I love sports and I’ve always been fascinated by extreme ones, those that enable us to push ourselves beyond our limits, in a quest for that piece of freedom – and thrill – that sometimes we need so badly. I’ve often been drawn towards worthy, extreme sports stories, and there’s something truly special about the one I recently discovered.
It’s about Viaggio Italia, a successful undertaking involving two men from Turin travelling through Italy all the way down to Palermo (Sicily) on a wheelchair, in order to demonstrate that people can be free even when they have lost the use of their legs. Free to travel and experiment, pushing their limits beyond their comfort zone. Travelling seen from a new perspective: 30 days, 30 stopovers, 30 appointments – with Milan, Venice, Rome, Naples, Palermo and Cagliari being the main cities involved in the project – on a wheelchair.
The protagonists of this challenging adventure are two long-time friends, both disabled: 36-year-old architect, professional tennis player and musician Luca Paiardi, and 38-years-old designer and entrepreneur Danilo Ragona. Last year their project lasted 6 days, this year a whole month. A month of sports and meetings carried out sometimes within hospitals’ spinal departments.
It’s evident that for these two men, the journey has been also an important challenge, which they have documented on their blog. They have described their undertaking as a 3-time enterprise, due to the fact that they have identified three different motivations behind it.
The challenge: because they have tried different sports, pushing their limits in order to better comprehend their inner selves and others.
A new future: because Viaggio Italia has been a journey that has taken them also to hospitals’ spinal departments, where they have delivered a simple message, made of real-life examples testifying to the fact that independent life is within reach.
Innovation: because this journey has also involved different companies and their innovative ideas, in order to create new tangible means of accessibility.
A great adventure, well done!