Touring Club Italiano and Pirelli: crossing paths “on the road”

In the 1949 novel that defined the Beat generation, “On the Road”, Jack Kerouac wrote, “There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars”.

Or – we might say – just keep leafing through the pages of “Rivista mensile del Touring Club Italiano”, to travel all over Italy, across its countless beautiful sights and rich history.

Touring Club Italiano and its monthly magazine were established in 1894 in Milan; initially, their mission was to popularize cycling as an ideal means for tourism in the peninsula, to “enjoy Italy’s historical, artistic, and natural heritage”. The founders described this heritage as an “irreplaceable patrimony that must be passed on to future generations”.

Thus, Touring Club’s attention focused on Italy’s road system, in an effort to develop it and improve the quality of the streets.

Pirelli, now a leading tire manufacturer in the world, has always been “on the road” too. Founded in Milan in 1872, it originally made various kinds of rubber products; it patented its first bicycle tire in 1897, and started selling car tires in 1899.

Touring Club and Pirelli were bound to cross paths sooner or later. The first covers of “Rivista mensile” (which would merge into the periodical “Le Vie d’Italia” in 1921) tell the story of that wonderful encounter.

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August 2, 2018