08 May TOUR DE TUNISIE 2023
To better tackle the Tour de Tunisie, scheduled from 7 to 17 April, I chose from the Blue Room the car of a brand that is very popular and appreciated in Africa, Mercedes Benz, specifically an iconic spider, the 450 SL – the elegant car driven by Richard Gere in American Gigolo.
The Tour de Tunisie, organized by the Veteran Car Club Panormus of Palermo and by CTF Unconventional of Trapani, is a tourist raid for classic cars and youngtimers.
The departure was set for the 7th evening from the port of Civitavecchia; a stop in Palermo the following day, for the embarkation of the other crews, and a further day of navigation to reach the port of La Goulette.
The day after we started officially our tour: we passed from the languid atmospheres of Hammamet to the lively ones of the medina of Sousse, to move to the more peaceful El Djem and admire its Roman amphitheater.
An overnight stop in the chaotic Sfax, Tunisia’s second city, and departure for Médenine to visit the ghorfas, the ancient Berber granaries, one of the most interesting stops on the tour; arrival in the evening on the island of Djerba along the ancient Roman road.
The following day is dedicated to the discovery of the island: boat tour with typical lunch on the beach, visit of the capital Houmt Souk and Er Riadh, the neighboring village decorated with 250 murals created in 2014 by some of the best international street artists during the Djerbahood event.
After the sea, the desert: we set off again for Douz, after a journey through majestic mountain panoramas we stopped in Matmata to visit the troglodyte houses dug into the ground; the truly remarkable place was chosen as the set for the fourth episode of the Star Wars saga.
Tozeur was our next stop: we visited its historic centre, reserving more time for the nearby oasis of Chebica which, after a short trek up the hill, appears from above like a green mirage in the sand.
If you already breathed a certain mysticism in Tozeur, it is nothing compared to Kairouan, the spiritual capital of Tunisia. The visit to the mosque and the medina was another highlight of the trip.
The following day, that of the return, the sea conditions made us extend the itinerary with a further stop in the beautiful Hammamet, of which we were able to deepen our knowledge.
The GNV ferry was waiting for us punctually the following afternoon in La Goulette: having said goodbye first to the Palermo crews and then to the “continental” ones, I returned to Brescia bringing home many pleasant memories. Of the places we visited, certainly (deserts of sand, rock and salt whipped by the wind, oases and varied architecture), but also of the spontaneous cordiality of my travel companions and the tireless professionalism of the organizers and guides: thanks Giovy, Pino, Andrea, Patrizia, Sami and Imen for making our trip so pleasant (and thanks also to my Mercedes 450 SL, which covered three thousand two hundred kilometers in ten days without hesitation).