Lig­urian Riviera, Italy, 7-9 days

Motorcycle News (UK) - - 2016 Missions Spring Edition -

The breeze blow­ing in across the sparkling wa­ters of the Mediter­ranean is gen­tle, but just enough to soften the hair-dryer heat of the Ital­ian sum­mer. Tyres grip scald­ing tar­mac, be­hind my dark vi­sor my eyes are pinned to the van­ish­ing point and an­other cor­ner is de­mol­ished, only for an­other to ap­pear as the road snakes its way along the base of a cliff.

This is the Lig­urian Riviera – less crowded and less pricy than the French Riviera, but only just. I find plenty of quiet stretches down here by the sea, but they’re short. Pulling into Noli, an­other pic­ture-post­card fish­ing vil­lage, I catch up with a coach trail­ing a streamer of tourist cars – so I de­cide to head in­land in­stead.

Now this is epic rid­ing. The hills are steep, the cor­ners tight, the cool­ing breeze a lit­tle stronger as it stirs the trees shad­ing the road. I loop round, drop down to the coast, then climb again. I keep wait­ing for my luck to run out, for the next turn to take me onto a bad road… but it doesn’t hap­pen. OK, not all the sur­faces are great, but there are many worse back roads at home and none of them has th­ese views, the bends or the beau­ti­ful heat. And the big­ger roads are sim­ply bril­liant.

As a tour­ing des­ti­na­tion, with great sea­side ho­tels and amaz­ing restau­rants, Lig­uria looks good on pa­per any­way. But when you get down here and dis­cover the roads, you’ll won­der why you haven’t been here be­fore.

In­cred­i­ble to think this is just three easy days of rid­ing from Le Tun­nel Can you imag­ine any­where you’d rather be?

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