Today’s trip to Brescia is going to be a full mix of landscapes – saying goodbye to the sea, crossing the Apennines and onward across the Pianura.
For this I get up very early as I’ve planned to drive along some very small and interesting single-lane roads, exploring rural Italy away from any main roads.
From La Spezia, driving northwards, I immediately start climbing towards the Apennine.
And the views to be seen are really worth the never-ending hair-pin bends on less-than-ideal road surfaces.
The further back the valley I get, the less tarmac the road surface is made of. The road itself remains steep and will remain so until around 1500m above sea level!
The views, however, make all the difference. As does the absence of traffic. On the upper part of the pass I didn’t cross any other vehicle for about 4 hours!
At the top, the road surface is close to off-road and reminds me of my TWIKE adventures in India.
I had planned to skim the hilltops along a precarious-looking and windy road and had driven fairly off-course to do so, but unfortunately, the road was blocked due to a hill slide. With this, I had to keep going in the wrong direction for another 30km before being able to get back to a road that goes in the right direction.
The detour, however, was not too bad at all! More views and hills with small and quaint villages.
Eventually, the road took us back down to the valley, promising lots of energy flowing back into the battery.
With the last hill crossed, I get a glorious view of the Pianura, Europe’s widest valley. Nice to look at… super boring to cross.
After 80km of flat roads, I finally see the first hills of the Alps – Brescia sits nicely nestled at the foot of these first hills – I’m looking forward to having some food with my friends. They both love cooking and usually treat me to some home-made delicacies when I visit. – can’t wait!