Welcome to our Italy Tuk-Tuk Adventure – The ultimate combination of Italian adventure and cultural immersion! Plenty of people have seen Italy. But how many people have seen Italy from behind the wheel of a traditional Italian Piaggio Ape (which, as far as we can tell, is a tuk-tuk with an Italian accent)? We don’t know for sure, but we reckon it’s somewhere between ‘basically a few’ and ‘maybe not that many people’. The tuk-tuk you will be driving on his great Italian adventure will be a classic Piaggio Ape, as you might imagine, being Italian, its naturally better looking and just that tiny bit sexier than all other tuk-tuks. Are you with us so far? Good. Anyway, on this week-long Italian tuk-tuk adventure – during which you’ll drive around as part of a team or 2/3 and complete challenges to accrue points – through northern Italy, you’ll channel your inner alter ego “I am a participant on Race Across the world or Amazing race” while being dumbfounded by rugged Italian beauty and spending very large chunks of time getting wonderfully lost down idyllic country lanes. Simply delicious… This is a country of culture: Pavarotti, mozzarella, gelato, Michelangelo, fashion, the Mafia, vineyards, the Roman history, pizza, etc. And while Vespas might be the two-wheeled vehicle of choice in this fine and very delicious nation, there is a superior way to get around. That’s right, Ferraris tuk-tuks.
Our Italy tuk-tuk adventure does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s in Italy. It’s an Adventure. You drive your own tuk-tuk’s. And an Italian adventure is pretty much guaranteed. But really, there’s so much more in the tin than that: there’s vineyards, outrageously delicious food, getting lost and the occasional bit of road rage. If that sounds like your particular brand of fun, read on.
Getting sweaty and dirty when you have a nice bed to look forward to is fun; getting dirty when all you have to look forward to is more dirt is no fun at all. That’s why we like to look after you after a hard day on the open road: a few nights in some lovely handpicked hidden rustic gems and a few nights in some pretty awesome boutique hotels tucked away in the hills. We’ll also chuck in delicious breakfasts during the challenge.
The winning team isn’t the team that finishes first, it’s the one that accumulates the most Challenge points. How do you get points? By nailing various challenges, we set you along the way. That means that racing is not encouraged. In fact it’s actively discouraged. There’s no need to set a new Italian ground-speed record (very difficult to do on a 200cc Rickshaw, but still…)
Accommodation: Hotel Ristorante Belvedere Ranco
Training and driving lessons on arrival day.
Hire and use of 1 genuine, ready-to-roll tuk-tuk (Ape) for the duration of the Adventure. Third party liability insurance included.
Accommodation for 2 or 3 people (8 nights) in double, twin or triple rooms. 1 room per team.
8 delicious locally-made breakfasts.
Welcome dinner in Milan, the first night.
Italy tuk-tuk Adventure logistics & legal stuff (mechanics, support team, permits, luggage truck).
Welcome pack (sim card, map, t-shirt, event bag, phrase-book, navigational sheets).
Emergency & Medical travel insurance for the duration of the Italy Tuk-tuk adventure.
Awards ceremony & farewell party.
Flights, visas, airport transfers
Spare parts and repairs (approx. total £40-120 per team).
Fuel (approx. total £100 per team).
Day to day costs (lunch, dinner, drinks & gratuities)
Though naturally little more laid-back than our Sri Lankan, Cambodian and Indian offerings, the Italy tuk-tuk adventure will still test your wits, endurance, navigational skills and grasp of the Italian language to the absolute maxxx (yes, three x’s). What else is there to say? As far as we’re concerned, there are two ways to see Italy: in a tuk-tuk, or not in a tuk-tuk. And we’re going with one. Who’s coming?
Everything you would usually take on a holiday to Italy. Hat, shades and maybe sunscreen? Worry not, we will send you a more serious list of things we suggest you bring well before you leave.
We arrange all of your accommodation, your tuk-tuk, mechanical support and some delicious food. All you have to do is turn up, get in and drive the damned things. You won’t find another adventure like it.
From magnificent countryside to the mayhem of Milan, through the Barolo wine country and along the Mediterranean coast we had a blast! Fantastic hotels and wonderful food and wine (and the company was pretty good, too) we spent 8 days in this beautiful country amusing the locals and impressing even the most hardened Italian bikers in our 7 horsepower steeds. I’ll definitely be back….and I can’t wait.
Mark, Team Mark
Went on the inaugural Italy adventure and it was great. A previous customer from Sri Lanka and Cambodia so doing a convenient week long European trip was perfect for maximal holiday time. This trip was a great chance to enjoy Western niceties whilst still having the fun of the tuktuks. The locals loved them, weather was great, as were the food and drink and the views and sites too. A great first timers option – take the plunge for something different!
Dave, Team Can’t Catch This
Ah, the humble, tuk-tuk or “Ape” as they’re sometimes known as, is the original tin can on wheels. These are standard issue, Indian-made, Italian styled tuk-tuk’s. And they’re freak’n awesome!
They’ve got three wheels (don’t ask us why), an open frame, a canvas roof with drop down sides, a cabin for the driver and two seats in the back. Oh, and an engine: a 4-stroke beast that is probably slightly more powerful than 1 horse.
Tuk-tuks have a few advantages: they’re durable, easy to use and very forgiving. They’ll happily handle almost any surface, climate or level of abuse. Their cruising speed is a tasty 35kph (22mph). Their cruising altitude is about one foot.
For a comprehensive answer, go and Google ‘internal combustion engine’. But here are the cliffnotes.
