On the Italian roads

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After the humidity of the Tyrol mounts, our first kilometres in Italy marked the return of the sun. Like on the Austrian side, there were many castles along the road crossing the valley of Isarco, to reach the plains of Verona. 

The region of Trentino-South Tyrol was also rich of these breathtaking sceneries shaped by wide fields, tower bells and amazing snow-covered summits of the Alps. 

On the slope of the rivers, many orchards are growing since centuries. But apples were not the only fruits growing in the region. There were also many vines. In spite of the reputation of the poor soil, this region is famous for its terraced vineyards giving delicious red and white wine. 

After crossing the city of Bolzano, we took a nice road in the mountains. The bikers were climbing the tough 17 bends to reach the “Passo della Mendola”, while on the opposite side the other bikers were enjoying the slope like acrobats.

At the top of the summit, we enjoyed a great view over the valley. Just the time for a pic and we were back on the road, heading South. The road was going along small ponds, crossed nice little stone bridges and villages with beautiful houses in the mountains, before to reach the Lake Garda. 

In Flero, in the suburb of Brescia, we stopped at the headquarters of Givi, one of our first partners who gave us their trust. We became one of their brand ambassadors. We arrived with the flash of the cameras on the parking of their headquarters. We were warmly welcomed by Simona, our contact taking care of the Givi Explorer partnerships. Quickly, Antonio joined us, one of the key managers of the brand. We entered in the “Marketing & Direction” building. In the entrance, a big screen was projecting one of our photos with nice welcoming words. 

Next, we visited the production line of the motorcycle cases. In this factory, the process is automatised, giving the impression that robots are dancing in cages. The morning finished by visiting the showroom and the R&D area. While we were carefully listening the Antonio’s explanations, one of his colleagues were refurbishing our helmets. For lunch, we were invited by Antonio in a nice restaurant, just a few kilometres away from the office. Around the table, the discussion was more casual and more personal, about travelling and its philosophy.

The afternoon, we left Givi to get motor oil for the next (and last) service plus bearings for the side wheel. It was in a small shed specialised in mopeds mechanic that we found it. But impossible to find the bearings. Following the advice of a salesman, we went to a retailer of mechanic parts dedicated to professionals. When we explained the situation to the manager, as expected, he informed us that he do not sell to individuals. But after a small negotiation (and thanks to our sidecars…) he accepted to make an exception, and sold us the bearings in cash.

A day of our stop in Canzo was dedicated to the services. In the small courtyard of the property, we started at 9am with the (hopefully) final service of the travel, the control of the valves  and the bearing change. We were on time on our planning and we checked the spark plugs. But, Julien saw an excess of oil in the cylinders. As a precaution,  we extended the mechanical session by opening the left cylinder. Once opened, Julien saw a few wear marks. A quick call to Louis-Marie to reassure us. He confirmed that we should be able to finish the trip like that. It was 8pm when we washed our hands for enjoying the end of the day with a Spritz. 

The next day, it was the last one on the Italian roads. We crossed the beautiful rolling Asti county; spanning the famous Po, before climbing the hills edged with vineyards and reaching the Tanaro river. This valley was leading to the Mediterranean coast. We followed it to reach Menton and the French Border.