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Emerging Travel Companies |  Still on vacation with extreme sports.  Pellizzari, freediving champion: “I’m breathing for my new startup”

Emerging Travel Companies | Still on vacation with extreme sports. Pellizzari, freediving champion: “I’m breathing for my new startup”

Courage, passion, perseverance, determination but also fearlessness. These are undoubtedly the characteristics that distinguish fans of extreme sports. Among the most practiced activities in Italy are rafting, bungee jumping, skydiving, freediving, paragliding, canoeing, freeriding, and high-altitude excursions. In this land as varied as it is wonderful, it is really hard to get bored, especially if you are daring enough to venture on inaccessible and inaccessible mountain peaks, in the depths of the sea or by jumping on them. High altitudes. It doesn’t matter if the trend is from the bottom up or vice versa, extreme sports in Italy are capturing an increasingly large share of the audience. According to a survey by Coldiretti, September is a very popular month for holidays by Italians, with an estimated 9.8 million citizens choosing the end of summer to enjoy a few days off, an increase of 11% compared to last year. . The last episode of our journey to discover startups in the field of tourism is for the bravest people and we want to start this new stage with the testimony of the champion who set world records in all freediving disciplines, Umberto Pellizzari. We reached out to him to tell us not only what motivated him to take a deep dive, but also what he plans to do in the future. And what came out of our conversation is nothing but trifles.

Umberto Pellizzari, Photo: Sergio Hankett

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Belizari, from sea to startup

Freediver and TV presenter Umberto Pellizzari is the World Freediving Champion. The lung capacity is 7.9 liters, twice the lung capacity of those who do not practice this regimen. After 12 years of competitive swimming, which he started at a very young age, he devoted himself to competitive freediving from the age of 19. The first world record was obtained in 1988, when he set the record for static apnea with a time of 5 minutes and 33 seconds. In 1990, he set a new record in the same discipline with a time of 6 minutes and 3 seconds. In the same year, a new world record was set in fixed weight free diving. In 1991, he won all freediving records, including the absolute record in diving. Then his career was full of successes, until November 3, 2001, when the athlete in Capri reached -131 meters by 2’44 inches, excelling in the regulated variable weight. This is the last competitive achievement Umberto recorded before retiring from competitions. “When I freediving, I have a perception of my body that I don’t have in everyday life – he says – – I think I started swimming because I was afraid of the water, but also of the shower!”

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When asked how he managed to achieve all the successes, he answers: «First, what is meant by «extreme sports»? Everything can be subjective, and I understand it as something ‘out of the ordinary’, but on closer examination, how often in life do we have to face ‘harsh’ trials!» He explains, and continues: “When I started, I had a dream, purpose and passion: these are the pulsating engines that always propel me along my path. If you have a lot of passion and desire to do it, the obstacles, one way or another, can be overcome.” For Umberto, being compared to his team was key: “Working with others is essential for me, something I still do today, and I no longer compete with my team.” apnea The Academy, which offers a series of touring training courses at the international level.

But Umberto did not stop at creating the academy: “I have a project that I want to launch in the coming months that could become a start-up for freediving and spearfishing. Exponentially. Freediving should be seen as something that opens your mind and takes you to another dimension where you can relax, meditate and change your attitude towards life. It is necessary to prepare properly from a respiratory point of view, and to pamper the body in the water.” Umberto will have so many lessons that it is difficult to sum up in a few lines, what he undoubtedly lacks is courage, at sea as in life.

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Sports, some data

According to theinstitute Superiore di Sanità, in 2020 36.6% of the Italian population played at least one sport: 27.1% continuously and 9.5% occasionally, while the sedentary percentage was 35.2%, which rises to 39.4% among women and 30.8% % among men. Regular exercise tends to be a youth activity: it is characterized by 58.0% for the 6-10 year age group, 60.6% for the 11-14 year age group, and 50.1% for the 15-17 year age group, with higher values ​​among males.

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The habit of exercising decreases with age, while the percentage of those who practice some physical activities increases, reaching its highest value in the age group 60-74 years (36.4% of those between the ages of 60-64 years and 37.3% between the ages of 65-74 years). ) the elderly), and then decrease in the following chapters. In fact, 69.3% of people aged 75 and over declare that they do not engage in any physical activity. There is a difference between the sexes with regard to exercise: 32.3% of men exercise continuously and 10.4% from time to time, while the percentage among women stops at 22.1% and 8%, respectively, 7%. On the other hand, the percentage of women who engage in some physical activity increases: 29.7% compared to 26.4% for men.

Mapo Tabo and extreme sports

From the depths of the sea we rise to a very high elevation. On the most inaccessible and inaccessible slopes we can find a team of Mapo tabo, the emerging Italian climbing and mountaineering group travel company. We talked about it recently at StartupItalia, after closing the €355,000 round last year. Daniele Calvo Pollino, CEO and Co-Founder of Mapo Tapo, summed up the latest news from the high-altitude risk-taking startup: “Among the most popular sports currently that we pursue at Mapo Tapo are climbing, mountaineering, skiing, mountaineering, and excursions. And mountain biking – explains the CEO – in recent years the number of users registered on our platform and marketplace has increased significantly. Today we are present in about forty countries; Among the largest are Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands. We expect growth in our workforce and in our community.”

Mapo Tapo promotes sustainable tourism through a select network of alpine guides and a very active community of enthusiasts. The startup helps guides create a package (excursions from 2 to 7 days, in Italy and abroad), and adds insurance specially created with the help of Europ Assistance. Among the more interesting anecdotes, Daniele recounts an experience in Jordan: “One night, in the middle of the desert, while I was looking at the fire and talking about how beautiful it was, one of my traveling companions interrupted me saying, ‘You know that fire is great, it’s like desert Netflix. .”

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From mountain to bike

Roberto Cedola, CEO of Cyclando, has been involved in outbound tourism for almost 20 years, and since 2018 I started thinking about creating what would later become startup companies Dedicated to cycling enthusiasts. «More than a mission, our mission is a real obsession: to make planning a bike trip simple – he explains – it’s a great way to travel but requires careful logistics: I’m talking about choosing hotels, itineraries and services like baggage transfer or bike rental. Combining all of these services is still very complex. Cyclando was created with the goal of making planning a bike trip quick and easy.”

After the pandemic and the success achieved through crowdfunding, Cyclando is now aiming for the validation and consolidation phase of the project. “In the pipeline, we have an evolution in our backend that is a real management system, and we want to push a lot towards automating client management processes (creation of travel documents, invoices, contracts, etc.) ensuring scalability of the project. We have an application in the pipeline and of course we are opening up to foreign markets. In particular, we are interested in expanding into the US, Canadian and Australian markets, which have always been interested in overseas tourism, and for which we can offer a different way to explore Europe.”

cycling team

The mission has always been to become a point of reference for the most passionate and adventurous cyclists, also with offerings of cycling, gravel or racing bikes; For example in the famous climb of the Tour de France.