We started our tour in Feldkirchen (Carinthia) to quickly reach the so called Passo Predil, a small mountain pass located near Tarvisio connecting Italy and Slovenia.
After having passed the top of the “Passo Predil” the mountains open up a bit and you reach the Valley of Soča which is wonderful to drive through and it’s really curvy. We then left the road (46.040195, 13.590614) and turned right onto road 612 (Prilesjr pri Plavah). Another gorgeous road where you drive up a hill.
After having passed this little mountain we arrived at a crossing with a stunning view over Goriska Brda, the Slovenian Tuscany (46.012521, 13.567164). It was a fantastic spot for having a short break and a cigarette (short notice: smoking can cause cancer).
We then decided to have lunch at a small but well known restaurant in Duino (Italy again) called Cavalluccio (http://www.alcavalluccio.net). This restaurant is located at the bay of Duino, just a couple of meters away from the ocean. Short notice again (this time no brackets): We really recommend the Cavallucio – you get really nice food there, good wine and all that combined with a wonderful view to the Adriatic Sea.
With our bellies filled we got back on our bikes headed down south again, passing Venice to reach the destination of our first day trip, Chioggia. It is a really nice town surrounded by the sea. With a long boardwalk and lots of restaurants and bars.
The first trip of the second day brought us to Bologna, a very beautiful city with lots of (and I really mean LOTS OF) motor scooters and as we first thought: no rules when it comes to traffic. But we quickly realized that the Italian way of driving really works. And it works well. To others it can seem very chaotic though.
After having coffee and a short chat with some locals, we were recommended to drive to Florence (Firenze) via the Passo della Futa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futa_Pass, 44°05′37″N 11°16′42″E). Despite of some heavy raining and rough winds the pass was really great. Lots of curves and great views. Unfortunately the weather forced us to stop at Fratte to wait for one and a half hours before we could continue our ride to Florence. Arriving at the end of day two, we fortunately found a hotel right at the center of the city and went out to have dinner and to watch the soccer game between Germany and Brazil (by the way: it ended 7:1).
On day 3 we rode through the countryside to arrive at Viarreggio where we slept at a very nice hotel very close to the beach. After bringing our stuff to our rooms we went to a couple of bars to relax and watch another game of the soccer world championships.
Surprisingly the fourth day didn’t start that early. Safety first. We headed north and passed LaSpezia to reach the national parks of Cinque Terre (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinque_Terre, 44.087558, 9.768979). When you’re near this area of Italy, you should totally check out this stunning coast with its massive rocks and the five little villages built into them.
We then stopped at the beach of Levanto, a small town at the end of Cinque Terre and had pizza at a nice bar at the beach, watching some surfers riding massive waves. In order to gain an extra day of relaxing time, we decided to continue the trip of this day to head towards Desenzano located at the impressive Lake of Garda. This meant we had to drive another 260 kilometers on this day. We decided to take the “autostrade” to get to our destination quickly due to nightfall. We booked a nice hotel near Desenzano called “Relais du Lac” (www.relaisdulac.it/de). After riding more than 1200 kilometers within 4 days, we were really happy to have two days with no necessity to drive which allowed us to relax at the pool and spend a lot of time in the “not so hot tub”. But still it was very refreshing. We then started a short trip to Salò where we relaxed at a small bar/café at the beach, drinking coffee #211 (perceived number anyway). Driving back to our hotel we once again decided to go out and found a nice place near the beach. Asking our taxi driver who picked us up at the hotel, we were told that there is one really nice place near Desenzano called Coco Beach (www.cocobeachclub.net) where they play nice music and locals as well as tourists spend their nights out. And indeed, it was a really nice bar, directly at the beach… But, what happened there, stays there.
After two relaxing days, we had to drive back home. Due to the terrible weather forecast we chose to take the autostrada again. Foolishly we first drove into the wrong direction and didn’t notice it until we were close to Milano which meant we drove about 80 kilometers in the wrong direction. On our way home we came across really heavy rain and thunderstorms making it impossible to continue our ride and we were forced to stop at a gas station. After putting on all our (and yes, also dirty) clothes, we headed back to our final destination Feldkirchen in Carinthia, all through heavy rain.
We had a really great trip and saw quite a lot of stunning places and landscapes. We also met really nice people and had a lot of fun. But: We all agreed that we should have planned a couple more days for the whole trip. We should have stayed longer in the one or other city to make some day trips and explore the area around these home bases.