Summer 2019, July.
Leading destination: Lake Resia, and the mysterious bell tower buried in its waters.
This time, our adventure is a little bit longer: 662 Km (411 Ml), a two-day trip, and many Alpine passes to cross with our motorbike.
Day 1 – 368 Km (229 Ml)
1. San Marco Pass
Morning, 8 a.m.
We leave our beloved Bergamo, and we run throughout the Brembana Valley. Small towns and mountain pastures are along our road.
At the end of the valley, we reach the San Marco Pass and its 1,992 m (6,535 ft) of elevation.
Despite many other passes, dominated by people who come and go, here you can feel your closeness to nature. One step from heaven, still immersed in the green of the pass’ meadows.
The descent takes us to Morbegno, in Valtellina.
We come across this beautiful land, famous for its fine wines, until we reach Bormio, a touristic destination located in the Stelvio National Park.
Even if we know how excellent its local cuisine is, we prefer stopping for lunch at the next point, where amazing food embraces a stunning view.
3. Stelvio Pass
So much difference in altitude from Bormio to our next stop. We are on the border between Lombardy and Trentino-South Tyrol.
Dozens and dozens of curves and we come to the Stelvio pass, at an elevation of 2,757 m (9,045 ft). It is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps and the second highest in the Alps, 7 m (23 ft) below France’s Col de l’Iseran. It’s defined as one of the most beautiful mountain passes in Italy!!
After so much road, we finally have lunch. There are bunches of places for eating. This place is full of motorcyclists and restaurants.
4. Lake Resia
After lunch, we go down to the town Prato Allo Stelvio.
After 26 km (16 ml), we arrive at our Lake Resia, aka Reschensee, in Venosta Valley! This artificial lake is on the border with Switzerland, at an elevation of 1,498 m (4,915 ft). It is the largest lake in Trentino-South Tyrol and it’s located precisely in the municipality of Curon.
The first impression was a feeling of amazement (a bell tower in a lake?! What?!) followed by calm (the lake is so quiet, man). It’s something unique in the world!
But then, I start realizing that maybe it’s not as idyllic as can seem, indeed it even appears sad:
At one time, three natural lakes were located at the Resia Pass. Because of the construction of a large dam in 1950, the three lakes were unified, causing the complete submerged of the ancient town of Curon, which was transferred further upstream. Although the local population tried to oppose, 163 houses and 523 hectares of farmland are now on the bottom of the lake. Among them, there is also an ancient church of the fourteenth century, to witness that world almost lost.
Day one is running out. We cross the entire Venosta valley when it’s evening.
In this town, we stop for a beer and for having dinner at the Forsterbräu Merano. Beer is excellent, and you can have a typical Tyrolean meal.
After dinner and more than a couple of beers, we go to bed (we’ve booked in a lovely B&B).
Day 2 – 294 Km (183 Ml)
Also, the second day is full of emotions and places to discover.
We go to Bolzano, the capital city of the region. We make a quick visit to the magnificent old town. We regret getting up late. Unfortunately, we don’t have much time.
But we are ready to face the way back. Three mountain passes are waiting for us.
7. Mendel Pass
First step: Mendel Pass.
We are still in Trentino-South Tyrol, at an elevation of 1,362 meters (4,469 ft). Along the road, there are 17 panoramic hairpin bends, woods, and rocky walls.
In the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twenty century, this place was a popular health resort for aristocrats and emperors. Considering how cool this place is, we understand why they chose to stay here.
8. Cles Lake
Crossing the pass, we come to Cles, in the heart of the Val di Non. There is a mountain lake, Santa Giustina Lake, also called Cles Lake, surrounded by apple trees famous throughout the valley.
9. Tonale Pass
We travel for the entire Sole Valley until we come to the Tonale Pass, 1,883 meters (6,178 ft).
This mountain pass, at the foot of the famous Presena Glacier (3000 m, 9843 ft), connects Lombardy and Trentino-South Tyrol. This road is also full of breathtaking hairpin bends.
We have lunch, and we go on with our trip.
10. Vivione Pass
We return to Lombardy, in the high Camonica Valley. We’re going through it all.
We arrive at the Vivione Pass at 1,828 meters (5,997 ft). It’s a very narrow and steep road, surrounded by woods and greenery! You are really in contact with wild nature. The highland at the top of the pass is reminiscent of the Scottish ones.
We travel along the Scalve Valley and Seriana Valley, in the province of Bergamo, to Clusone.
This town is Daniel and Marco’s hometown. We decide to take a look to the Triumph and Dance of Death, a cycle of frescoes dated back fiftheen century, located close to the main church.
To finish our tour at best, we stop by our friend Gio for an happy-hour with a view in Piazza Orologio.
Other 30 km, and we are back home.
It’s been a long journey. But with all this beauty, how can you not do it?
Looking for the Shangri-La