Maserati MC20 Cielo

You may be thinking to yourselves “that photo isn’t Bridget!” and you would be about right. If the colour was changed to lime green, then this was all I saw of two of these machines as they buzzed me on the route to Menaggio. Up until now, a picture is all I had seen, then along come two, just like London buses (well not quite like them, but you know what I mean). I can tell you that the picture does not do them justice.

Bridget and I spent a couple of restful days in Menaggio, on the banks of Lake Maggiore. I first came here on our (Bridget and I) inaugural run together in 2006. That year we had followed the whole of the coast of Italy, down the west coast, around Sicily and back up the east coast from where we drove over to the Italian Lakes. We first stopped at Bellaggio then crossed over to Menaggio. I decided back then, that if I ever left the UK, I would move to Italy. The food, the people and their culture, the landscapes, as near perfect as you can get.

Anyway, enough of that, we left via the ferry over to Bellano and then drove down the old lakeside road. I have videoed much of it and will shortly add it to the two earlier videos from Switzerland. Please bear with me whilst I experiment with the camera and its’ features. Eventually, I will try to produce from all the footage, a video that tells the story rather than just the raw footage. Anyway, I understand that the premier holiday destination in the USA is Italy, and if you are part of that group then the video of Menaggio to Lecco is for you. It covers the tiny, relatively under-utilised roads, the narrow streets through the communes and the beautiful scenery. The driving is laid back, no tail-gating as they do on the autostrada, better to get there eventually than not at all!

We were heading for Verona, so not a long run. It was very warm though, certainly in the mid-thirties centigrade. This was not extreme compared to some of the driving temperatures Bridget has experienced, but she was overheating. Suddenly I smelt a strong smell of petrol and pulled over as quickly as I could. Spraying fuel over a hot engine has never been a favourite pastime. I lifted the bonnet and sure enough the main fuel-line to the carburettors was coming drift and the retaining clip was loose. Quickly fixed, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place, we proceeded a further fifty miles before I decided to give Bridget a rest from the heat. I then discovered that the thermostat for the electronic fan had stuck and needed releasing. Returning to the cockpit, I picked up my mobile to check something on-line only to find that the mobile had close down all ‘apps’ because the phone had seriously overheated! I was pleasently surprised to find that the device had such a facility.

After a hour doing nothing, the temperatures of everything, bar me, had returned to normal and we could get back to driving. We arrived in Verona with just enough time to shower and catch a bus into the centre of town for dinner.

The following morning we set off for Trieste. Todays driving was totally functional. Almost completely accomplished on the Autostrada with the only pleasent surprise being the hotel I had booked online the night before. It is small, what today would be referred to as a boutiqe hotel by the effected, but is the classic, difficult to locate, but unique, comfortable, delightful sort of place that should be able to demand a ransome for its rooms and be booked out for at least the following five months. The view is magnificant across Trieste. There is no nearby restaurants, but then none are needed.

I was allowed, much to the amusement of the owners, to use the garden hosepipe, to wash Bridget. This was her first clean for 1,000 miles and the sun and engine heat has been taking its toll on Bridgets’ bonnet (hood in the States) and front wings.

It is the morning of 29th June 2022 and after a good continental breakfast we said goodbye to the Hotel La Fontana; highly recommended. Bridget is sporting her gleaming red coat and the temperature is a cool 21C. There is a fine film of cloud across the sun and if it stays like this the driving will be very relaxing.

After studying the map, over a glass of beer last night, I have decided to head to the Croatian town of Sibenik. It is almost midway between Zadar and Split on the coast. I have found a hotel called the Panorama, so called according to the description, because it is set up high on a cliff overlooking the sea and the River Krka. Mainly I chose it because it has a gym and I certainly need a workout after missing them for two weeks. Otherwise I shall spend the rest of my time tomorrow lazying by the pool and catching up with the blog and, hopefully, the videoing.

The temperature did eventually creep back up to the mid-thirties again during the day, but Bridget seemed to cope better with it than yesterday, and funnily enough so did I.

Route to Sibenik

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