had to learn Arabic quickly, but Tunisian is different from Arabic, so I would easily move to French and English, but the language is always a challenge in itself.
I have not had any difficulties in Tunisia to move on my own as a girl, until now.
But it is important to always take some precautions and never trust 100%: it is important to be aware and vigil, such as: avoiding travel after sunset; Always check the weather conditions (wind, rain, sand rain, etc.) that are expected for the next day; Be nice to the locals; Keep calm when fierce dogs can attack you…

Question : Tell us how did you feel during your first solo experience?

She said : At first, I received a panicked attack all the voices of parents, relatives and friends (also Tunisian) repeating: It’s danger on your own! But I had the guts. And I decided to show first to myself and then to others that if you are able to organize your journey well, it is just to overcome your fears, put your courage into your own hands and face, then you will begin to feel stronger than before.

Question: What are the most important difficulties you faced?

She said: The sandstorm in the desert; bad weather conditions on the roads; high winds in Chott el-Jerid (35 km/h); Great heat. The isolation I’ve had and the effect after eating something may not be quite clean (with the side effects to my body later); feeling lonely for hours and hours without talking to anyone; the height of the mountains to reach Zemmour (Jebel Halouf in the back – 700 m); My physical strength is weak when I finish the water too early due to the heat, packing a heavy bike and so on.

Question: What are the most important experiences on a bike?

She said: 1,400 kilometers across Tunisia is an experience, but of course the most important, I would say, is the force of the natural forces of the winds in the desert.

Question: What are your tips for someone who wants to do the same experiment?

She said: Carefully and pragmatically, I can suggest – in accordance with your normal abilities – that you organize as much time as possible (at least 3 months before) into your cycling journey and prepare well and set off.

Question: What is your motivational message?

She said: “I’ve shown courage so many times in my life, I can do it now too!” Nothing is impossible, if you consider that the same word “impossible” consists of “it is possible”.
So just do it Life is just one, live it as closely as possible to your personality, and make it come true.


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