Fireworks, fruit, snowy passes, history and motorbikes in Northern Italy

Fireworks, fruit, snowy passes, history and motorbikes in Northern Italy

The Moto Guzzi open days on Lake Como go off with a bang

As the marques faithful followers flock to Mandello de Lario.

From Trieste it was a winding road over passes both broad and narrow.

Lakes dotting the path

To Como the Lake of Dreams

Its early September on inthe villages the fruit on the trees ready to pick

As by the weekend end the first snow had started to fall

Dusting the Alps with white and adding a chill to the air in the passes.

Then there is the history of the area such as Bergamo it’s old and new city, home of Pope John xxiii and comrades of Garibaldi.

And the little village of Glorenza that time almost has passed by.

And is on the door steps of the Swiss Alps.

Trieste

Trieste

Italy has a boot in the south and Trieste is it’s little finger hanging over the edge of the Adriatic Sea.

I visited there twice this trip.

Its had to capture the feel of a city in photos but let me tell you Trieste has a beautiful ambience.

The coast around the Miramare Castle north of the city centre is just beautiful

As are the cities major plazas that run down to the Adriatic.

The Plaza of Italian Unity


And to make is extra special for me

The Irish literary legend James Joyce visited. Though I dont think Trieste was mentioned in Ulysses!

Just a beautiful city.

A Day in Venice

A Day in Venice

Its a three hour easy ride from Cortina d’Ampezzo south to Venezia.

Old Venezia with its labyrinth of walkways and waterways

Hot and humid at the end of a hot Europe July

And grand canals

Of course St Marks Square is the main attraction

But achitectural splendor is around every twist of a canal

Currently the Biennale is on which provides extra cultural stimulation

It was a hot and stricky day in busy Venice but well worth the visit.

Le Dolomiti

Le Dolomiti

In the Dolomites

From my camp in Cipena near Bormio it was over Stelvio once again and onto Merano, a gateway to the Dolomites.

Jaufenpass

The high road from Merano leads to the Jaufenpass.

From there the amazing rock structures that are the Dolomites unfold

Campsites tucked under the monoliths give amazing mountain sunsets

Over the Passo Gardana, a favoured by bikers the way I took toward Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cortina is such a beautiful Alpine city.

Looking down onto Cortina
Cortina centre

The there is the back roads and villages. Little campsites where there is space and few people

In and around the village of Cimolais

Like all Alpine areas you have to sometime pay for the beauty with thunderstorms and a day of rain

Rain after the thunderstorm in Cortina. It’s a small price to pay.

Ciao bella Italia, Auf Wiedersehen sonnige Schweiz

Ciao bella Italia, Auf Wiedersehen sonnige Schweiz

Swiss/Italian border, Umbrial Pass

There was much nostalga riding from Switzerland to Italy

The Fluelapass was the first Alpine pass I rode back in 2016

At the time I couldn’t imagine how I could come back again

And now Im on the 4th tour.

Truly addicted to the Alps

The Fluelapass links to the Ofen Pass and that to the Umbrial Pass which crosseS into Italy and leads to the beautiful city of Bormio.

The top of the Stelvio is a Circus of bicycles, motorbikes, cars, sausage Stalls hotels and shops .

From Bormio the valley opens up

With lovely camping grounds, with walkers, cyclists and bikers in summer. Skiers in winter.

Perfect for camping in the pretty village of Cepina.

What a ride 3 countries, 4 high passes.

What a ride 3 countries, 4 high passes.

The Col de Iseran looms high above the Val d’Isre

The Val d’Isre is a Ski Ressort in winter a biker mecca in summer

Then there is the Petite Saint Bernhard that crossed from France to Italy

The Petite links to the Great Saint Bernhard at Aosta,

And at the top of the Pass it crossed into Switzerland

The Great Saint Bernhard runs to the Swiss city of Martigny

There the is a final pass to Chamonix in France

The Col Forclaz with its little hotel in the Pass which is so Swiss

And then in Chamonix stay at the foot of Mount Blanc.

Sud Tyrol

Sud Tyrol

The rich sediments

The rich culture washed down

From the high alps

On Sud Tyrol

Looking back to the Stelvio Pass on Sud Tyrol

A high plateau

Sitting between the Alps of Switzerland, Italy and Austria

Rich agricultural land

Its part of Italy

The main language in German

The houses look as is transplanted from Switzerland

And of course through it is the Reschen passage

The heat and glory of Lago Maggoria

The heat and glory of Lago Maggoria

The beautiful big expanse of water

Baked hot in the mid July sun

It spans the border I to Switzerland

But it’s so Italian

The colour

The richness

The food

The unexpected

James Bonds amphibious car

The exuberance of the Italian language

Talking with the hands

The language almost a song.

On a hot day in July on Lago Maggoria

Paradise Found

Paradise Found

Paradise found

In Italy

Worth a kings ransome

The Kings hunting ground

Gifted to the people in 1922

Italy’s oldest national park

Nestled at the end of the Conge Valley

Paradise found

Gran Paridiso

In Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost he regrets the loss of innocence and in some ways the loss of beauty to sin and greed.

Gran Paridiso is the opposite to that natural beauty returned to the people.

Stelvio

Stelvio

A carnival atop the Stelvio Pass

Its the big daddy of the Alps

Stelvio

2760 metres high

From Lake Como four passes to reach the top

Maloja pass through to Saint Moritz

Then climb the Ofen Pass

View from the Ofen Pass

And onto Santa Maria at the foot of Stelvio

Hotel Stelvio in Santa Maria

Then the climb on the Umblia pass

View from cafe on the Umblia pass

Bikes and cars making the climb

Higher and higher

Till the top

Looking down the valley

Across at the glacier

Standing atop the Stelvio Pass