🇮🇹 Italy

Passo Gavia: call it magic!

There are some glances of complicity together with shy smiles and mutual understanding. A common passion remains asleep for all winter and, as the air warms and spring arrives, our enthusiasm begins to grow. 

As summer gets closer, Mauri and I start daydreaming about our motorbike trips, but unfortunately this year summer wants to make us wait. Most of the times, summer after summer, we take into consideration our list of preferred trips, constantly adjusted with some variations and updates.

Thinking about the motorbike means thinking about the mountains. This means that motorbike and mountains are synonyms to me.

With no surprise, we decide to go for our first ride of the season to the legendary Passo Gavia within Valle Camonica and Valfurva. 

As usual we decide to avoid all highways, our weekend on the motorbike has to unroll on curves, each one showing new gorgeous landscapes, bitten by the rain and dried by the sun. Our weekend trip is crowded by foreign people (we are one of the few italian visitors here, while there are dozens of german, dutch, czech and spanish tourists) and sweeten by the flavours of Valtellina. I look forward to arriving to the small hotel, booked the day before. 

Our departure is punctually postponed to what originally planned, our saying is “let’s set the alarm at 6.30 to stand at 7.00 and leave at 8.00… to finally be on the motorbike at 9.00”. This has become a ritual and I always laugh thinking about this. 

Curves begin few kilometers far from home, on Pian delle Fugazze in the area of Monte Pasubio, and continue with increasing rhythm along Vallarsa, to then relax our wheels on long straight streets while reaching Rovereto.

Our first stop is a quick break in Riva del Garda. The time to stretch the legs, fix the picture of the lake’s bottle green water and leave behind the numbers of tourists that will enjoy the shores of the lake.

The wheels flow slowly on the street that takes us from Tione to Dimaro and then follow  directed to Ponte di Legno. On the way to Passo Tonale, we have some – responsible – fun on the hairpin turns as we see the great snow roof that covers the mountain. As a further surprise, we are attacked by hail that “fortunately” transforms into a heavy shower. We hope that the changing weather will give us a warm sun able to dry us and the painted walls of the small villages we are crossing. With Ponte di Legno behind us, we start to climb the steep rise to Passo Gavia and for the first time in several years, we are not surrounded by thick clouds. The sunlights get out from the moving soft clouds.

Our trip proceeds slowly, the road has some holes and its width goes from 2 to 4 meters. 

As a butterfly, my thoughts go from place to place, leaving and discovering great landscapes at the same time. I love this mountain, it reminds me my beloved Monte Grappa with its lunar surfaces.

No, unfortunately I’ve never been on the moon, but I imagine it’s as the beautiful surroundings of  Gavia and Grappa!

As we go up and up, the nature around us gets sharper and it’s here that the cyclists of Giro d’Italia compete to win the Maglia Rosa.

A  burnt scenario, wetted by rain, snow and sweat of the several cyclists that struggle on these rises. At Bonetta refugee, where there is a trophies and cups collection, I know about cyclists the have reached this place more than 400 times. I smile,  I have some difficulties making a small rise, how could I get up here by bike? 

Around the refugee there is some melting snow that flows into the small lake that has some little icebergs floating on it and my mind goes immediately to far Iceland. 

The mountain mirrors into the water, blue of the lake and red of the rocks in beautiful disagreement.

Bonetta refuge as usual welcomes us with hot tea, fireplace and wooden furniture and walls. 

A group of Korean tourists are shooting at all details, lots of accurate pictures as in a CSI crime scene! 

We put our helmets on and we are again on the street, surrounded by an everchanging view. First dried lands then greener areas where the snow is melting and feeding the ground. 

Every single view would deserve a picture, but there is no time to stop by and we decide to fix all the single images of this great film in our minds. A rainbow of colours will stay in our memories, blurred with the past and enriched by new emotions and nuances. 

Without further stops we arrive in the evening in our small hotel, not far from Livigno. We have never been here before, but what is remarkable is its positioning: isolated from the town, the village of Trepalle is in the middle of green fields spotted by yellow flowers. A bucolic scenario with the sound of a mountain creek as soundtrack. 

Bait de Angial is the right place to found peace, well-being and calm, spoiled by the attention and hospitality of the two young owners. 

The hotel is typical and cosy and I leave behind the tiredness of the trip as I am , face to face, in front of the proposals of the menu. My choice goes to some delicious Valtellina pizzoccheri prepared by chef Massimo. I have been thinking about pizzoccheri since I left home that morning (good girl!).

Sight, smell and taste are surprised while eating this dish, tradition and innovation all at once: a beautiful accordo that smells of zaffron. We spend our night at the dinner table, entertained by some good music and a warm intimacy. 

As our heads become heavy for the tiredness, we decide to go to sleep: mountain needs us to be active the following day!A comfortable room will take care of us until morning, confident will be here again soon.

Good night and sweet dreams.

Lucia Busato

From the trolley to the stroller. Life changes, passion for traveling remains the same. I love to call myself a rational daydreamer. Sometimes I have my head screwed on, sometimes in the clouds. I start traveling much before packing, with my mind of course. My trips are always so intense that I’m rarely well rested once back home. English breakfast and Dulce de Leche are an authentic heritage to me. What I find exciting? The roar of a Ducati motorbike, the Dolomites and why not, a nice pair of high-heeled shoes.

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