Italian Alps - route input

Discussion in 'Europe' started by ktmpilot, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. ktmpilot

    ktmpilot Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    94
    So we are finally doing it. The Italian Alps. Landing in Milan - we'll ride over to Lago Garda (Passo Nota & Tremalzo).

    We're then heading to Verona to see Museo Nicolis, then head to the foot of the Dolomites through Bassano del Grappa for some Grappa & Amaro.

    The Dolomites - Passo Fedaia, Cortina, Tre Croci, Falzarego, Arabba, Passo Pordoi, Gardena.

    We'll run over to Ponte di Legno, Passo Tonale, Gaiu and up Malga dei Forni.

    Next it's Stelvio, Umbrail and heading down around Passo San Marco and then to Lugano.

    Looking at 7 days on the bikes (about 250 km / day)

    Any ideas on things to see?

    Mike
    #1
  2. budsin1

    budsin1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    34
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    That's a great route! Looks like you've found all the best places already - the passes! :)

    What is the timeframe of your trip? If it's between June and October, you're gonna love it.

    Just make sure you have room for wine and cheese (both in the belly and in the saddlebags)!! :D

    -- and if you'd like a great B&B recommendation just north of Verona (Excellent wine region - Valpollicella), PM me.

    tj
    #2
  3. marret

    marret Transient

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    Fort Knox KY
    +1.

    I think Gardena and Sella are near Pordoi.

    Suggest Gavia on the same day as Stelvio and Umbrail.

    I like this site for motorcycle friendly hotels:
    http://www.tourenfahrer-hotels.de/
    #3
  4. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz ...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,111
    Location:
    AUS
    Tremalzo has been closed for m'cycles for a few years now.
    If you stay in/ around Tremosine for a night or 2, your host can help you to get a (written) once-off permit. The road is patrolled regularly and fines for not having a permit have been fairly drastic (speak: expensive!) in some cases.
    Nota and the rest of the western approaches are fine.
    #4
  5. boboneleg

    boboneleg we can rebuild him.

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,000
    Location:
    Bristol UK
    See if you can fit in the Passo di San Boldo, my favourite from last year.....

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. ktmpilot

    ktmpilot Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    94
    I heard that you needed a Pass for Tremalzo so we've already contacted the local municipality and the hotel we are staying at. We are staying in the area for two nights so I don't see an issue but.... From what I understand it's 75Euro if you get caught without a permit - all things considered this trip has been too many years in the making so as the french say 'c'est la vie'.

    Passo San Boldo is one I wanted to do - all depends on how we feel, I have a two hour ride to the hotel from Bassano Del Grappa, going to San Boldo adds 90 minutes so if we fresh it's definitely on the list and the route is already in the gps.

    thanks for the input so far

    Mike
    #6
  7. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,451
    Since seems that you are not afraid of gravel roads , may I suggest to stop in dolomites inside mountain huts?
    exceptional panorama, good food and an experience to remember . If you need advices, just tell me - I rode them all.

    Another hint : very near Bassano del Grappa, the museo Bonfanti , as interesting as the Nicolis
    http://www.museobonfanti.veneto.it/en/
    #7
  8. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,715
    Location:
    Hopefully Upright
    Regarding Stelvio. The One side is excellent the other is just not as much fun.

    We met some Germans who stayed at the top of Stelvio at the ski lodge. They had had 3 great runs up and down the pass shown in the video before the traffic started.

    Here is a link to us riding a bit of the nice side of the pass two up.

    http://youtu.be/sq1DsUwPi70
    #8
  9. Ali in Austria

    Ali in Austria Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    Ramsau Am Dachstein, Austria, Motorcycle Heaven

    It must be me then but I actually like the East Side :evil
    #9
  10. furbo

    furbo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    112
    From your note "We'll run over to Ponte di Legno, Passo Tonale, Gaiu "

    If you're in Ponte d' Legno (psso d'Aprica') and tonale territory, you're probably looking at Psso Gavia - not Psso Giau. Giau is just SE of Psso Falzarego out of Cortina.

    Of the passes around the Sella Mastiff, you've listed the N Pass (Gardena/Grodnerjoch) and the S pass, Pordoi.

    Coming from Cortina, I'd skip (or catch last) the Pordoi, and take in the E Pass (Valparola or Campolungo*) then the Gardena, then the W pass (Sella) down into Canazei, S to Vigo di Fassa, take in the Psso Costalunga, then go up to Welchsnofen into Bolzano. Then make your way toward the Psso Tonale & Stelvio area.

    And - if you can educate yourself as to WWI history - paritularly on the Falzarego, Campolungo and Tonale passes, the odd statues everywhere will make better sense.

    Buon Viaggio sai!
    #10
  11. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,715
    Location:
    Hopefully Upright
    Well we did ride it when a 600 bicycle race up the pass was ongoing.
    #11
  12. ktmpilot

    ktmpilot Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    94

    Love gravel and dirt. Can't wait. Would love visit a mountain hut in the dolomites - can you recommed a few? Greatly appreciated.

    Mike
    #12
  13. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz ...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,111
    Location:
    AUS
    Doubt that the German tourist from Hamburg said the same thing after his bike was impounded for 6 weeks in 2010 or '11. Guess, a local cop just wanted to make a statement as there haven't been anymore incident reports I tripped over in the German-speaking forums since.
    Just goes to show that something like that can easily spoil a great ride.
    Same goes for other places, particularly in Italy. ( quite a few similar reports from the southern areas/ Piemonte/ Liguria etc.)
    If they come down, they come down like a ton-of-bricks and it doesn't matter who cops it.
    #13
  14. ktmpilot

    ktmpilot Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    94
    THANK YOU !! - point taken - the "impounding" didn't cross my mind and appreciate the note - I figured I could live with a fine but you are 100% right and it's not worth risking the trip. Not that we weren't going to get a permit.

