Weekend Warm-Up: Tramontana

Tramontana is probably best known as an exclusive Spanish car maker, celebrated for their obscenely expensive sports cars, uniquely styled on F1 racing cars and jet fighters.

In Italian, tramontana means “from the mountains” and is the name given to the icy-cold northerly wind blowing from the Alps and the Apennines down Italy’s west coast, bringing with it cold and snow.  It derives from transmontanus, ancient Latin for “beyond the mountains, unknown, barbaric and dangerous”.

Rest assured, readers, that there are no racing cars or air-force jets in this week’s Weekend Warm-Up, but we do venture into the unknown at a significantly slower pace.

Tramontana is a Booty fat bike adventure across the Gran Sasso National Park in Abruzzo, Italy, from the bike-packing project, Montanus. The protagonists, Giorgio Frattale, a coffee aficionado, and Francesco D’Alessio, a San Franciscan baker, share their ardor for the wilderness and bike-packing in all seasons.

Photo: montanuswild.com


While most would avoid the depths of an Italian winter, these two jump headlong into it, operating from a base camp comprising a small tent heated by a homemade wood stove charmingly recycled from a commercial espresso machine.

Frattale and D’Alessio not only worked the pedals, they also shot and edited the film. Described as half-adventure and half-introspective dreamscape, the film captures the harshness of the Tramontana, the warmth of a fire and the still-barbaric winter alpine.