The Dolomites And Stelvio Adventure
The Stelvio Pass – Misurina Lake – Cortina d’Ampezzo – Canazei – Livigno
9-15 September 2023
Ten years on from Patagonia 2013, The first adventure organised by GIVI EXPLORER,and running concurrently with the celebrations for Givi’s 45th anniversary,there could be no other choice for our 2023 destination but Italy.
In fact, the itinerary for the new GIVI Adventure will cross the Dolomites, passing through some of the most idyllic places this UNESCO world heritage site has to offer. The journey will begin on 9 September, from GIVI’s main headquarters in Flero, and will see explorers take on the iconic Stelvio Pass, a real must for lovers of two-wheeled travel. The itinerary will then continue through many stunning locations, like the Giovo Pass, Lake Misurina, Cortina d’Ampezzo, the Giau Pass, Canazei, Riva del Garda and Livigno, to name just a few. The adventure will come to an end on 15 September, when the entire party of 35 motorcycles will return to GIVI HQ.
We can’t wait to celebrate this important milestone… in true Explorer style!
APRICA PASS - BORMIO - STELVIO PASS
Today was the first day of the 2023 GIVI Explorer, which coincidentally not only happens in the year of the 45th Anniversary of GIVI, but also on the 10th anniversary of the first, legendary Givi Explorer in Patagonia.The group left the GIVI headquarters early in the morning and, from Brescia, reached the shores of a little unknown gem: the Iseo lake. It’s a medium size lake, surrounded buy beautiful peaks and adorned by magnificent villas and churches from different eras. Locals love it, and it’s easy to see why.After that, the Explorers headed straight to the mountains, to Edolo and eventually tackled the first of the many passes that will be part of this year’s itinerary in the Italian Alps, the Aprica Pass. After a quick stop to check out the village of Aprica, the group descended into Valtellina and reached Bormio (one of the major skiing resorts in Italy) where they had lunch. Bormio is also known to be the starting point to one of the best rides in the entire World: the Stelvio pass. We are serious, ask anybody who ever put their wheels on the endless switchbacks of the highest mountain pass in Italy (9,045ft)! The view at the top is just as good as the ride, and the little village - packed with motorcycles coming from all over Europe - is one of the dream destinations for any hardcore rider, like the Isle of Man, Sturgis or Ushuaia.After the mandatory group picture, the travelers descended into Val Venosta and Merano, before enjoying the last stretch of twistiest leading to their destination for the night, the fancy Arosea Hotel and Spa, by the tiny but beautiful Zoccolo alpine lake.What a start!
BRAIES LAKE - CORTINA
BRAIES LAKE - MISURINA LAKE - TRE CROCI PASS - CORTINA D'AMPEZZO
Another great day for our riders today, the second leg of the Dolomites and Stelvio Adventure, for a total of almost 250 kilometers.The group left the picturesque Zoccolo lake early in the morning to descend back to Merano and up again, towards Mount Giovo pass. This is one of the lesser known passes in the Alps but is definitely a beautiful one, with its switchbacks that cut into the side of the mountain, overlooking the majestic green meadows several hundred meters below.After a quick coffee at the summit, the Explorers headed towards the town of Vipiteno and finally Bressanone, at the entrance of Pusteria valley.After another few kilometers, it was time for lunch break, that was scheduled on the shores of the magical lake of Braies. This is such an incredible and unique place that the local authorities in the last few years had to introduce a ticketed access system, to protect the ecosystem from the almost insane influx of tourists.In the afternoon the riders headed to Dobbiaco and checked out the Lavaredo Peaks, a designated UNESCO world’s heritage site. They are so majestic and “perfectly imperfect” that they don’t even look real, so impressive.After another quick stop on the shores of the Misurina lake, it was finally time to hit Tre Croci pass and eventually the last stop for the day, the posh town of Cortina d’Ampezzo - jewel of the Cadore region. This is the ultimate VIP destination, as many celebrities, actors and politicians love to come here for their winter vacations. The vibe of the traditional alpine town is still there, but the old fashioned stores and taverns has been long replaced by a slew of fashion stores, jewelries and fancy restaurants.