    We've already contacted the hotel and commune for a permit.
    #14
  15. ktmpilot

    ktmpilot Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    94
    I'm ex-military so I can't wait to see the structures and monuments
    #15
  16. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz ...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,111
    Location:
    AUS
    Then don't miss Piz Laguzoi, take the cable car from the top of Falzarego and spend a couple of hours in those rock-formations which have been hollowed out like a beehive "for tactical warfare".

    Just a little blurp of the 3-week ride-report.

    #########################################

    September/ October

    3 weeks and a bit.


    T1 had switched things from bad to worse...there was a yearning for those alpine roads and places that'll just never let us go for the rest of our lives, the hook was in.


    Same time of year again....Temps are down, tourists are out, autumn colours and low-season prices are on, roads empty.
    Lots of blue skies and occasionally some fresh snow overnight for the perfect dream-finish to the whole package.


    Main targets were any roads and tracks of the Eastern Alps that didn't exceed a lane-and-a-half in width.
    Or had gravel.... and/or led to some spectacular places waaaayyyy up there.


    From the Old Town of Aarau/ Switzerland....

    [​IMG]

    ...to the cobblestones of the Grossglockner/ Austria...


    ....meeting up with Hans (Asphalt), Elisabeth and Michael (Castle-of-Teck)

    [​IMG]



    Rode the Vrsic Saddle and Mangart in Slovenia


    [​IMG]


    Dined like kings


    [​IMG]


    The Radovna Rd., gawked at Lake Bohinjsko

    Took the Slovenian Border Ridge Rd. (slobber)

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Casson di Lanza, a night at Granny's at Paularo in the Friuli



    [​IMG]


    Saw wild horses on The Panoramica delle Vette


    [​IMG]


    Many others in between that brought tears of pleasure to minds and souls, before the quirky San Boldo appeared from no where

    [​IMG]


    Spent a day climbing around the Piz Laguzoi and WW1 trenches and dug-outs before getting jelly-kneed on the descent to the Falzarego-Saddle


    [​IMG]


    Passo de Manghen on the way south


    [​IMG]

    The Kaiserjaegerstrasse above Lake Caldonazzo makes you stammer and stutter


    [​IMG]


    The little town of Storo at night

    [​IMG]

    Passo Maniva, Vivione..

    [​IMG]

    ....the Gavia

    [​IMG]



    For the whole yarn and the rest of the ~1600 pics, most of them quite exceptional:

    http://www.austouring.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2645
    #16
  17. Sparke

    Sparke Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    482
    Location:
    Sparks, Maryland,USA
    I too highly suggest Maniva, it was a highlight of my 2011 5 week tour. Mangart was also excellent.

    The permit to ride Tremolzo and Nota is available free of charge if you are staying in a local hotel, from the municipal office in the town square in Pieve.

    The route from the lakeside of Garda to Pieve is unique.

    In Pieve stop in a hotel Paradiso for a coffee on the balcony. It's the second best place to sit in the Alps. The best place is ON A MOTORCYCLE!
    #17
  18. Curveball

    Curveball n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Fineland
    There is big annual motorcycle event in Sondalo 26-29 June and therefore lots of bikes going up and down Stelvio. It may be advisable to avoid that region during those dates.
    Events or not, summer weekends in Stelvio are packed with people on all kinds of wheels, not to mention bicycle races - so planning is essential.
    #18
  19. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,226
    Location:
    Sterling, Virginia, USA
    GREAT pic of the San Boldo - I've never been there with a wide enough lens :cry

    The pass in 1976-ish - no guard rails (to speak of), 2 way traffic (no taking turns) and no lights in the tunnels. Back in the days when men were men and women were glad.

    [​IMG]

    You Tube video: Once through the tunnels from July of 2006.

    If you do ride the San Boldo, you're at the top of the Prosecco wine area and are just a bit north of Conegliano, home to Italy's oldest and most prestigious wine school, the Scuola Enologica.

    Just sayin :wink:
    #19
  20. TrattoRAZ

    TrattoRAZ Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    65
    Tremalzo requires pass. Pass can be issued by select hotels in the area to guest that spend three days/two nights in the area. Being stopped without a pass will definitely result in a fine. Authorities will only sequester your bike for serious offenses (no insurance, lack of required safety equipment, equipment that does not meet EU requirements, etc.). Of note is that the Tremalzo cannot be done with knobbies... so if you don't have a pass and you're using knobbies, you can pretty much count on getting more than a ticket. Logistics are a bit complicated for Tremalzo if your timeline is not flexible. You could substitute with Passo Dordona, which is longer and the pass can be obtained at the local city hall or tourism office, without any obligation for hotel stay. Not sure what the fee is, but last year it was EUR 5.00 (about $6).

    Looks like you have a very nice route planned. Not sure when you lan on taking this trip, but keep in mind that many mountain passes don't open until May/June.

    Bassano del Grappa is a beautiful area and also very close to the historic towns of Marostica and Asolo. Passo San Boldo is already open (went last weekend) as snow line is above 14/1500 meters.

    Enjoy your trip. Feel free to PM if you have any specific questions about the area or the dolomites.
    #20