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.

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

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

Lago di Como (Lario) 

Lago di Como (Lario) 

The brochure called it the lake of dreams.

View over Lake Como from the Somana galleries above Mandello De Lario

But it’s a lake of life and vitality.

From the tourist towns like Bellagio

Bellagio from Lake Como

The narrow streets of the villages full of smells of fine food, chatter and laughter

Village steps

And beautiful villages that held forged dreams that became Italian classics.

View of Mandello de Lario

Like Carlo Guzzi’s dream for an industry for his village

So if Lake Como is a village of dreams it’s also the essence of Italian love and lust for live, beauty and exuberance.

Village lights and moon over Lake Como


The piecemealadventurer Mandello de Lario where dreams do come true.

Roads to Lago di Como

Roads to Lago di Como

I want to thank the countries of Europe for boring tunnels and building motorways so there is less traffic on the beautiful mountain passes.

The piecemealadventurer atop Stelvio Pass

Riding the passes of Austria, Switzerland, and Italy to Lake Como was sublime.

Emerging from a congested Fern Pass and then onto Reschen Pass the traffic eased, the pace quickened and the dance of a motorbike carving the curves of a mountain road took form.

Lake Reschen at the top of the Pass
Looking down Reschen Pass the road in the gallery clinging to the cliff face
The old fort that guarded the Austrian Emporer (a Habsburg) from the unruly Italians

The Reschen Pass links straight to the bottom pass of the Stelvio. On a run through to Bormio.

The Umbrail Pass is just below Stelvio and with the weather closing in Stelvio was for another day.

On Umbrail Pass

With Bormio the objective before too much rain fell.

Rain over Bormio

From Bormio to Lake Como there is a tunnel or Passo Gavia. One on the highest roads in the Alps.

War memorial Passo Gavia
Atop Passo Gavia

The last miles to Lake Como is small villages that link together as one and tunnels. Pushing hard to get to the booked room before dark. The GPS suddenly announced that in 500 metres I would reach my destination. In the middle of the tunnel! I was 100 or so metres below there I was to stay. A lesson in making sure I enter a detailed and accurate address lol.

Lake Como, Mandello Del Lario and Bergamo 

Lake Como, Mandello Del Lario and Bergamo 

A key element of this journey was to visit Mandello Del Lario on Lake Como for the 95th birthday of Moto Guzzi.

An estimated 25,000 guzzista visited for the birthday celebrations

But discovering, seeing Lake Como nestled in the high mountains was the icing on the cake.

Or was the trip to Bergamo the icing????

View of Lake Como

So first to the Moto Guzzi the marque with the factory above the village of Mandello over looking Lake Como.

History on display

1921 normale
The first motorcycle to have a swing arm and rear suspension

Custom bikes to the individual taste

In the mountains around the lake there are many villages and towns.

Bergamo is one

The old part of the town, the Citta Alta providing views of the villas on the hills from the terraced restaurants and cafes.

View from the terraced cafe
Citadel from Castello Di St Viglio

It was hot on Lake Como

My bike is a Moto Guzzi Breva

Breva is the name of the light breeze that blows over Lake Como

At the end of a hot day the Breva provided welcome cool relief

And a ghosting breeze for the sailors.

Yacht drifting along powered by the Breva