Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
|Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:12 pm Post subject: Edinburgh to Picinisco cycle run by the Alonzi family
|Thought I would post an article from the Edinburgh Evening News about this cycle run. It has also been on Scottish Television demonstrating the links between Edinburgh and Picinisco.
Family saddles up for charity cycle Italian job
Published Date: 28 May 2009
By LAURA CUMMINGS
AN Edinburgh family is set to embark on an epic charity cycle back to their Italian roots – by recreating a journey made almost six decades ago.
Lorenzo Alonzi, 45, and his sons Riccardo and Gianluca will embark on a 2,000-mile charity cycle from Edinburgh to Italy.
The trio, who live in Liberton, will travel through France and over the Swiss Alps, before reaching the Appenine village of Picinisco, south of Rome, where the family has its roots.
They will follow the route covered by Edinburgh brothers, Oresto and the late Dino Tuzi, who also originated from Picinisco and embarked on the same challenge on a tandem in 1950.
Edinburgh-born Oresto, 82, who lives in Cramond, will even wave goodbye to the trio when they leave for their 21-day journey next month.
He said: "I feel as if I'm re-doing the whole thing myself again through them.
"It was a wonderful experience for us and I'm sure they will have a wonderful adventure.
"This is quite unique and very exciting. "Oresto and Dino, who died five years ago, were keen cyclists and decided to make the remarkable journey because they had never been to Italy – or anywhere abroad – before.
The brothers were keen to visit Picinisco, where their mother and father were born.
"When we arrived in the village around three weeks later, our relatives literally laid down the red carpet for us," said Oresto, who went on to own the former Raeburn Hotel on Edinburgh's Royal Terrace for around 25 years.
Lorenzo, who is an advocate, added: "The Alonzis came to Edinburgh from Picinisco in the 1950s. Like many other Italian families, they arrived in a new country with new traditions and through the generations they have embraced, and become part of, the Scottish culture.
"However, we've never forgotten our Italian roots and, like many other Scots-Italians, we try to make an annual trip back to our traditional family home in the Comino Valley. It is amazing just how many families now living and flourishing in Scotland came from this remote area. It was while we were cycling around the beautiful and remote winding roads of the mountains surrounding the Comino Valley that the idea of cycling across Europe took hold and, from there, it was an easy step to decide we should do it for charity."
Their route across the Alps will cover a gruelling stage and a half of this year's Tour de France over the Col du Grand Saint-Bernard – a 19-mile climb to 2,469 metres above sea level.
The family, who plan to cover 100 miles a day, will donate funds raised to the Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres charity.
Father-of-three Lorenzo added: "We were already aware of the work being done by the Maggie's Centres charity and, after we had visited the centre at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, were really impressed by the calm, homely atmosphere and the sensitive, caring approach of staff.
"We'll be setting off from the centre at the Western General and, en route to the Dover ferry, we will stop off at the Maggie's Centre in London."
Riccardo, 19, is a former pupil of George Heriot's School and will start at Edinburgh University in September, while Gianluca, 17, is sitting his Highers at the school.
The trio will set off on Saturday, 27 June.
To make a donation, visit www.eurocycle2009.com.