It felt like we were trading old baseball cards or marbles. “I need 2 days in Alba, so I’ll give up one day in Rome.” or “I thought I needed to go to Gran Paradiso National Park, but I don’t, so can we have one more day in Bologna?”
For years, I have gathered unique facts and sites in Italy. Honestly, many came from those “25 best, most beautiful…” click through stories on MSN. Not all guide books tell you about the big, grape shaped bubble that overlooks the Cerrato Winery in the Piedmont region city of Alba, or ahem, spinning on a mosaic bull’s nether regions for good luck in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. I held on to the random places knowing, some day, I’d use them. Kevin had a list of his own, roads really, most coming from other motorcyclist’s trip reports of the area.
With a map of Italy from AAA hung on my wall, I started to mark these spots, one sticky note at a time. Kevin’s list of “must-have’s” as many can imagine, looked like Twisty Road A, Twisty Road B, Twisty Road C… Twisty Road ZZZZ! Kevin, being the map maker for our journey, was in charge of piecing it all together.
When it became apparent that we did not want to ride a motorcycle in Rome, Florence or Venice, the trip turned into the tale of 2 trips. The part done by train and the part RollingOnTwo wheels. We decided that except for Venice and Milan, where we would pick up the bike, everything north of Firenze (Florence) would be done by motorcycle and everything south of Firenze would be done by train.
Over a period of weeks, I worked on our trip south of Firenze and Kevin worked on our trip north of Firenze. Comparing the suggested itineraries of 3 different guide books and MANY web pages, I came up with plenty of stuff to do in Rome, Siena, Florence, Venice, Verona and Milan. From sources unknown, Kevin came up with plenty more days of motorcycling starting in Milan and heading roughly counter clockwise through northern Italy to return again to Milan.
And the negotiations began…