Italy trip planning

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by mach1mustang351, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Yup, the push push thing gets to really suck after a while. Especially when you realise you missed so much.

    Most of my trips are unplanned, unscripted, protracted meandering. I feel, even at my age, I can always easily go back and look at stuff some more. For visitors from another continent, their viewpoint is different.

    I have gone 'way on down south hundreds of times. Almost always through France, always mixing up the routes, still plenty I haven't tried.
    Even in places where I have perhaps spent a couple of years in total since I first went there, there are places within a few miles I haven't yet visited, roads haven't ridden - so much, so much.
    #61
  2. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer

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    Yeah, I think a lot of that is the allure of motorcycling for me. The same A-B can be different depending on weather, time of year, route, timing, company, bike, mindset, etc. Seeing new places is always amazing, sensory overload!! I am pretty good at go with the flow trips, but I am also very analytical so I like to have a very basic outline, and like to fill in the middle as we go.

    Luckily my wife and I have the same mind sets on these vacations, so we tend to get along well throughout.
    #62
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  3. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Stationed at Aviano AB (about 50 miles north of Venice) '69-'71 & '75-'77. Venezia was a normal day trip. Lots of people, but no huge crowds.
    Went back in 2001 and as the vaporetto approached St. Marks it appeared that there were wall-to-wall people.
    Can't believe that it's become any less crowded in the ensuing 16 years.
    I've seen the same thing at other places that I used to be able to just walk up to. Neu Schwanstein comes to mind.

    Holy Understatement, Batman!

    However... I had the best pizza that I've ever had in Italy in a restaurant in Colico on the northeast part of Lago di Como - Ristorante Da Lin. Chinese restaurant - Chinese staff, red & cold columns, dragons, the whole bit. Go figure.

    I get a chuckle from my British friends complaining about the channel crossing. Oh, to be able to ride my bike from my door to the Alps and back..
    #63
  4. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Crossing the channel may be a pain in the arse, but if we don't then we are stuck on our cold wet island. I know choice I prefer.
    But the statement was really about the USAians who expect to rip off 800 miles before lunch. I assume from chat on here this what they do for the midwest, but Europe is another place.
    Paris today, Milan tomorrow, Novosibirsk by lunchtime the day after.
    #64
  5. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    That doesn't last long as reality sets in.

    People are surprised that I spend more money, on a daily basis, on fuel in the USofA than I do in Europe. I normally use about 20 liters (one tank) of fuel per day in Europe, while I'll fill 3 or 4 times a day here in the States.

    Completely different worlds. I need to speak to some Europeans that have ridden here to get their impressions.
    #65
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  6. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer

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    Step closer...

    Got the reservation and deposit in

    The Guzzi California will be by ride for 10 days in Italy. In Italy on an Italian bike. What is better than that?? And it's a Guzzi... I have 2 of those... I love Guzzis!!!!

    california1400_touringSE2_400.jpg
    #66
  7. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer

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    And my wife is a smart lady, she fully understands that the Guzzi California is similar to my Road King.... And after 10 days with the California, the Road King might go away in favor of one
    #67
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  8. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    A good friend - a Harley rider all his life - recently took a demo ride on a BMW K1600 GTL. On the way to the dealer's his wife was rather insistent that they weren't going to buy a motorcycle that day.

    They took a nice long test ride.

    When they got back, she told him to buy the bike. It's in their garage.
    #68
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  9. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer

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    I haven't been a Harley all my life, in fact, I have owned everything but a Harley up until the last two seasons. I have had a Sportster and a Road King. I really enjoy my Road King. I like the feel, torque, comfort, handling I would even say that at this point, it is the most fun street only bike I have ever owned. ... but I am not so deep into the Harley cool aid that I will always have a Harley. Like i've posted before, I can really see a 800 Triumph in my future, or an R1200RT... or neither. I just like bikes.
    #69
  10. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    :D:clap

    Harleys - my first real bike was a '33 VL (I had a Whizzer before that) that I bought for $20 around 1961, and a '60 XLCH in '68. Haven't had one since.
    #70
  11. chrispazz

    chrispazz Adventurer

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    Hi!

    You did not insert Garda Lake in your route....don't miss it.
    You can reach Venice by motorbike but obviously you can't enter in the city with it so plan to park somewhere to have your days there.
    Also Cinque Terre is not so bike friendly. You can't enter down in the 5 villages with your bike. The best is leave the bike in the first village (Riomaggiore) in the secured park (little expensive) and use the train or ferry boat (better) to visit all villages. From the further one you can get a single trip to the first one to get your bike back.
    If you go there, don't miss Portovenere. Go to the Doria Castle at sunset and you will see a great view (after that have dinner at Ristorante Portivene, it is really great but also small so remember to book a table).

    Have a great trip here in Italy!

    Chris
    #71
  12. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Sometime, somewhere, Michael posted a route or two around Garda, maybe a search or perhaps Michael will be kind enough to repost here.
    Unless I am mistaken. Just got back from family stuff in Frankfurt and a bit travel lagged and stressed.
    #72
  13. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Thoughts on Garda. First of all, it's a beach experience, not a riding experience.