On the first day of the event, everyone is required to attend a mandatory rickshaw driving induction and safety training session (this means you). You’ll get lots of time to practice before hitting the road. A rickshaw is a cross between a car and a scooter, so clutch control is key. If you´ve driven a scooter or motorbike before, it’ll be a breeze.
It’s worth remembering that the Italian tuk-tuk adventure is just that – an adventure. It’s not a race. It’s not like Cake’s seminal 90s hit The Distance. Speed should not be your priority. If anything should be, it’s probably fun.
The Challenge is broken up into various driving legs. Each team gets a road map and a daily navigational sheet, which they’ll use to get from A to B each day. The winning team isn’t the team that finishes first, it’s the one that accumulates the most Challenge points. How do you get points? By nailing various challenges, we set you along the way.
That means that racing is not encouraged. In fact it’s actively discouraged. There’s no need to set a new Italian ground-speed record (very difficult to do on a 200cc Rickshaw, but still…) We’ll provide mechanical support when you need it, but essentially you’re hiring a Rickshaw and driving it independently each day. By yourself. Han solo.
A team is made up of either 2 or 3 people. Apparently there is no ‘I’ in it. You get one tuk-tuk per team.
Unfortunately, no. Only because each leg will start from the hotel / over-night stop and the idea is to share our challenging travel experience together. Most importantly you wouldn’t want to miss out on each night’s social gatherings…
Yes, you’ve got to be at least 18 years old in order to participate. We don’t have a maximum age, but if you’re over 65 we definitely recommend checking with your insurer to make sure you qualify for the medical insurance you’ll need to take part. The Challenge is physically tough, but by no means extreme – we won’t sugar-coat it. You should really only take part if you’re in decent physical shape and your health is A-Okay.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to strap suitcases to the roof of your tuk-tuk. We’ve got a luggage truck that will follow us around. Each morning you’ll load it up with your heavy bags, and each night we’ll hand it back at our hotel. Job done. Simples.
Don’t stress, they’re very friendly. If you can ride a bicycle that has a clutch and an engine, you can drive a tuk-tuk. Besides, on the first day everyone gets mandatory tuk-tuk driving instructions and a chance to get used to your vehicle. You’ll have plenty of practice before hitting the open road. NOTE: We cannot teach you to drive like an Italian. Unless off-course, you are Italian.
To put it bluntly – not really. There will be an element of danger, if only because you’re sitting behind the handlebars of a three-wheeled tuk-tuk, on top of 200CC of raw power, and tackling unfamiliar roads in a foreign country. But don’t worry too much – if you’re sensible and cautious, you should be fine, and we have a fully trained crew to swing in if anything goes wrong.
Warning: Tuk-tuks can easily roll and flip if not handled correctly. We take safety really seriously on these challenges, and you should know there are inherent risks involved, including potentially life-threatening situations.
Your humble steed will be handed over in a good road worthy condition and from then onwards it is your responsibility to take care of any repair costs. Our team of mechanics will be at your disposal throughout the event and will assist you with this at a cost. Otherwise you can turn to the locals to help you out. But don’t worry spare parts are not that expensive!
The cost of repairs depends on how each teams looks after their vehicle. Naturally there is a small amount of wear and tear on these type of events, but you will only be charged for parts that are damaged or need to be replaced. There will be a full vehicle inspection prior to handing over your ride. On average, the cost of repairs ranges from £40-120 per team.
These wonderful machines are surprisingly fuel efficient, so unless you drive like a madman your wheels will do at least 30 km to the litre so you won’t really be spending more than £100 bucks for the whole adventure.
Whoa there, speed racer. These bad boys can’t really get over 50kph. The average speed should be around 35kph. Fast enough to get the blood racing, but not so fast you hit a Ferrari (that would not be good).
If possible, try not to do this. One of our registration requirements is to pay (or better block the amount off your credit card) a refundable deposit of £1,500 per team. This will (ideally) cover you for most touch ups and accidents, although if the rickshaw is a complete write-off the bill might increase. At the end of the adventure we’ll inspect the vehicle, come to an agreement, and return any balance to you before you leave Italy. A pretty standard car-hire type system, really.
Emergency medical insurance is included in the trip price, however general travel insurance is not. We strongly recommended to protect against all the ways travel can go wrong.
Teams have used Campbell Irvine in the past for this however please do shop around.
Third party insurance is included under the hire of the tuk-tuk. Scratch as many Ferraris as you want (please don’t actually do this).
Everyone who competes has to provide us with a valid International Driving Permit with a Category A stamp. It’s your responsibility to have the correct DL.
Definitely! We love to see teams going the extra mile to raise money for charity. Just be aware that the rickshaws we use have limited branding space (we take up some for our own branding purposes). If you need more info on this, just let us know.
Easy peasy. Here’s how:
Once you’ve done all that successfully, we’ll send you an email with lots of exclamation marks confirming your team’s availability.
Once your registration is locked and loaded, we’ll email you and ask you to provide us with:
We’ll double check all these docs on the ground in Italy, so please bring copies with you.
30 days before the Challenge.
Nope. If we camp we’ll provide the sleeping bags and the marshmallows as necessary. However it might be good to bring a torch.
Ah visas, our old nemesis. This really depends what tribe you are. You can find out how to apply, here.
We try to stick to the original route and accommodation as much as possible, but they can be subject to change from time to time.
Google: “Is it expensive in Italy?”
All our hotels will have internet connection, but the campsites not so much.
For more information please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.