Restless Travellers: From China to Italy by Motorcycle by Stefano Mangini (Restless Travellers Publishing) Riding a powerful motorcycle thousands of kilometres across continents seems to be a rite of passage for a growing number of (usually western) expatriates keen to leave a legacy in book or public-photograph-album form. Stefano Mangini, an Italian photographer who lived in Shanghai for five years, has produced both. Mangini and his Virago 750cc took five months to cover the ground between Shanghai and his home town of Genoa. Because the trip's subtext was 'a journey through five ancient civilisations at [sic] the doorstep of the third millennium', the route meandered through China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece and Italy. The querulous might make that six, but no matter; more notable is the fact Mangini overcame 25,000km of bad maps, fickle weather, truculent border guards, a motorcycle frame broken on its introduction to a pot hole, flat tyres, extortion, exhaustion, missing spare parts and road blocks staffed by armed unfriendlies. Mangini's exploits are related in the style of diary entries and an air of naivety hangs over his words. He would have been best served having them professionally translated from the original Italian. His decision to leave the text in sometimes broken English to preserve 'an authentic Italian voice' backfires - like a motorcycle. Accompanying the text is a volume of Mangini's photographs. This is where he comes into his own, offering images of the people and landscapes that bring his odyssey to life. These affecting pictures will be on display at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, Kennedy Road, Mid-Levels, from Wednesday until May 2 (entry free). Both volumes of From China to Italy by Motorcycle are available at Dymocks, priced HK$98 (text) and HK$180 (photographs).