    The east side is a lot of small towns strung together. Trafficky. And you can't see the lake for a lot of it due to buildings.

    The upper west side has the "Gardesana" - a road cut into the cliff face. A lot of tunnels, but overall not a bad ride.

    The town of Sirmione is at the end of a small peninsula on the south side of the lake. You enter the town across a small fortified moat. Neat town with the ruins of a Roman villa at the north end.

    The ferry ride from Torri del Benaco to Toscalano has unique views of the lake and is a nice break from traffic.

    On the west side - HIGH on the west side - is the town of Tremosine and the Hotel Paradiso. Stop in and get an espresso on the terrace and enjoy the view from a small deck cantilevered 1,200 feet above the lake.

    My route would be Sirmione, up the east side to the ferry, ferry across and up to Tremosine and continue north to Riva (or reverse).
    #73
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  14. chrispazz

    chrispazz Adventurer

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    I live at 30 km from there. Great places!


    Inviato dal mio iPhone utilizzando Tapatalk
    #74
  15. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

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    Agreed. Best parts of the whole Garda-thing are the hills + mountains set back off the shores along the east+west. The northern end is plain tourist crap.
    The south is is already part of the industrial northern Italian plains.
    An area mostly overlooked is the general Monte Baldo Natural Reserve area.
    And instead of following either Bitchin' Betty and/ or the main roads from Mori in the north-east (SP3/8/29 etc) to the ferry at Torri del Benaco, try this
    for some spectacular (but S L O W!!) traveling high above the lake, incredible views and some scattered local traffic at worst. (and that's through the holiday season!!)
    ~110k's of solitary bliss and single-laners (all sealed) https://goo.gl/maps/YKZyS7uPReu

    Add a super-scenic cable car ride from Dumez (just up the hill from Malcesine on the lake) up to Monte Baldo (make it a return trip, for the views alone!)
    http://www.visitmalcesine.com/en/cablecar-malcesine-monte-baldo-lake-garda/105
    a short visit to the ancient village of Campo di Brenzone http://bit.ly/2vZL7X2 (just follow the local signs for a drive of most of the climb from the lakeside at Brenzone)
    and the lookout above the ruins is worth every step of the 50m hike .....add the ferry to the western shore and some good, lazy food+drink along the way and there's a gem of a day....and all in less than 150km!
    The old SP9 down to Brenzone is a cracker.
    Loads of other options (many of them containing gravel stretches/ stumping views and fabulous countryside + local attractions) between the eastern shores of Lake Garda and the A22 Autostrada.
    Easy enough to spend 3 or 4 days around the area and never ride any of the tiny roads twice.
    Repeat through the hills/ mountains above the western shores.

    Best time of travel: Sept to mid-Oct, when there's a good chance of clear skies, cooler temps and no smog drifting up from the industrial plains.
    #75
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  16. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Unless, of course, you travel with me. In which case you get cold rain. The exact amount varies daily, but you're guaranteed to have some. :becca
    #76
  17. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    But you are becoming like the character in Charlie Brown Michael, always dragging a rain cloud...

    For quite a few years, September into October was the time of my annual holiday. We always reckoned once south of the Loire, it would be dry and sunny. And mostly it was - with a few, often dramatic exceptions.
    I certainly have more memories of me walking around in shorts, polo shirt and sandals than togged up to the nines.
    Been there in December too, not warm enough for the same gear, but with a coat, pleasant enough to eat out on the terrace. You do need good shades though - the low sun and crystal bright skies cause lots of dazzle.

    If people are thinking mountains, then the weather will do its thing at any time of year.
    #77
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  18. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

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    Yikes...stay away then :-)
    I must admit that weather-patterns have become more volatile over the last 20 years or so....but they still basically apply.
    The reason I tend to not follow a pre-mapped route or loop nowadays but rather duck+weave/ chop+change according to local weather forecasts.
    I never pre-book accom, either...there's always something available.
    Coming from halfway around the globe with valuable time ticking away, there's no sense in "sticking it out or sticking with the program" or such.
    Where I used to lug around a half-dozen maps with 2-3 weeks worth of "dream-routes" marked off, it's more than a dozen maps for any given bash nowadays.
    Lots of extra homework, too...but thus far rewarded by good conditions and dry roads/ tracks....knock wood!.

    A mate in Vienna sent me those an hour ago... things are looking pretty damn sweet for Carinthia/ SLO and the Friuli again. :clap
    http://www.wetter.at/wetter/oesterreich/kaernten/klagenfurt
    http://www.wetteronline.de/wetter/bovec
    #78
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  19. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    September appeals to me for a lot of reasons. Reasonable temperatures for riding in full kit (the ONLY way for me), The summer atmospheric haze is mostly gone along with most of the summer vacationers, and most everything is still open.

    I guess that my only stab at a September ride in 2015 was just bad luck on my part. Sigh...
    #79
  20. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer

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    Okay everyone. We are making reservations and nailing it down. If you have two nights to spend in the alps (I know, the more the better, but that's how much time we have) What would be two good towns to stay in??

    So, suggestions on where to be

    Milan to ?????

    Then ???? to ????

    Then on to the Dolomites and down to Venice
    #80