The sound of the road, the fresh air on your face and the love of our moto: we are all missing it right now. When the day to ride will finally arrive, our bike will be ready, clean and shining, but we also will need to be ready with a direction. It won’t be JUST another day on a bike. It will be one of the best.
If you live in Italy, your amusement park will probably be a mountain pass. I have been thinking for long now on which one is my favorite, so here is my list of the top 5 Italian passes. This is 100% personal: totally based on my taste and emotions but still, a starting point to get inspired or to change it completely.
Located in the Dolomites, near the beautiful city of Cortina, Unesco world heritage site, province of Belluno, the Giau stands out for its route, its nature, its tarmac and the beauty of the mountains surrounding it. Giau would really deserve the first or second place but unfortunately there’s a lot of traffic and road checks as some of us tend to exaggerate on the gas, which makes a penalty also for those who seek a relaxed ride.
4 & 3. I CAN’T DECIDE IT: CERRETO OR MURAGLIONE?
Same ranking for two similar passes located in Apennines: Passo del Cerreto (Re) and Passo del Muraglione (FC). People from Reggio Emilia like 1997 Supersport World Champion Paolo Casoli say that their pass, Cerreto, at 1260 mt, is the highest and the best. People from Forli as Loris Reggiani, former 125 and 250 GP rider, side for their Muraglione saying that it is the most famous. The common point is that both are motorcycles kingdoms and you won’t experience any solitude if you ride them in the weekend. My tip: visit them during the week when you can enjoy them at their best.
2. HIS MAJESTY, STELVIO
At 2750 metres, it is the highest Italian pass and the second in Europe. It is closed for snow in winter and not a training track as the tarmac is under stress for the entire year. But last summer I rode it again and it was far better than expected: if you ride from Bormio, it is 21 kms uphill, 36 harpin bends and a rise of 1500 mt. It is pure joy in any situation, even with a lot of traffic and a bike that suffers heights. It’s more than a pass, it is a legend and a piece of living history.
1. MY FAVOURITE, CISA
Many would agree with me, many not, but it is just my opinion. Cisa is like most of Apennines passes: 1000 metres, local traffic, speed cameras and sometimes a local habitant who doesn’t like bikers. But I have been loving it for years: when there was no highway and you had to ride it in the winter, which means a white road from Fornovo to Berceto. Every time that I ride Cisa and a look down at the green region of Lunigiana, my spirit opens, and I am in love.
Any not only my spirit opens, but my stomach too. I run at Marietta’s, a great kitchen nearby, and enjoy the food and a little bit of relax under the chestnut trees. There are great food places on all passes: if there are more than 3 bikes parked, it’s a good one to stop.