Michnus & Elsebie Piki-Piki Around the World.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by michnus, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Part of the reason we travel is to seek to understand the beauties, the mysteries and the differences of our world. The beauties for us in cities like Napoli are the absence of the likes of the traditional malls we have in South Africa.

    Street shops owned by individuals or passed down in the family do business next to each other with a lively buzz and healthy competition. None of the same boring retail chain brands you find in every bloody mall in SA with the same stuff on offer and any new offerings pressed out by the big ego driven retail brands.

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    Stores and shops rarely open before 10am. Everything closes again around midday, not to reopen until 3 or 4pm. In the evening, the streets in the centre come alive.

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    The museums we have visited thus far are all well maintained and the information easy to use. It is in stark contrast to the museums in Cairo where photos are not allowed and the place is stuffy and the artefacts not properly marked with little or no information.

    The National Archaeological Museum is one of the best to visit if you had to choose one. Secret Museum or Secret Cabinet (Gabinetto Segreto) principally refers to the collection of erotic or sexually explicit finds from Pompeii, held in separate the former Museo Borbonico.

    Rather strange that they were so open about sex at the time one would have thought them to be more conservative. Yet in our age Janet Jackson slips a nipple on stage and the USA faints in disgust.

    Just a bit much to post here but the history of the erotic depicting of the gods is on Wiki.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Museum,_Naples

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  2. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    Well done michnus, you're now the proud owner of the weirdest and creepiest post on adv. :lol3
  3. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Thanks will take it as a compliment. That's why we travel, to seek new shit? :lol3
  4. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    They were a bunch of violent sexual fuckers.

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    Stop looking up old mens frock

    It was surreal to wander through the elegant halls lined with works by El Greco and Cara
    vaggio, Roman sculptures from the Farnese collection and 18th-century furnishings.

    Did the pizza in Napoli live up to the standards? Well yes, but that said, there are defintly places outside of Italy that make damn well much better pizzas.:D
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  5. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Pompeii ruins are a must see, just because it's so old and that they mastered to build such places in that time. The entire Napoli is build on old ruins.
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    The mosaic artwork is something to behold. Very fine and small tiny tiles must have taken them years to complete.
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  6. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    There’s probably an endless list of reasons why travelling Italy by motorcycle should be on any persons bucket list. For good measure I will list just five reasons.

    We could not in our wildest dreams imagine the variety, cultural diversity and beauty of Italy. One great experience seduces you into the next with a bit of a feeling that resembles Alexithymia.

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    One:
    Nothing much beats roadside lunches and wild camping where possible, with a bottle or two of Italy’s finest 2 Euro wines bought from local shops. There are obviously much better quality wines that does not cost an arm and a leg. We found the cheapies very pleasant with a fruity bouquet and easy on the pallet. *I am just talking rubbish, I know bugger all about wine tasting! It’s good wine and will get you drunk quite quick. Add some cheese, fresh bread with olive oil and all is well in the world.

    Enjoying views and the breathtaking sunsets over Tuscany while sitting outside a tent is the only way – not from inside a stuffy hotel room.
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    Best lunches on route.

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    roma

    Coming from Napoli into Rome we stayed with Andrea and his son Massimo in their cool apartment close to the centre of town. Andreas went to great lengths updating us on the places to see, routes to take and places to avoid. The evenings spent with him and his son were great fun.

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    Andreas and Massimo, our hospitable hosts in Rome.

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    Parking is limited and the bikes had to bunk with other bikes on the sidewalk.

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    Wine and cake for dinner.

    When visiting Rome it is better to stay on the outskirts where locals reside and visit their hang-out places in the evening. Rome itself is crazy busy with tourists right through the year.

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    Beautiful Rome.
    With a vigorous and brisk walking pace the most popular part of Rome can be seen in 3 to 4 days. *For somebody loving old churches and buildings, *months would be needed to really take in the beauty of Rome.

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    Most of the famous Rome attractions in this photo.

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    On this day the Pope gave a speech and told everybody to be good people and pay their tithe to the church. Click to open.

