Luke's Favorite Rides: Italy to Switzerland

Luke's Favorite Rides: Italy to Switzerland

Back in 2018, I found myself headed to Italy for a work trip. Due to the nature of the trip, I had to book a flight pretty fast, and the problem was that the flight was basically on Memorial Day weekend here.

The rates were crazy high, unless I left a few days earlier.

If I left earlier, then I would be stuck in Milan, Italy with nothing to do.

I started looking into motorcycle rentals around the Milan Airport and was lucky to find one BMW 700GS available.  I quickly mapped out a ride loop that took me through Northern Italy and the Souther Swiss Alps near Lucerne Switzerland. 

For riding, I brought my Cardo Packtalk, a phone holder for the handlebars for navigation and a jacket. For sleeping, I brought a sleeping bag and a hammock with rainfly. That’s it, I did not have weeks to plan... I had days.

But the experience was awesome. 

Upon landing in Milan, I was able to take a short train to a parking garage where I picked up the BMW. It felt a little sketchy—like I was renting from the mafia.

A guy came out in a velvet adidas jumpsuit, took my drivers license, and then came back and said here’s the keys to the bike then walked away.

That was it.

No instructions on how to do anything, just here’s the keys. To be clear, I don’t speak Italian. Thankfully I had google maps to help me navigate the roads.  

Getting out of the heart of Milan was kind of scary, but the further I got from town the more comfortable I became.

My route took me along a twisty road that bordered a beautiful lake. I was enjoying the twisties and the scenery when a gang of sports bikes blew by me like I was standing still. They were in full track gear and dragging knees like they were racing the Isle of Man TT.

I picked up my pace thinking to myself, "they just cleared out any police officers ahead." I had a blast hitting those roads as fast as I was comfortable. I stopped at the last town in Italy before crossing into Switzerland and learned a valuable tourist lesson. No restaurants were open for dinner even though it was 5pm on a Friday night. Everything was opening at 7-8 PM.

I managed to find a coffee shop with some pastries and enjoyed a nice Americano before continuing on towards Switzerland.

The road took a quick climb up into the mountains. I was amazed at the scenery, it felt like driving down the million dollar highway between Silverton and Ouray, Colorado, except it did not end and it was waaaaay prettier.

I pulled into what seemed like the Swiss version of National Forest and set up my hammock just before rain settled in. Jetlagged, and still reeling from the amazing ride, I slept great under the hammocks rainfly.

Luckily the rain stopped just before sunrise.

I carried on and enjoyed the rest of the short trip.  

I made it back to the sketchy drop off location for the bike and headed to the train station to make my business trip.

I saw some amazing countryside and fell in love with moto-touring on that trip.

Can’t wait to do another one like it.



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