Gypsy in 125 on the Alpine Passes

The splendid journey of 4 friends with 4 125cc motorcycles between unique landscapes and alpine passes through Emilia, Veneto, Trentino and Lombardy. The gypsy tells Gabriele Massai.

125 Tour on the Alpine Passes Veneto Trentino Lombardy
Gypsy in 125 on the Alpine Passes between Veneto Trentino Lombardy

Four friends, 4 125cc motorcycles and over a thousand kilometers of state roads, unique landscapes and alpine passes through Emilia, Veneto, Trentino and Lombardy.

What a pleasure to drive motorcycle from 150 horses and grind km after km. But have you ever tried to do about ten passivated dolomites with an eighth of a liter of horses that has just 10 or 15?

There! Take four friends in love with petrol and two wheels, four 125 cc scooters and add 1100 km of state roads, provincial roads and alpine passes above 2.500 meters. The recipe for the gypsy is served!

Departure at 3.40 on Friday 21 June from a still asleep province of Bologna. We count, final checks and off we go. The road to the north passing through Ferrara e Vicenza flows slowly, the 4-stroke engines of small cubic size impose a pace of about 80 km / h and this is precisely the beauty: scents, noises and details are captured by the eyes and the heart, glimpses of the canals of the Po Valley and the animals still in free exit before dawn.

At 6, near This, together with many workers who have just left the house, we have breakfast of the day. There will be many.

Veneto and Asiago plateau

The dawn begins to peek and with it the still blurred lines of the first peaks above emerge Vicenza. We pass the town of Thiene and finally the climb to theAtheAsiago plateau, is the beautiful provincial road 349 of the Cost which takes us from the plain to a height of about 1000 meters, the air becomes crisp but the first hairpin bends, after many kilometers of plain, warm the body and mind, in view of the next steps.

We pass the town of Asiago and head north again. Anyone who has been to these places knows of a very generous nature and beautiful landscapes, pastures of blinding green and cows in every corner.

Unfortunately, this paradise was scarred by the weather, which in late October 2018 lashed the Trentino and Veneto, causing the fall of nearly 14.000 trees. The spectacle that appears before us is bleak and will accompany us for several kilometers.

Trentino mon amour

It's time for the second breakfast. The Vezzena Pass it is the place where we will taste typical products of the plateau such as its famous cheese, local cold cuts and the Ortigara cake, all accompanied by a good glass of wine. Back in the saddle of our trusty in the direction LCaldonazzo needle, we leave the SS349 and take the suggestive one SP133 of Monterovere, built by the Austrians during the First World War, which falls overhanging towards the lake, with breathtaking views and steep and very narrow hairpin bends.

Arrived in the valley a Levico, we follow in the direction of the country of Telve, we intercept the SP31 of Manghen, a twenty-six kilometer climb for the first real step. We can thus enjoy a newly refurbished road, after the meteorological disaster that hit hard here too and the recent passage of the Giro d'Italia. Thanks to the means of limited cruising speed, the climb is slow but constant. Pause at the top of 2.047 meters to let the "nags" catch their breath and we dive into an even more exciting descent, where the lightness of the vehicles makes us smile, facing fast curves and hairpin bends from first gear, to reach Cavalese and finally go down to the valley via the SS48 to Ora.

We cross the A22 and go up the hills to its left, where kilometers of vineyards of the famous Trento DOC stand out. The peace of the landscape pampers us as we continue on to Caldaro, Wool e Marling to get to lunch a Merano. Stop as per tradition at the Forst brewery, welcomed in the summer veranda.

When digestion becomes less pressing, we just have to take the road for the last fifty kilometers that separate us from the goal of the first day. Through the SS38 the Stelvio we go up the valley to arrive at Glorenza, where we will spend the night. In the distance to the right the Resia pass and on the left the Stelvio pass, both covered by a hat of clouds.

We settle down and go out for an aperitif and a tour of the country, finally we go to dinner. Back at the pension we check the weather for the next day and fall asleep with the promise of rain already in the morning.

The first day ends with 477 km, not bad for 125cc.

The climb to the Stelvio and the Gavia

The alarm goes off early, accompanied by the echo of the cannons against the hail. We pull back the curtains and a dark gray sky looks at us threateningly, it's raining. We go down for breakfast aware of the day ahead, a mix of water and new horizons.