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    The Colosseum is probably the most impressive building of the Roman Empire. Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, it was the largest building of the era.
    Two….
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  7. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Two:
    Sharing Italy’s biker’s passion for riding and weaving through traffic in Rome and other Italian cities is a selcouth experience for people who normally avoid traffic and cities. The bike crazy Italians make space for motorcycles and allow scooters and bikers to freely flow through the congested streets. Being on a motorcycle makes sightseeing so much easier and parking is for free! Unlike the scary myths, riding in Rome is actually safer and easier than fighting Cairo or Nairobi traffic.

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    Officially known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, the enormous white marble monument that dominates Piazza Venezia was built as a tribute to the first king of a united Italy, Victor Emmanuel II.

    Having the motorcycles as transport is the absolute best way exploring cities. Easy to get around and never having to spend hours in a car or bus trying to fight traffic. We lock the helmets on the bike and only use a small backpack to carry the camera and a bottle of water.

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    Stitched 8 photos to make this panorama. Built more than 1800 years ago, the magnificent Pantheon still stands as a reminder of the great Roman Empire. The name Pantheon refers to the building’s original function as a temple for all the gods.

    The short rules for Italy….

    If there’s bread on the table do not eat it or you will pay a small amount of gold in ransom. Entrees and bottles of water is normally expensive and not freebies. Many restaurants out of the tourist area serve a set menu (menu fisso) and do not have choices of single serving dishes. It’s really big meals and the need to sleep afterwards overwhelming. Outside seating at restaurants are normally charged at a small fee. Out of season most times they will not charge the fee. *Out of tourist areas it’s not an issue at all.

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    Yes even a pyramid! The Pyramid of Caius Cestius was built around 12 BC by praetor Caius Cestius as his tomb. The pyramid was later integrated into the Aurelian Wall, which helped its preservation.

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    The Piazza di Spagna is one of the most popular tourist locations in Rome. People spend time relaxing on the steps watching other people eating icecream and laughing at tourist taking pictures with their phones and 11'Ipads. The famous Spanish Steps lead from the square to the Trinità dei Monti, a beautiful French church.

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    Cool water fountains around the city
    Three………
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  8. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Nice paintings *:biggrin:

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  9. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Motorcycles and scooters are biiiiiig in Rome and contrary to popular believe actually quite safe and easy to get around on a bike.

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  10. Tan101

    Tan101 Been here awhile

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    Great update. I am now dying to go there
  11. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    Same
  12. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Three:
    Ride the back country roads. The inviting, easy going nature of Italians will quickly have you gorging on fresh toasted bread, drenched in proper, freshly pressed Olive oil. As usual, custom is washing it down with a shot of espresso. On a bike you are not a tourist but a traveller. Well, that’s the impression we got.

    The time and weather to camp and be in Italy was fast turning against us. We had no winter clothes and our tent and sleeping stuff was made for hot climates – not European winter. Andreas gave us directions to an olive farm on our way to Bologna. As always it is best to set the GPS to stay off highways and toll roads, and shorter distance not faster route. The imbecilic manner in which the GPS software calculates the route actually works well when wanting to stick to back roads and experience the local scenes.

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    The friendly folke at this local small Olive oil press roasted us some bread and then covered with fresh Olive oil.

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    It is an old farm and how it works is like this. Do not think big ass Olive farms. It's all small farmers. They bring their Olives to this press and get inline with the others. As it's press it's pumped into their own containers.

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    Wild Boar salami, fresh bread, olive oil and espresso. Life is good

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    On our way to Florence (or Firenze as more famously known) we pass the Hotel Passo della Futa high up on the Apennines midway between Bologna and Florence. Cyclists have used this road and bar for almost a century and the bar is decked with photos and memorabilia of the greatest cyclists of the post-war era, Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.

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    Famous restaurant on the pass where the Miglia 1000 and other well known bicycle races are held since Jesus birth.

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    Still cooking the old way inside the restaurant.

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    passo del futa This is also the route taken by historic vehicles on the Mille Miglia rally in May every year, but not all of them made it to the top as it is a pretty tough climb, especially the hill climb from Florence.


