Marco and Silvia lived in Berlin for over ten years before deciding that routine, the hectic pace of city life, and career achievement were no longer enough to fill their lives with a deep sense of happiness and fulfillment. They wanted something different, and a cycling trip in Patagonia opened their eyes to a new possibility.
“You can truly understand the essence of life when you detach from the routine,” said Marco after traveling over 3000 km by bike. “Traveling by bike strips excess away because you can only count on your strength and on those very few tools and things you can take with you. It is free of the superfluous and puts you in ‘back to basics’ mode,” explains Marco.
Inspired by the Patagonia cycling experience, Marco and Silvia came to a significant realization about life. Marco realized that “happiness can be found in little things only when we can detach from the society which pushes us to continuously search for a social status and creates needs that do not exist in nature.” With this belief in mind, the pair courageously left their old lives, careers, and city behind to develop their new life project, Basecamp523.
What is Basecamp 523?
Basecamp 523 is an Italy-based tour operation with trips designed to move slowly and sustainably while experiencing nature. Basecamp523 bike trips are inspirational, immersive, off the beaten path, and focus on rural areas. Marco and Silvia believe details are key to creating the right atmosphere for unforgettable experiences.
Basecamp523 is very agile and specialized in tailor-made trips, especially in the Marche region of Italy, where the company is based. “We take care of every detail; we love to propose trips in a "back to basics" mode that's why we love bikes. ‘Back to basics’ for us means rediscovering the beauty of simplicity, learning ancient crafts, using our hands, drinking wine produced following millennial methods, eat organic local products, staying away from our mobiles, and socializing as it used to be. Estranged from everyday life, with a few basic elements, you understand the true essence of life,” says Marco.
Basecamp 523 has options for all bikers, with a focus on MTB and gravel. The company runs trips ranging from family-friendly adventures to those that want to feel pure adrenaline. With metrics shown for each trip on the Basecamp 523 website, guests can choose an itinerary that fits their needs for immersion in nature, adrenaline, and adventure.
Basecamp 523 also offers tree tent Eco-Camps seasonally in Parco della Gola della Rossa e Frasassi, a nature park jewel of biodiversity situated in an Italian green forest. This is not just camping but a wild experience where Basecamp523 staff brings all the facilities to make the adventure accessible, for example, water for the shower is carried with a 4WD, and a compostable toilet is installed for the occasion. The camp can be reached either by bike or trekking. A dinner based on local products is then served in the wood before going to sleep hanging on trees and whilst watching the stars. The idea of the camp is to leave no trace, in fact, the following day everything is removed and the impact is minimized.
Biking Adventures in Marche, Italy
Marche is a region where you find mountains, hills, and seaside, on the Adriatic coast. If you are an expert MTB rider, the company runs trips in the mountains with heights up to 2.500m. If instead, you are not looking for technical trails or such an adventure, and you like to enjoy gravel roads, the company offers options that connect the mountain to the sea. These are amazing trips to discover the changing and regional landscapes but also changes in the culture, food, people, and experiences.
Cycling trips are one part of Basecamp 523, but Marco and Silvia’s ultimate goal with the company is to bring income to rural and mountain areas of Italy–starting with the Marche Apennines– through slow, conscious, and inspiring tourism.
Basecamp 523’s Mission
Marco and Silvia’s ultimate goal with Basecamp 523 is to value and protect rural areas with sustainable tourism. Marco explains, “We are based in an area that was tremendously affected by the 2008 financial crisis and the 2016 earthquake. It was an industrial area sited in amazing natural scenery. Unfortunately, some multinationals moved their production away, and therefore the net economy has been heavily affected. The population is abandoning these inner beautiful areas to look for luck elsewhere.”
Being close to the local community is integral to the Basecamp 523 ethos and mission. Marco and Silvia select the people they work with, starting with staff all the way to their suppliers, and make sure they share the same philosophy. Their passion for the local community comes through in their itineraries.
“We are pioneers, and we are glad to have undertaken this challenge because we wake up in the morning with a motivation that goes beyond a regular job. We aim to consolidate our format and extend it throughout Italy, “ says Marco. The Apennines is a range of mountains that goes through all of Italy with similar problems everywhere. “We think that our format that connects these areas to the coast, is the way to spread out over-tourism into the most remote areas making sure that the impact is positive and sustainable, not just environmentally, but also socially and economically.”
To learn more about Basecamp 523, please visit https://www.basecamp523.com/.