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 beautiful big expanse of water
Baked hot in the mid July sun
It spans the border I to Switzerland
But it’s so Italian
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
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
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.
A carnival atop the Stelvio Pass
Its the big daddy of the Alps
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
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
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.
The Alps are a beautiful but precipitous place.
The mudslide is a reminder of the both the beauty and power of nature.
Shifting rocks above the Pass
It takes my thoughts drift back to the indigenous Australians and their relationship to land.
No deity in the heavens it’s is the land that nurtures and provides. It’s the land that has wrath.
Story of land
So as I sit in the Vezere a place where humanity survived the ice age. I can reflect on the power of nature.
Humanity may try to destroy itself through nuclear war or climate change or our greed and averice nature will continue.
My heart goes out to those who lost lives and property in the beautiful Swiss Italian border country.
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 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.
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
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