GIAU PASS - VALPAROLA PASS - GARDENA PASS - SELLA PASS - PORDOI PASS
Today’s keyword was “switchbacks”.The itinerary was the perfect combination of weather, scenery and technical riding, the “trifecta” that every rider dreams of. Out of the 9 hours the Explorers were in the saddle - from Cortina to Canazei - at least five were spent on the tight twistiest of 9 different mountain passes: Cibiana, Duran, Giau, Falzarego, Valparola, Gardena, Sella, Pordoi and Fedaia. The few riders that were still struggling with the challenge posed by the notorious alpine roads, by the end of the day were all proficient and perfectly in tune with the ever changing radius, pavement conditions and incline of the Italian switchbacks.The Dolomites are just wonderful, and their relatively young and rugged peaks offered the perfect background for yet another epic day of this year’s GIVI Explorer Adventure. Some of the iconic spots touched by the itinerary: the village of Agordo, the lake and the little village of Alleghe, mount Col di Lana, Corvara, Val Gardena valley and the “Saslong Classic” - the slope that has been hosting a round of the FIS Ski World Cup Downhill almost every year since 1960, the Piz Boe peak, visible from the terrace at Pordoi pass, and finally mount Marmolada and its glacier.Tomorrow is rest day to recharge the battery before more kilometers, more views and more switchbacks, but today’s experience will be very hard to match or even come close to.
CAREZZA LAKE - LAVAZÉ PASS - MANGHEN PASS - CALDONAZZO LAKE - MONTE BONDONE - BRENTONICO
Day 4 was rest day for the group… but not really. Actually just a few of the travelers decided to enjoy the services of the hotel spa in Canazei, while 14 of the Explorers went on a 200 km ride to Passo Rolle, one of the few passes not included in the original itinerary of this 2023 Dolomites & Stelvio Adventure. The rest of the group enjoyed a nice hike in the mountains and some amazing traditional food in altitude, in one of the many “refuges” that are everywhere around the Italian Alps. Originally these were high altitude refueling and resting stations for mountaineers, established well before WW1. Now most of them still offer night shelter for hikers and climbers but during the day they become bars and restaurants, mainly for skiers in the winter season. Day 5 started with a light drizzle and lower temperatures. After hitting Costa Lunga and Lavaze pass, the Explorers descended into Val di Fiemme and eventually headed up to what it was the highlight of the day and so far the most challenging pass of them all, the Manghen. This is still the same as it was 50 years ago, with extremely narrow and steep switchbacks, made even harder to negotiate by today’s rain, fog and a lot of manure left by the many free ranging cows. Even the “refuge” at the summit is so small that there wasn’t enough parking for the 26 motorcycles of the Givi Explorer’s convoy. The rain finally let go as the riders reached the beautiful lake of Caldonazzo, where lunch was served. After that, it was another technical but really enjoyable ride up mount Bondone - the most famous uphill race in Italy is held here every year - and then down into the city of Rovereto and up again to the final destination for the night, Brentonico, which sits on the mountains overlooking the north shore of the Garda Lake.
STRADA DELLA FORRA - TENNO LAKE - MOLVENO LAKE - GAVIA PASS - LIVIGNO
Early than usual start today, because the Explorers needed to cover more than 300 km and hit two of the most iconic spots of this Dolomites & Stelvio Adventure: the “strada della Forra” (road of the Forra) and the notorious Gavia pass.Forra is a fantastic ride, basically a full loop from the shores of Western Garda lake, near the village of Termosine. It is made by tunnels, gorges and switchbacks carved back in 1889 into the solid rock, a must see. The location is so unique that Winston Churchill called it the “eight wonder of the World”, and it was recently featured in the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace”.After the short ride (9 km), the group tracked back to the village of Riva del Garda and headed into the mountains to reach lago di Molveno and the town of Cles, where they stopped for lunch.In the afternoon it was finally time to face the dreaded “Passo del Gavia” and some tension was already visible among the riders. The pass of Gavia is very, very steep and narrow, and it is world famous for hosting one of the most grueling legs of the “Giro d’Italia”, the cycling competition.Before getting to the start of Gavia, the riders had to cross the Tonale pass, another famous ride but definitely not as treacherous as Gavia. It was not only a good warm-up, but also an opportunity to gauge the changing weather before getting to the “good stuff”.Lucky enough, the weather decided to cooperate and only some light rain bothered the Explorers from Ponte di Legno all the way up to the summit.The descent was graced by exceptional good weather, warm sun and dry conditions all the way to Santa Caterina Valfurva.After all the tension melted away, the group rode up Foscagno pass almost effortlessly and ended the day in the mountain town of Livigno. Six down, one to go, tomorrow is the last day!
