Giorgio Monetti became part of Ducati's history especially thanks to the "World Tour", an extraordinary and pioneering journey that lasted an entire year (from September '57 to September '58) that he accomplished, together with his friend Tartarini, on the roads of all continents.
He was born in Bologna on the 10th of June 1932, just under the Two Towers. He was the last of four brothers of an ancient family of the Bolognese bourgeoisie. He received a classical education, in line with his household tradition, which provided for men to graduate in Medicine or Law.
However, having a fairly rebellious character, he immediately sought his own intellectual and physical freedom, which led him, when he was very young, to explore the streets near his home, then all over Europe.
He has always loved travels and adventure, alternating them with university studies, which have earned him a degree in law, obtained after attending the Galvani High School, one of the most popular in the city.
He began to travel around Europe with friends at the age of 16, by motorcycle and car (Topolino, Belvedere). He set no limits of any kind, being structural and time-related. He lived by the day enjoying what he saw, learning on the spot and overcoming everyday problems.
His university studies, travels and initial forensic practice (completed at Turchi law firm) were also alternated with a substantial sports activity in the car sector, in which he gave free rein to his mechanical inventiveness, by seeking original solutions with regard to engines, alignments and tires.
This very passion gave him a great deal of experience from which he drew heavily during the "World Tour".
And even after his return to Bologna, as head of Ducati's foreign sales network from 1959 to 1962, he actively collaborated with engineer Taglioni, head of engine design, by creating together with him an F1 engine whose value was not appreciated and understood at Ducati. The engine, however, had been discovered and enhanced by John Surtees, World Champion in motorcycles and later also in F1 with Ferrari. He would have liked to buy it and mount it on the Cooper or Lotus with which he competed in the top car formula. Due to the opposition of engineer Taglioni, no agreement was reached.
Another very interesting mechanical project was the design of the first turbocharged engine fitted as standard by Fiat.
It was his idea, in fact, that led to the birth of the supercharged engine used on Ritmo 105, an idea for which he also received recognition from engineer Ghidella, who was then number one of the Turin brand.
His international experience and English knowledge have allowed him to maintain invaluable contacts with great champions such as Mike Hailwood, who began to race and win (the Tourist Trophy) precisely with Ducati. He was also a great friend of Tarquinio Provini, world champion, who wrote unforgettable pages in Italian motorcycling history.
Monetti's intercontinental trips continued even after the "World Tour".
In fact, he retraced the Mato Grosso on some experimental Fiat Pandas and made other trips to several parts of the world for pleasure and work. He was also an active environmentalist, a leading exponent of the WWF in '78-'80 and for this association he led numerous battles. The best known is the one for the protection of Monte San Pietro area, which saw it clash with the management of numerous quarries that wanted to take devastating amounts of material from the surrounding territories.
He left Ducati in 1962 and worked as a car dealer for Fiat and Lancia from 1963 to 1990, and for Iveco and Nissan from 1991 to 2000, until he retired from the sector.
He has always been dedicated to agriculture and works in the fields with tractors and agricultural machinery that he personally takes care of. His passion for mechanics has therefore never diminished. A person with a thousand interests, he was also a restorer of ancient bell towers and was part of groups of bell-ringers.
Monetti now would like to repeat the feat of the "World Tour". His dream would be to get back riding a Ducati and to go from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. It would be the ideal ending of a life spent and dedicated to adventure on all world roads.