It has happened yet again.
Again, after so many years since the first time, so many people from every region of Italy, from France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, England, from every part of Europe and beyond. People who have engaged in a peaceful invasion of every corner of Mandello del Lario, the indissoluble home of Moto Guzzi, queuing up patiently and stubbornly to visit, once again, the birthplace of their motorbikes which they have left just outside of the red gate to create the most beautiful and varied catalogue of a history that has recently celebrated one hundred years, and will seemingly never end.
Guzzisti. Not just Moto Guzzi owners. People whose attachment to their Moto Guzzi is more tenacious than a mussel to a rock. People who derive so much satisfaction from these tools of fun that they praise them endlessly, carrying their banner as if it were their own, beyond any difficulty, beyond any adversity, beyond any momentary fad. Guzzisti, true ambassadors of the brand created over one hundred years ago by two pioneers in one of the most epic and fascinating human and industrial adventures of the twentieth century, a history they enjoy reliving, touching up, admiring again every year, patiently waiting in the sunshine for their turn to go up to that place – as if it were a rite of pilgrimage, the sacred monastery that is the Mandello factory museum. An exciting transhumance that does not follow a single path, composed not by a single species but by a varied and heterogeneous people who, on their steel horse with the eagle emblazoned on its tank, undertake great journeys as simple outings, ride through cities as far and wide as the sunny countryside, who take a daily trip to work and throw themselves knee to knee to graze the asphalt of so many racetracks. People whose motorbike is almost as much a companion (or partner) in life as their own, and in some cases we suspect even more so.
Once again, the festival of the second weekend in September, in Mandello del Lario, was a succession of meetings and re-meetings, of appointments as well as new acquaintances, of old stories as well as new ones, like the one we always get, every time we ride our Moto Guzzi: a unique, peculiar, constant pleasure, both established as well as new, which is always renewed and which every time adds something new, unexpected. Authentic life, authentic Guzzisti.
All this passion again comes alive during a visit to the Moto Guzzi factory and museum, and by diving into the vitality of the entire town, which this year also offered new sources of stories and aggregations, hosted at various exhibition points in Mandello: the re-enactment of the Circuito del Lario (Lario Circuit) hosted in the Sala Polifunzionale del Lido (Lido Multifunctional Hall), which recalled the beginnings and early glories of the first riders riding thundering Moto Guzzi motorbikes; great interest was generated by the re-enactment of the Freccia Rossa della Bontà (Red Arrow of Goodness) feat, which united scouting with our passion (and more), organised by Città dei Motori, Club Vecchie Ruote del Lario, the Busto Arsizio Scout group and the Don Gnocchi Foundation, including the presence of Don Gnocchi’s original cockerel: There were many prelates who wanted to be immortalised riding this precious and symbolic relic.
The two themed exhibitions on two symbolic models of Moto Guzzi’s great and varied historical production had a great impact: the Galletti exhibition, curated by the Motoclub Val Chiavenna, hosted in the stand not far from the factory, and the Motocarri exhibition, an entire generation of coworkers, displayed in Via Bertola near the San Lorenzo oratory.
Seeing so many children queuing up to learn their first manoeuvres on a (mini) motorbike was a great pleasure, thanks to the Associazione Bimbi in Moto, who set up the small protected circuit in the Library forecourt.
But the attractions did not end there: the Associazione Gruppo Amici di Maggiana accompanied many enthusiasts both on the visit to the Maggiana tower and on the tour of the Lario museums; the Officina Giorgio Ripamonti, the legendary workshop where Carlo Guzzi created the first prototype was a point of reference, always bustling with activity and interest; the Automotoclub Storico Italiano (ASI) manned the main space in the car park in front of the factory, bringing – in addition to a number of valuable Moto Guzzi models – great visibility to the event and hosting important personalities; the exhibition of historical memorabilia of the Mandello Music Corps; the open doors at the headquarters of the Canottieri Moto Guzzi, the presence of the Navigatori di Terra and the first edition of the Aquila Market, also hosted in the spaces of the San Lorenzo Oratory.
The Road of Wonders was not to be missed: the Custom Road once again this year provided the opportunity to feast your eyes on the many special preparations built on Moto Guzzi bases, seasoned with plenty of dedicated parts, thanks to the many preparers present.
And then what can we say about the thrill of hearing, in Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, behind the magnificent monument to Carlo Guzzi, so many racing models from the golden age of competition-winning Moto Guzzi light up and roar with free exhausts, inside the exhibition of historic racing motorbikes, which also hosted the legendary motorbike of Giuseppe ‘Naco’ Guzzi, Carlo’s brother who in 1928 made the famous feat of the trip to Scandinavia, now guarded by the Motoclub Carlo Guzzi. And finally, last but not least, the fascinating Fashion and Motors Show, with the beautiful girls of the Polisportiva volleyball team on the catwalk, each accompanied by a historical character from the world of Moto Guzzi and Mandello: each couple was matched with a Moto Guzzi with a particular significance according to the anecdote of each character. A unique show, in the beautiful setting of Italia Square.
There were plenty of refreshment points, able to refresh and quench the thirst of the tens of thousands of fans (we are talking about 35,000 in total attendance) and plenty of live music rang from the stage, with Gigifalbodj & Enricogildj opening the Thursday evening show, with Made in Japan playing their tribute to the famous Deep Purple live show, Piero Donato‘s Moto Guzzi anthem, and the incredible rock’n’roll show of Side Man, led by Enrico Santacatterina and Giuseppe Scarpato with Bennato’s entire band, who surely impressed those present before the stage with an unforgettable show.
Particularly happy were the five lucky winners of the Motoraduno Lottery, which this year offered a splendid Moto Guzzi V7 Stone as the first prize; a five-day Mediterranean mini-cruise as the second prize; while a helmet, a leather jacket and a leather top case – all original Moto Guzzi branded – were the third, fourth and fifth prizes.
The success of these three memorable days was thanks – in addition to the Moto Guzzi staff – to all the Associations that make up this new group organising the events outside the factory: the Polisportiva Mandello Association, which acted as the central pivot, the I Laghée Motorcycling Association, the Cooperativa Sociale Incontro Onlus, the Mandellese Corpo Musicale, the Canottieri Moto Guzzi, the Città dei Motori (City of Motors), with the collaboration of the Mandello del Lario Municipal Administration.
Many thanks also to sponsors Concessionario Agostini, Gamma Zinken, 3MyTech and partners Nicole Viaggi, Digimedia and Alberto Sala Design. Secure in the knowledge that, once again this year, we have stocked up on those healthy good feelings, vibrations and sentiments that every Guzzista brings home, fuel for a whole year’s journey, at least until the next one.
For more details, visit www.motoradunomandello.com.
Source: Moto Guzzi