We get ready, put on the anti-water suits and load the bikes.

Eleven marked degrees accompany us towards Prato allo Stelvio where the climb to the legendary Pass begins. The first ascent to the Stelvio, for a motorcyclist, is like a date with a girl: you have always dreamed of it, desired it and when the time comes, anxiety pervades you and your stomach is in turmoil with emotion.. Everything is exciting, up to the peak of pleasure when you arrive in Trafoi, the sign appears with written "46th hairpin". Here we are. The real climb starts, where the curves turn into an intimate dance between you and the Pass; you let go of the accelerator, downshift, set, make the curve and start again smoothly. So for another forty-five times.

Arrived at the top we remain in silence looking into each other's eyes, we already know. Below us, the snow-covered slope from the recent snowfalls, slips until it touches that magical road just passed. We arrived at 2.758 meters above sea level. The photos are taken by themselves.

We cross the hill and the rain continues to beat insistently on helmets and rain suits, we touch the Swiss border and continue to descend the forty hairpin bends of the Lombard side, until we reach Bormio. We turn in the direction Santa Caterina, work slows us down and we have to endure traffic lights that seem eternal to us, under water. Crossed the country, we are ready again for another big climb. Memories of past champions, made of sweat and effort to get to the top, surrounded by delirious fans: the climb begins Passo Topsail. The growing cold and low clouds do not make us enjoy the view as we should, after several kilometers we see the top and together with this, the snow falling to the ground.

We stop for a hot punch and to warm up to Bonetta Refuge at 2.652 mt, arrived just before the phone call from the mayor, who closes the road to Santa Caterina due to the danger of a landslide, the same that in the month of August will create inconvenience to traffic. We just have to start downhill towards Ponte di Legno where as we descend in altitude we lose contact with the snow. From here, we take the state road 42 to reach the Tonale pass, perhaps the least appreciable step of the itinerary, due to the high concentration of hotels and condominiums that have somewhat distorted the place in our opinion.

From the Dolomites to Lake Garda

Arrived at Dimaro we intercept the Val Meledrio, which with the Campo Carlo Magno pass in the middle of woods with wonderful views of the The Dolomites of the Brenta, leads us to Madonna di Campiglio. Beyond opens the Val Rendena downhill through woods and small villages, where after many kilometers under a rain that does not intend to leave us, we turn to Lake Ledro where a hot shower awaits us. It is now six o'clock in the afternoon and finally, after twelve uninterrupted hours of tedious rainfall, the sky takes pity on us, and in a few minutes a refreshing sun peeps out to warm our damp bones. From now on it is just a rest made of an aperitif with the sun in your face, walks to discover the country, and an excellent dinner based on polenta cheeses and game, all washed down with excellent wine. Thanks to the tiredness of the day and the excellent dinner, we go to bed early to recharge the batteries.

We start the day back with a hearty breakfast and immediately afterwards we are already on the march, descending towards Lake Garda which we quickly overtake and cross using the state road 240 of Loppio. In Mori we finally resume our beloved curves, climbing in the direction Brentwood with the Monte Baldo in front of us. Coffee break on Valentine's Day where he attacks the state road 208 towards Avio, a beautiful road overlooking the valley to be done with heart and brakes in the throat. From here we cross the Adige and the Brenner to intercept the provincial 211 of the Lessini which starts from the town of Sdruzzina. A nice climb with not exactly perfect asphalt, where a Ferrari overtakes us and greets us. We are now at the top and the bush becomes pasture again until our goal: the Pass Fittanze where we will spend two hours between lunch with typical cold cuts and relaxation together with the friendly cows in the surrounding area. We leave and here begins the descent towards the Po Valley, made up of almost uninhabited villages and hot, very hot. We skirt Verona and Ferrara and after several hours, arrived at the gates of Bologna we take the usual photo with the now established aperitif.

At home the kilometers will be about 1100, many emotions, proud of having done something beautiful and different, seasoned with friendship and laughter, becoming a unique adventure to tell.

Gabriel Massai, fas a child he disassembled and reassembled (badly!) whatever he found in his father's workshop. Designer of automatic machines, he has always traveled by motorbike or in the company of friends and beer!
The “Branco” traveled with: Suzuki VanVan, Beta Alp, Derbi Mulhacen, Suzuki GSX-R.

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