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Article published in Euromoto magazine in 2008.

You can go with your family to Mirabilandia, Gardaland, some Disney amusement park scattered around Europe, but if you are riding your motorcycles and have a handful of days available, there are geographical areas that seem to have been specially designed. to give maximum driving satisfaction, with almost always perfect roads, with good asphalt, landscapes and panoramas to take your breath away. The itinerary proposed is one of them.

Read the story published in the magazine.

Those who visit Switzerland will soon discover that there is no itinerary that does not include the passage of several passes. We went in search of some of them among the most characteristic and suggestive. The Swiss Confederation is, by self-definition, a "State of Passes". The hills are the essential outlets for the vital flow of the country. The border between the cantons is often defined by one or more crossings. When the Alps, from the 19th century onwards, were conceived as a dividing border between several nations, Switzerland was considered a transit region from one side of the Alpine chain to the other. Switzerland, therefore, has become, luckily for us motorbike tourists or simple lovers of beautiful roads, one of the essential nodes of European civilization by virtue of the network of steps that variously intertwine and wind through it. It all began in the nineteenth century when the first transit routes were built in agreement with the major trading cities of Europe interested in guaranteeing and facilitating traffic to and from major European fairs. Where there was often a "Via Mala", between rocky gorges and frozen cliffs, now there are comfortable roads, sometimes with several carriageways. But those who, like us in this experience, want to retrace the ancient paths, can know and breathe a little of that "spirit of step" that inspired travelers in past centuries.
Well yes, I really enjoyed it. 4 days walking through the Swiss Alps in the company of about twenty friends with whom I shared folds, streets, steps and goliardic as well as gastronomic evenings.
It must be said that the result was fully successful thanks to, in addition to the pleasant and fun company, the quality of the itinerary and the spectacularity of the roads faced during this long weekend. The central and focal part of the journey was the area called and commonly known as that of the 4 passes. Grimsell, Nufena, Furka and San Gottardo represent the jewels of the crown of roads that frames a very spectacular part of the Swiss Alps, between the Bernese and the Canton of Ticino and represent an appointment and a destination for most continental motorcycle tourists.
But to get to the "operations area", a warm-up, to use a cycling term, is a must: then pass S. Marco, then enter Swiss territory from Maloja, cross the Julier Pass and the via Mala par excellence that follows the course of the Rhine and then head towards the San Bernardino after crossing the delightful Splugen. The arrival takes place in the evening in Bellinzona, dominated by its splendid castles declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, with a good deal of kilometers and folds behind it. The evening will be just as pleasant, but all the attention is paid to the next day. And the next day we are in a moment in Biasca from where we begin the pyrotechnic approach to the heart of the itinerary: Lukmanier pass, Oberalppass to swoop down on Andermatt. The 4 steps form a kind of 8 road and we, at this point, are right in the middle.
Few rules, indeed none, apart from the obvious and obvious ones on safety and speed: clockwise, counterclockwise, it doesn't matter, better if you have time to be able to do it in both directions or even cover the circuit several times. A buzz. And even the scenarios, the sensations, the situations change !! The first time I passed here, returning from a trip to the British Isles, I was impressed by the attack of the Furkapass, but a few years later I was literally amazed by the glacier on the Neufenenpass. Once again, however, the playground left a mark in my memories: the arrival at Grimsell from the north is literally amazing, much more than I could remember. A series of dams and glacial lakes of an emerald green color, try to interrupt in several points the road that tortuously and in an amazingly panoramic way, manages to avoid all obstacles.
A show!
And almost at the top, a refuge on a rock spur immersed in one of the lakes, reachable by passing over one of the dams. Next year, 4 more steps, but we sleep up here. Who comes?

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