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) 

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

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 

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