At the beginning of July I set out with my friend Patrick – we wanted to go to the Stella Alpina meeting at the foot of the Col de Sommeiller in Italy. The highest motorcycle meeting in Europe takes place since 1967. Every second weekend of July, motorcycle enthusiasts from all over Europe meet near the Italian town of Bardonecchia in Piedmont and conquer the pass on the 2,996 meter high mountain.

Back to the beginning – for Patrick and me it’s not the first tour together. Already in 2015, we started with the goal of riding our motorcycles from the Rhineland to Monaco and back in six days. At that time we increased the level of difficulty and avoided the freeways from Basel on – we were only riding mountain passes and small C or D roads.

This time we wanted to take it easy and rented a trailer to get relaxed to Lake Geneva. We found a quiet parking lot nearby where we left the trailer and the car. This saved us almost 1,400 km of freeway – our butts should thank us.

The almost 350 km long ride to Bardonecchia led us through many breathtaking alpine passes such as the Grand-Saint-Bernard where we camped for one night or the Col de l’Iseran. The weather conditions were perfect and the mood could hardly be better.

Arriving in Bardonecchia, a large number of motorcyclists greeted us – as if they were trying to occupy the entire city – it was crazy. During our last refueling stop before the ride up to the meeting, we noticed the large number of KTM adventure riders. Later we found out that parallel to the Stella Alpina meeting the KTM Adventure Rally took place in Bardonecchia.

Besides the Sommeiller, we rode the trails to Colle delle Finestre, Assietta and Monte Jafferau.
The whole region around Bardonecchia, Salbertrand, Oulx and Sestriere offers many interesting off-road opportunities for motorcyclists.
I found it remarkable how well Patrick managed to ride his Yamaha with the 17 inch front wheel in the terrain.

The great thing about the Stella Alpina is that you can share stories with many like-minded people after the daily tours sitting in front of the campfires in the evening. We got to know travelers from all over Europe, with whom we took one or two beers until late into the night. This also helps to fall asleep when the ambient noise is quite loud 😉

Especially remembered are Suzet and her father Tonnie from the Netherlands and the crazy men’s group from Bavaria, some of which started the stony ride to the Sommeiller with sports bikes and choppers. Also the conversations with other visitors about conversions, equipment, further travel plans and already traveled countries would be another reason for us to visit the Stella meeting again.

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