My ride to Riva del Garda, the town at the head of Lake Garda, started in Cuneo in Piedmonte. Breakfast in the loggia of the hotel looking over to the Alpi Maritimi, clear above the morning mist in the Po valley. Then another long hot bash across the plain, passing towns whose names I see more usually on wine lists: Alba, Asti and Mondovi, etc.
On to Piacenza, a town whose name appears on road signs throughout northern Italy but which I know nothing about. The name even appears on Amazon delivery details and I passed their huge warehouse that’s next to the A8. The TNT equivalent is better placed though!
Snack lunch in Piacenza. Not much more to say really. Hot and the wifi was good.
On to Brescia and then an unlikely route through suburbia leading to Gardensa Occidentale. It sounds exotic and it certainly was: chic lakeside resort. Palm and banana trees, rococo garden architecture and the suave set are here in droves. From the motorcyclist point of view, 30 km more of filtering than I had expected.
Riva del Garda doesn’t have the wow factor of the southern end of the lake but has comfortable hotels, this one looks good as a base for a trip or two to explore the Dolomite Alps before the GLME welcome and also to arrange replacement tyres. Meanwhile, there's a pool with a view and the restaurant served an excellent Semifreddo al pesche.