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    Albergo bar at Passo del Futo
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  13. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Florence: È una bella città

    Florence is one of Italy’s most beautiful cities. *It is also home to Michelangelo’s David (a copy of which) is standing on a hill overlooking the city. It is the city of mile-high stilettos, the majestic Duomo and romantic red-tiled rooftops. The only issue is it’s overrun with tourists.

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    The statue of Michelangelo's David overlooking the city of Florence.

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    View from the hill where the statue of David is overlooking Florence.

    Florence’s Duomo is among Italy’s ‘Big Three’ with Pisa’s Leaning Tower and Rome’s Colosseum. Its red-tiled dome, graceful campanile (bell tower) and breathtaking pink, white and green marble facade is a sight to behold. Begun in 1296 by Sienese architect Arnolfo di Cambio, the cathedral took almost 150 years to complete.

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    Duomo Florence.

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    The work and tiles on the building of Duomo is seriously impressive for such an old building.

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    Street vendors in Florence.

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    Famous bridge in Florence.

    Get in and get out as soon as possible. Stunning winding roads and the multi colours of Tuscany around Florence with it’s cheap red wines await. *Chianti Classico is the regions best vineyards.
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    Cold and wet but still the best way to tour Italy. Camping near to the statue of David.

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    Moscato – local Italian wine. Enjoying the late afternoon sunset over Florence.

    Four…….
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  14. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Four:
    Camping is the way to meet the real travellers and get up to date tips. Meeting new people in a hotel or B&B will likely not happen. People are more inclined to master up a chat with dirty faced bikers than trying to chat you up in a hotel. The same goes for us. It is easier to walk over to a man or woman sitting under their camper van awning and struck up a conversation than knocking on your neighbour’s door in a hotel.

    The best travel advice, *routes, *places to see and stay was through fellow travellers in camp-sites who were interested in our bikes and shared their knowledge. It’s a good feeling to share your experiences with other travellers.

    The city of Pisa is a short hop from Florence, Bologna and Tuscany. The small towns along the back roads in the region take you back in time. *It is unbelievable that buildings can be this well looked after for such a long time.

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    Way off the beaten track – restaurants with warm hearted people.

    It’s beautifully relaxing riding the narrow back roads to Pisa. *People go their way as if time stood still. It’s 10ish in the morning while people spend time in small bars drinking Vino Novello chatting the time away. Some restaurants only offer set menus and it is impossible to order separate dishes.

    It makes sense as it’s small family owned restaurants and easier to make a set menu (menu fisso) than having a list of options. For us it is a problem as it’s impossible to eat all that food and still have to ride.

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    Small town streets.

    The back road restaurants are where the passion for eating and lovely owners chat to us as if we are long lost family members coming home for a meal. We got offered desserts for free and were kissed and hugged as if we were close family. We could only spend a day in Pisa.

    The same old town narrow streets with the small bars and street markets are all over. It is busy, really busy! We were lucky that it was out of season and cold. It was relatively easy going with no crowds. The Campo dei Miracoli or, in English, *the Field of Miracles is home to the buildings that have made Pisa famous. The four most notable Pisan buildings are the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cathedral (Duomo) of Pisa, the Baptistery, and the burial grounds of the Campo Santo.

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    The four most notable Pisan buildings are the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cathedral (Duomo) of Pisa and the Baptistery.

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    Had to stitch a load of photos to get the size of this building inside.

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    It is only when there, that you realise how much the tower is leaning. The other buildings are also in some state of sinking.

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    Hail to the tower. All taking the same picture.

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    Worthwhile spending a day there and wait till evening until the hordes of tourists have left. It is really great wandering these buildings at night with the lights on them and no people around.
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  15. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

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    Have always loved this report, but the Italian aspect is spot on! Keep it coming!
  16. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Thanks :thumb
  17. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    On route to Venice we stopped over in Bologna and Fiorana, the home of Italian auto porn. If ever you visit Venice out of season you will dodge the festivals. Even without the crowds and while we were there in early winter, it was still stupid busy. It is a very romantic city but do not think you will spend time there or can even afford to eat there. It’s damn expensive.