BERNINA PASS - MORTIROLO PASS - PISOGNE - GIVI HEADQUARTERS
As they say… all good things must come to an end.Today was the last leg of this 2023 Dolomites & Stelvio Adventures and the group rode from the valley of Livigno all the way back to Brescia.The first part of the itinerary was cold and damp, with temperatures as low as 7ºC, not exactly cozy when riding a motorcycle. A little drizzle of rain and some thick fog made matters worse, as the Explorers climber Forcola pass out of the valley and towards Switzerland, to reach the summit of Bernina pass. Unfortunately the glacier wasn’t fully visible, but the riders still took the chance to stop and take some pictures before descending back into Italy. The last kilometers in Switzerland were uneventful, besides a few very wet and slippery switchbacks, but at that moment everything seemed under control.One last pass was waiting for the group, and although nobody really made a big deal out of it in the beginning, it proved to be the toughest challenge of the whole trip.Passo Mortirolo may ring a bell for a few cycling fans, but it is mostly unknown. Basically, it is as Passo Gavia and Passo Manghen had a baby, and it turned out to be a mean one. With an average 18% incline (trust us, that’s steep) and very narrow switchbacks deep in the dark woods, this pass turned even more treacherous thanks to a perfectly timed storm that hit the Explorers halfway up, right where there was no room to stop and look for cover or put their rain suits on. Well, it was the perfect icing (almost literally) to this Adventure, just a little extra kick before the final, smooth cruise along the west coast of Iseo lake and the towns of Lovere and Sarnico, where the worlds famous Riva motorboats are made.It was about 3,30 in the afternoon when the 26 motorcycles of the Givi Explorer convoy entered the gates of GIVI’s headquarters, greeted by a wing of cheering employees, a very nice touch.
VINCENZO VISENZI + HENDRIKA VISENZI On BMW R 1200 GS
From Italy – GIVI Italy
From Italy – CEO GIVI ITALY
UMBERTO VISENZI On BMW R 1200 GS
From Italy – GIVI Italy
JOSEPH PERUCCA + VAN PHAM CAM On GUZZI V100 MANDELLO
From Italy – Givi Oversea Operational Director, Team Leader and Promoter
From Vietnam – GIVI Media P.R.
EUGENE MAH On MOTO GUZZI V 85 TT
From Singapore - GIVI Importer
ARVYDAS PAPINIGIS + LINA GIEDRE On BMW R 1250 GS
From Lithuania – GIVI Importer –Uab Motospektras
ENRIQUE PERDIGON + LILIANA GAITAN On BMW R 1250 GS
From Colombia – GIVI Importers – Comercializadora Europea
MARCO BOZ On BMW F700GS (2018)
From Paraguay – Givi Importer for Paraguay - Makro Sport
FRANCISCO GIRONES On DUCATI MULTISTRADA
From Spain – GIVI dealer
ISRAEL MEDRANO On DUCATI MULTISTRADA
From Spain – GIVI media P.R.
FLAVIO VILLARREAL On BMW R 1250 GS
From Costa Rica – GIVI Importer - Prestige Motors International
SUTHEP THAITHONGCHAI + TRAN THI ANH TUYET On KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000
From Thailand – GIVI Importer
HARRY JANG On YAMAHA TRACER 9
From Korea – GIVI Importer - Harry Tongsang
FILIPPO MAZZOLA On SUZUKI V STROM 850
From Italy – GIVI dealer
GOH KIAN SIN On TRIUMPH TIGER 900
From Singapore – GIVI dealer - Didi Lifestyle
CEDRIC FOSSIER On BMW R 1250 GS
From France – GIVI dealer
THANE On MOTO GUZZI V85 TT
From Thailand – GIVI dealer
VORASAK KASEMTANAKUL On BMW C650 Sport
From Thailand – GIVI Importer - Comforta
CIARAN PERUCCA On MOTO GUZZI V7
From UK – Public member
PIETRO AMBROSIONI On APRILIA TUAREG
From Italy – GIVI USA
NIKKASIT WONGSAWAS On KAWASAKI VERSYS 650
From Thailand – Media
MARSHALLS FROM ITALY:
ALESSANDRO BONFARDINI On HONDA TRANSALP
MARIO FRATI On YAMAHA TENERE 700
GIVI Italy R&D Dept.
PAOLO + CAMELIA
On BMW R 1250 GS
STAFF: Simona Montini (GIVI Italy - support car), Thuy (GIVI Vietnam - support car), Nadia Mondini (GIVI Italy - support car), Cristian Varianti (GIVI Italy - support van), Alberto Baronchelli (GIVI Italy - support van), Anna Koj (GIVI Italy - photographer), Simone Casari (GIVI Italy - video maker)