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Tampa, Dec. 21 (Adnkronos) - Travel as an adventure, a challenge and a rediscovery of a true relationship with nature and people, but also as a concrete gesture of friendship and solidarity. These are the ingredients of the expeditions carried out by Beppe Faresin, a canoeist from the Italian city of Vicenza who already attracted media interest for having successfully raised funds for UNICEF paddling in the rivers and the seas of the world.

The challenge which he just completed is not a minor one: Faresin, who left the Mississippi delta at the end of last month,
reached this morning Tampa, in Florida, after having crossed the Gulf of Mexico on his own for almost 1500 km. He was greeted by a large crowd from the Italian American community and the Mayor of the City of Tampa, Bob Buckhorn, to whom Faresin gave a personal letter from the Governor of the Region of Veneto, a precious Murano glassware and a book on art, architecture and landscapes of his Region. Faresin finally asked the Mayor to sign the Italian flag, the same which flew over his kayak during the 22 days of his latest adventure trip.

This is almost a ritual gesture for this fearless 60 year old who, throughout the years, gained the rank of Ambassador of Italy and Veneto. His canoe baptism was at the end of the 1970s, when he paddled in France on the Rhone river between Briga and Marseilles. Then, after a number of uncompleted trips, the first successful enterprise joined with a worthy cause: the descent of the Danube between Vienna and Belgrade, collecting one euro per km for the projects executed by UNICEF to support the children of Haiti.

After this successful enterprise, in 2011, Faresin faced for the first time the Mississippi from Minneapolis to St. Louis, this time to bring solidarity and support to the regions struck by hurricane Katrina in 2005. The recently completed trip from New Orleans to Tampa - Faresin explains - is a symbolic extension of the trip from last year, "because these areas, much like a significant part of Veneto in 2009, were submerged by water and had to deal with extreme and uncontrollable events." As a "modern explorer", which is how he likes to call himself, Faresin went through the swamps and channels of the delta and 40/50 km of sea every day in difficukt waters. There is a slight delay in the schedule, but Faresin completes his mission.

He discovered corners of the Gulf of Mexico otherwise unreachable, completed a collection of funds for UNICEF and shook many hands, among which those of the Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu and the Honorary Consul of Italy in Louisiana Arnaldo Partesotti. A mission - he specifies "completely self financed" and carried out during his holidays. The special holidays of Beppe Faresin, former diver for the oil company AGIP and salesman for Italian products abroad, will finish on Saturday with his return to Italy.

(Sub/Col/Adnkronos) 21-DIC-12 19:15 NNNN