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    Sip slowly on that expensive espresso. Piazza del Marco, it was Elsebie's birthday and I had to give her an expensive gift. It turned out to be the espresso :D

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    Piazza del Marco, this is where Bond, James bond drove his Gondola onto the piazza
    We had an espresso at the Piazza San Marco that were R180-00 for us both. It was Elsebie’s birthday and we decided to splash a bit on wining and dining. Well the wine did not happen and the dine was a quick sandwich. We left the eating for the evening outside of Venice.

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    Time to rest, Murano Polizia closed.

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    Skillful glass workers produce the most striking glass in the world.

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    The island of Murano is a short hop with a water taxi. The glass workshops of Murano conjure writhing chandeliers, swirling goblets and gem-bright jewellery from their red-hot furnaces.

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    Artist makes a horse like this in a few minutes.

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    Green grocer shop. Everything has to be brought in to Venice by boat.

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    Real wood carvings. Impressive.

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    Venice markets, fresh fish is big business.

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    It is wonderful spending an afternoon hanging around an outside cafe. That is about as much fun to be had. And if you think taking your loved one on a romantic Gondola think again. It's something like R600-00 for 30min. F-knows why it's so expensive, I mean they run on pasta. *:lol8:

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    Santa Maria della Salute

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    There are busses, trains and taxis going to Venice which makes it easy to visit during the day and staying for less in hotels outside in Mestre. While in Mestre and at a hotel it was time to wash the kit. It did not have any cleaning since Sudan. *A few days’ stay in hotels do have it’s benefits.

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    I do not think there's one proper upright building in Venice, most are leaning to some degree.

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    Not having so many chances to clean kit. Washing the camping stuff in the hotel room while we have hot water and a heater to dry it properly.

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  18. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    The days were getting colder and we rode with lots of warm clothes and rain suits. Our last stay in the tent was the coldest we ever experienced while travelling. Lucky being out of season the hotel rooms were relatively inexpensive and we were able to book only a day in advance or at some places just pitch up without a booking. When in Italy, visiting Romeo and Juliet’s home town is a must. Verona is a picturesque and romantic town with street vendors and beautiful old buildings. The Verona’s Roman Arena is the third largest in Italy (after the Roman Colosseum and the arena in Capua).

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    Corso Porta Borsari.

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    City of Verona, Romeo and Juliet did their thing here.
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    View over Verona from Castel San Pietro

    Verona claims to have more Roman ruins than any Italian city other than Rome. *Sauntering along one of Verona’s most famous shopping streets, the Corso Porta Borsari, the locals hardly seem to notice the magnificent, exceptionally well-preserved Roman gate as they pass under its great arches.

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    The statue have been removed in early 2014. Too many people wanted to touch her boob for good luck.

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    Juliet’s balcony.

    [size=12pt]Five:[/size]

    Roads made for motorcycles! Italy is small but it boosts some of the best motorcycle riding roads in the world. With the Italians being such passionate bikers they will be quick to show and tell about their favourite scenic routes. From along the huge cliffs of the Amalfi coast to the towering passes in the Alps, no car or bus or any other mode of transport would be able to punch one in the face with such vigor and pure happiness that a bike can do.

    The road over the Alps from Venice to Innsbruck is absolutely spectacular. We were warned not to spend too much time before heading over the Alps as it could snow and then we will be stuck in Italy.

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    Going through the Alps. The mountains reach into the clouds, with some of the most scenics roads in the world.

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    Coffee stop. Popular hang- out place in summer for bikers. Never ending twisties.

    Italy is best taken slow with lots of time available for scenic drives, hanging out at local bars and the local foods. Camping is a blast and cheap with campsites in every town. Bread and a 2 Euro bottles of red wine is all you need!

    Well there you have it. Only five reasons to get to Italy and enjoy it by motorcycle. There are loads more reasons but that’s your own to find out.
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  19. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    Which month were you in Italy? Looking at my own schedule. Thinking leaving for SA in May now.
  20. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    We got there around Sept Oct. It got really cold by the time we got to Germany.