Knock on the door of an ancient abbey; learn the secrets of plants from the gardener-monk, travel, never touching the zero-elevation. These are the main objectives of my trip with “her.” I named her “Negra”, a 1981 Vespa P125x. When I picked her up she had been locked up in an old shed, entirely spray-painted in black.
I decide to start on the eve of Easter, leaving behind sugar-doves and outdoor parties. I head to the Dolomites, hoping to arrive in Milan in a couple of days. The “thrill of departure” pulls me in the wrong direction two times, forcing a five-hour delay at the first stage. Among the silence of the first Alpine passes, the Pordoi pass and Costalunga welcome me with plenty of falling and transparent snow. One meter ice walls line the edges of the road. A couple of shepherds from Alto Adige, awaiting the first thaws, welcome me near warm fireplaces. Their faces drawn with curiosity, they invite me for a “friendly” drink. The inside of their home smells of pine wood.