Chill out in Bardonnechia for a few days, Oh and then ride the bike over 10,000ft up the Stella
A gang of eight off to conquor the Stella Alpina


Bardonecchia is a small town in northern Italy right on the French boarder, (which will play host to the 2006 Olympics) Well the idea here is to ride your bike off road 3009metres up a mountain. The event only takes place every year on the second Sunday of July. They call it the Stella Alpina.

Which this year just to add some excitement was covered in snow. Hence out of the 8 who went only 2 of them returned in 04 to do it again. We base ourselves here for 3 nights in a charming hotel which can really take you back in time.

So what is this all about?

In case you do not know about this event: "Stella Alpina" is an alpine flower similar to the Edelweiss, and it is also the name of a giant, mostly non-organised motorcycle meeting (aka rallye) which takes place every (?) second weekend in July above Bardonecchia. "Aim" is to ride the gravel/dust road up the the plateau of the Colle Sommeiller (3009 m), which is one of the highest legally reachable points in the Alps. If you ride up there on Sunday morning, you can buy "trophies" such as souvenir stickers, T-Shirts etc.

The village of Bardonechia  up to the Colle Sommeiller is another 30km on a barely maintained gravel road, whose surface offers everything between fine dust (or mud, depending on the weather ;-) up to crude gravel.

A problem not related to the road but to the huge number of motorcycles is that from Saturday afternoon on, there is a constant stream of motorcycles heading uphill ... thus, especially when you head down to Bardonechia you want to be extra careful. The biggest "flow" of motorcycles is on Saturday evening, and everything from light motocross machines up to fat Harleys etc. has been seen there.


Phil looking for a part Ex

Check in for the Stella

It got worse

Steve ready for the downhill

Billy's bike at the top

Phil and Tony at the top ....what hats??

Plenty of bends, but at least the snow has gone

station bar, bardonnechia.. always the meeting place

Ready for a wash

Bardonnechia town and station

A wet town centre

Mates having a chat outside the hotel

The one and only Sommeiller Hotel

Colin and Jim posing for the camera

A day out by train in Turin was also wet

Same picture different day

Every Swiss pass was wet

Steve Ian Billy in the ice cave

My horse at top of Furka Pass

Another favorite Andermatt

Koblenz for the last night

Koblenz, where the Rhine meets the Mosel

Facts - 11th july 02 to 20th july 02
Staying at
1. Broug n'brash France 496 633     all toll roads
2. Bardonnechia Italy 213 845 SOMMEILLER 27e  
3. stop   35 880     run up Stella
4. stop   0 880     trip to Turin (rain)
5. Aosta Italy 160 1040 Juli    
6. interlaken Switzerland 220 1260 Crystal    
7. Koblenz Germany 390 1650 Metropole   via Strasbourg
8. Ijumden Holland 255 1905 Boat   via Arnham (steves chain snap 41miles short)

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