Or how to really enjoy the Alps with more than 3,000 Italian horsepower. A travel report of a different kind.
A holiday in the Alps is something relaxing, decelerating and wonderful! One thinks of boundless idyllic nature… Somehow one has the feeling, one travels to another planet, if one is used to the Central German landscape. Sometimes it only takes a few days to recharge the batteries in this unique piece of earth.
But we didn’t want to charge batteries… not to mention any relaxation… because when six Giulia Quadrifoglios come together on a Friday morning in Lindau, the weekend will be full of adrenaline, roaring engines, smiling faces and maybe a little bit of relaxation. Let’s get to know the Alps from an overwhelming, somewhat untypical, lets say my car-mad perspective with this somewhat different travel report.
Friday 9 o’clock in the morning at an Aral gas station we meet for the first time. Six Giulia Quadrifoglios from Germany and Switzerland with their drivers and me. “Let’s wash the car first!” Nobody will ever say at the beginning of their holiday except us. But to bring these beauties back to their former glory before we start the ascent to the Alps is a must. This is how you celebrate the beginning of a great Alfa Romeo weekend! Sexy Car Wash according to my and my camera’s taste.
The first part will take us from Lindau over the Hochtannberg Pass to Lech. Then we continue over the Reschenpass, high over the Umbrail Pass to the Stelvio Pass and finally to Bormio, our destination of the day. The lead vehicle for this weekend will be the classic beauty in Rosso Competizione which belongs to Daniel. One of the rare Giulia QVs with a manual gearbox, which I already know very well from countless shootings and meetings as well as the Boxberg event. The other cars are a Grigio Vesuvio Giulia QV with breathtaking black 20 inch rims, then we have a Rosso Alfa beauty with subtle carbon details, another Grigio Vesuvio Lady with her unique sound, the Montecarlo Blue beauty and last but not least the all-black Vulcano Nero Beast. With this breathtaking mix of the Alfa Romeo colour palette we are on our way to Italy.
Only a few kilometres after starting, the route shows itself from a demanding and beautiful side. The narrow winding road runs through colourful forests and reveals breathtaking views of idyllic valleys. I can hardly imagine how the sound and roar of the V6 engines must sound down there as we chase along with these six beasts and their sheer power is so precisely steered through the corners by their drivers. Some of the villagers shake their heads in disbelief, children look with bright eyes as we pass. Out of displeasure or enthusiasm I cannot say, because we are all in the rush of this driving experience. Giulia is simply made for exactly such tours, that she lets every passenger feel.
On wide, gently winding roads she reaches speeds that I would never have thought possible on such land roads. And yet you never get the feeling that the pilots are taking a risk. The safety you get from this perfectly adjusted and precise Alfa Romeo is hard to understand if you haven’t experienced it yourself.
The further the route leads us through Austria and deeper into the Alps, the higher we climb them. The Hochtannberg Pass reveals the first dream images and these beautiful autumn colours in combination with the breathtaking Giulias make some photo dreams come true. Already after two hours I feel like on cloud nine on 1680m height with this group of dream cars.
This weekend, in these moments, in this car, on this road… I can’t imagine being anywhere else in this world or wanting to do anything else. Nothing else I want but to be surrounded by the rumbling and roaring of the V6 engine, to feel the road under you and to let the energies in every curve and at every acceleration work on me. To enjoy the breathtaking landscape around you, full of anticipation for every new corner that flies towards me. Then this short adrenaline rush when shortly after the apex of every curve the punch of (at least) 510 hp comes up again, Giulia lies down on her rear axle and sprints us forward. How can this not be intoxicating? How can this passionate creature of an Italian car not immediately inspire everyone who comes into contact with it?
The highlight of the first day is clearly reaching the legendary Passo dello Stelvio. Up here at 2800 meters, surrounded by people getting out of their cars with the same glow in their eyes and wide grins. Because we are all moved by this deep satisfaction and joy about this incredible Alfa Romeo Giulia, the tour, the sight of practically standing above the clouds and this weekend.
The second day is dampened a bit by rain, so the tour is a bit slippery but not less exciting. Every corner that is not driven with the necessary respect and caution is commented by Giulia with a nervously twitching rear axle. Sometimes even with a little drift, so that the drivers have to tame their italian women on the narrow, wet and leafy roads more often than they like. But every driver knows his diva very well and has her little dances quickly under control again. On the other hand, it would also be strange if a racy Italian like the Giulia Quadrifoglio wouldn’t let her character gain the upper hand every now and then to remind the drivers what they’re driving here.
Which in return compensates for the rain? Well we are in Italy with these beauties and for some of the Giulias it is their first trip to their homeland. From Bormio it goes on the Passo del Mortirolo and Passo di Crocedomini and with about 1850m and then over small country roads to the Lago di Iseo and finally to Sirmione at the Lago di Garda.
Driving with a group of Giulia QVs through the Italian towns and villages creates an enthusiasm and joy among the people that I have never experienced before. Laughing faces full of joy, as if you were a rock star. At a gas station a family even waits patiently until all the Giulias are filled up. Only to fulfil her little son’s wish to watch and wave at the acoustically and optically impressive beauties while driving away. Of course, a Carabinieri also keeps a roundabout free for us, which we can drive through without being separated from each other. At the end of this challenging day, we even are lucky to witness the finish of the “Coppa Franco Mazotti” of the Club Mille Miglia. So we discovered a few pieces of automobile jewellery and also some rarities in front of the scenery of the Castello di Sirmione, as they drive through the gate with rattling engines and then were parked. Simply wonderful!
On Sunday, the last day, we make a small detour from Lazise at Lago di Garda over the Ofenpass to Switzerland to St. Moritz and over the Julierpass at 2.284m, before we take the direct way back to Germany.
Especially the drive on the motorway to Bolzano where the HP beasts can simply run, is a nice change and a lot of fun after driving the 420km curves and passes.
But later the trip from the Ofenpass via St. Moritz and the Julierpass is just unbelievable. Here, the Swiss Alps show an almost supernatural and unworldly beauty. Wide, well-maintained roads lead through the most colourful forests or rugged lunar landscapes. What a contrasting way to finish this tour with these passionate beauties on the rough, rocky Julier Pass. Afterwards this unbelievably great group finally divides for the journey home.
It was an impressive, intense and unbelievable weekend that we will all often and happily remember – especially during the winter. The next tour in 2020 will come, because the new alpine and mountain pass routes are already being prepared.
This roadtrip was planned and organized by the driver of the Rosso Competizione Giulia QV, Daniel (@ds_bn) and myself, for our private Giulia QV group.