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BY 04/15


The Taurinorum Team organises adventurous on-the-road tours and was founded by three thirty-year-olds from Turin: Ludovico de Maistre, Carlo Alberto Biscaretti and Paolo Rignon. The first trip, in the summer of 2009, saw them set out to conquer West Africa on board a 4x4 vehicle. In less than six weeks, the three friends crossed Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria and Cameroon. In 2011, on a Piaggio Ape van, they took on the Andes, destination Machu Picchu.

Taurinorum Charity Rally 2011 - Official Trailer
In 2012, they organised an encore: the “Ape Maya: an Ape challenge to the ends of the earth, from Colombia to Mexico” (to raise funds for women in Guatemala).

More than 5,000 km through Central America: departure from Bogotá, in Colombia, travelling through Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, bound for Chichén Itzà, Yucatan in Mexico. Other journeys followed, all of them in extreme conditions. In the last four years, the adventure-loving trio have ridden more than 50,000 km, collected 60 visa and pass stamps, as well as six driving licenses.
Photo, videos and descriptions of the trips on their website:


The Taurinorum Team’s first trip in an Ape was in August 2011: more than 3,000 km through the Andes in Ecuador and Peru, to explore one of the richest biodiversity regions of the planet. The three Italian youngsters from Turin undertook one of the most memorable trips of recent years: an off-limits adventure through unexplored locations and areas of rare natural beauty to raise funds for the no-profit Humanitas Project. And, incredibly, they travelled in a Piaggio Ape.

The expedition started in Quito, the Ecuadorean capital located in the western Andes at the foot of the Pichincha volcano, and took about a month, travelling through more than thirty localities in South America. Places where the wide open spaces, the aridity of the desert and the immensity of the Pacific Ocean offer breathtaking experiences: places such as the Otonga Strict Nature Reserve, an area of great scientific importance due to the presence of animal and vegetable species that have already disappeared in the rest of the country, or the Cotopaxi volcano, Ecuador’s second highest volcano after the Chimborazo and the world’s third largest active volcano; or the city of Latacunga, where our three travellers took all types of medicine for the needy.

The trip took them to the ruins of Ingapirca – an Inca site in the province of Cañar – the most spectacular Inca ruins anywhere in Ecuador, and to the Peruvian region of Lambayeque, the cradle of the Moche and Chimù civilisations. The trio also visited Caraz – in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range – reached through the Canyon del Pato, and the capital city of Lima, the gateway of the Inca empire: “the city of the kings” with its rich centre and buildings dating from the years of Spanish rule. Other stops included the Paracas National Reservation, famous for the colours of its wonderful sunsets, the mysterious hieroglyphics of the Nazca desert and the Maras salt pans in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The final leg of this memorable journey could only be Machu Picchu, the “lost city”: an enchanted mountain location approximately 2,400 metres above sea level, whose buildings merge with nature in a magnificent setting hidden away from the world.

The trip was an opportunity for the three youngsters not only to discover unforgettable places, but also to meet people who have turned their poverty into a special blessing, such as the hospitable shepherds who allowed them to put up their tent in the yards of their homes and schools, and shared their supper with them in exchange for a smile. The star of the trip was, of course, the Ape City Passenger. After successfully taking on all the hazards of the route, the van was donated by the three friends to the Otonga Foundation in Quito, as a contribution to the ongoing work to safeguard Ecuador’s biodiversity. A gesture that made the trio’s adventure even more memorable, in their discovery of places and cultures that really do seem to belong to another world, yet reached by the incredible, small and courageous Ape Piaggio.


The Taurinorum Team have presented their adventures at the exhibition “Modus Vivendi – Trame di viaggi” (at the National Automobile Museum in Turin until 27 September 2015), as part of the cycle of meetings with the protagonists of extraordinary journeys (on board a wide variety of vehicles). The purpose of the meetings is to encourage debate on mobility by bringing together different cultures and populations. The Taurinorum Team is using the exhibition to launch its next travel project, and is looking for companions with a great spirit of adaptability to share the adventure (photographers, video makers, mechanics, multicultural PR specialists).