Lago di Como: This spring tour should never be done in the high season, because the journey can quickly turn into a tedious stop and go.

The upper Italian lakes are still not very frequented in the low season. All the better for us motorbike drivers. Because this region offers ideal conditions for an uplifting springtime. Geologically, the pre-Alpine lakes are fjord-like foothills of the Adriatic Mediterranean. And Lake Como is only 200 metres above sea level! For this reason one can count on mild temperatures. Especially in weather conditions where it can be quite unfriendly in our region, we often find optimal motorcycle weather in the southern foothills of the Alps.

Relaxed in the target region
The region can be reached via the Vereina vehicle loading system and the Maloja Pass road, even in bad weather conditions in spring, without a mega jam at the Gotthard and Bernardino. By the way, the Maloja Pass is a topographical feature, as it has only one ramp. The Ostrampe from St. Moritz to Silvaplana is almost flat. But then, at a depth of 1815 metres, one suddenly sees an impressive steep drop-off at which a dreamlike route nestles in 25 hairpin bends. On weekdays and in spring, when the high passes are still closed, this variant of the journey to the Upper Italian lakes is a treat of the first order.

It's just stupid that the much praised beauty of the Bergell mountains also needs to be taken into account - and numerous stops are indispensable for this. Chiavenna, Italy's first major town, is also worth a pit stop. Not only because of a delicious espresso ... because from the bridge over the Meira (at the junction to the Splügenpass) you have an impressive view of the facades of the houses in the old town, which seem to have been glued to the edge of the steep bank.

Once around the Ypsilon
Every motorcyclist has his own motivation to go to Lake Como: Some enjoy the lifestyle of the region, others appreciate the dreamlike villas with their tropical gardens. Others go on pilgrimage to the birthplace of an icon of Italian motorcycle construction (between Varenna and Lecco, in Mandello del Lario is the headquarters of the Moto Guzzi factory with its great factory museum). But what they all have in common is the experience of cornering. The route recommendation therefore concentrates on the "Ypsilon of Lake Como" and its winding riversides. But for the really adventurous we also have something in the quiver: the stage from Dervio to Premana, Parlasco and Esino-Lario to Varenna, for example (GPS free download). This part of the route is very demanding: The road winds through picturesque mountain villages such as Tremenico and Introzzo - and also often along dizzying rapids - along the chasms of the Val Varrone.

A detour to the west to Monte la Sighignola (near Lanzo d'Intelvi) offers truly breathtaking views of Lugano, the lake and the mountains in clear weather (GPS: N: 45° 58.101´; E: 008° 59.529´3). So there are no limits to your choice of route, and an espresso between the rich and beautiful from Milan on one of the countless riverside promenades could also be a welcome change. Or a visit to one of the great museums and exhibitions around Lake Como, such as the Museo della Barca Lariana or the Museum of Navigation Instruments (

Where to stay overnight
Porlezza - Camping Ranocchio, very nice campsite by the lake with pool, restaurant and shop.
Varenna - Albergo Olivedo: ***-Hotel with restaurant. Family owned for generations.
Tremezzo - Grand Hotel Tremezzo: ***** luxury hotel, directly on the western shore of Lake Como.

Curve fun for experts
Lago di Como - The tour around Lake Como and its "outriggers" to Colico and Lecco is worth this tip. And the GPX and roadbook downloads on our website all lead over spectacular, small mountain roads and are only conditionally recommendable for drivers of super sportsmen.

Text: Michael Kutschke
Pictures: M. Kutschke, Thomas Maccabelli