The Italian word for the day is “tornate”. Return in English. Weather dictated that we remain in the Lake Garda area, so we did return to our starting point at the end of the day’s ride, but that’s not the type of return that tornate refers to when it appears on a road sign.
Leaving the hotel, we took SP48 toward Rovereto, and it wasn’t long until we were on goat-path switchbacks up the mountain. I knew bentornate – welcome back – from my Italian lessons, so when we first saw the signs, we had a clue what was in store. We wound back down the mountain (you guessed it, more tornate) on SP89 and SS46 to the town of Schio. Its old, narrow Main Street had solidly colored, open umbrellas strung zig zagged over the street. It was a really cool scene. No morning pictures, because tornate, tornate, tornate…
Heading north on SP349, a sign advised that there were quite a few tornate in close succession. Ugh! But when I figured out that the town of Asiago was waiting at the top, it was like finding a pot of gold at the end of a really twisty rainbow! Do you remember that old commercial – how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? How many tornate does it take to get to Asiago? TEN!
Asiago is very cute town with a decidedly Bavarian feel to it. We did a spin through town and headed to restaurant Bigoleria Edelweiss, where we were greeted in Cimbro. It was all coming back to me – this area was part of the Austrian Empire before WWI.
We haven’t spent a lot of time talking about cuisine – this is a motorcycle trip after all – but the food was amazing. We’ve found that the naming of the pasta style varies regionally, but the house speciality, bigoleria, is a fat, long pasta, similar to what they call pici in Sienna. I had porchini mushrooms and speck – similar to prosciutto – topped with the most delicious, shaved Asiago cheese. Kevin’s pasta had sausage with a cream and cheese sauce. It was SO cheesy, imagine cheese fondue with pasta in it! We rolled out of there wondering if we could even bend at the waist to get on the bike.
After lunch, we continued on SP349 and SS350 and finally hit a bit of rain. At first, it was gumdrop sized, but as we changed between mountains, ridges and valleys, it changed to what felt like being pelted with a handful of child’s jacks. Thankfully, over another mountain, the weather changed again! Our last good stretch after the rain was down SS237 and SS421 where we found a most amazing lake named Toblino. The color of the lake was breathtaking and not something you get a standard 24-pack of crayons. I needed the 120-pack to figure out this color! I hope everyone has a chance in their lifetime to see something so beautiful.
An administrative note – if history serves, videos may have to wait until we get home. We hate to spin our wheels each night with junky internet when we should be out drinking more wine or eating more gelato.
Tomorrow, we’re headed further north towards Bormio.