2005 Italy Model T Ford Tour

This is a brief account of the 2005 Italy Model T Ford Tour. This was a 19 day, 1,5000 mile driving tour conducted by the Model T Club of Southern California in September of 2005.

Sunday September 4: Arrive Milan Malpensa Airport. Transfer by bus to Hotel Sigma in Cantu

Monday September 5: Km 60 Cantu – Chiasso – Cantu – Take bus to pick up cars in Chiasso Switzerland. Return to Italy with a drive around beautiful Lake Como. Stop for breath taking view of lake and gardens of Parco Communale beside Grand Hotel Tremezzo. Afternoon drive continues around Lake Como exploring magnificent villages and beautiful lakeside gardens. Take afternoon ferryboat across Lake Como from Varenna to Bellagio for a gelato break before driving 1 ½ hours back to Hotel Sigma in Cantu.

Tuesday September 6: Km 115 Cantu – Iseo – travel to Lake Iseo through the Italian Alpine Mountains traveling west to east through valleys running north and south. This is a sparsely populated area. Stop for lunch in Bergamo or San Pellegrino. Upon arrival at Iseo take passenger ferry (runs every 20 minutes) from Iseo or Sulzano to Island Monte Isola located in the middle of the lake. Overnight at Lake Iseo/Paratico Franciacorta Golf Hotel

Wednesday September 7: Km 120 Lake Iseo – Lake Gardia – travel via the Franciacorta for shopping and ferryboat trip from Garda to Sirmione. Visit the Punta de san Vigillio and enjoy the breath taking lake and mountain views from Limone sul Garda and the Monte Balso Cable car. Visit to the old town of Riva del Garda with its maze of shopping streets. Dinner and overnight at Lake Garda, Hotel Everest

Thursday September 8: Day of leisure at Lake Garda or visit Verona (the town that forms the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet) by train. Visit Juliet’s house, Casa di Giullietta and the inner courtyard containing the balcony of Romeo and Juliet.

Friday September 9: Km 160 Lake Garda – Levico Terme – Travel North to leave the Italian Lake District and enter the Dolomites Pale Mountains. A legend says a net woven out of the moons rays covers the mountains and that is why they now have the color of the moon. After a quick stop to the market for supplies 4 cars had a picnic lunch in the mountains. The route climbed over 10,000 feet going north past Trento to Levico Terme, Hotel Ambassador

Saturday September 10: 175 Km Levico Terme – Belluno – Continue drive through the Dolomite Mountains to the Dolomite Mountains National Park. Enter from the north over road #203 which connects Argordo to Belluno. Visit the museum of archeology and the old hydraulic power plant in Belluno, Hotel Albergo Pineta

Sunday September 11: 165 Km Belluno – Cividale del Friuli – Full days drive though the Dolomite Mountains to Cividale del Friuli, Hotel Roma. 5 – 6pm meet Paolo Gratton, owner of the Gorizia Ford Museum

Monday September 12: 130Km Cividale del Friuli – Lido di Jesolo – 10am visit the Gorizia Ford Museum with Paolo Gratton, owner. Lunch on our own and then on to Lido di Jesolo, Hotel Europa

Tuesday September 13: Lido di Jesolo – Venice by motor coach. Visit islands of Burano, Murano & Toecello. Evening Gondola tour & dinner. Venice. Starhotel Splendid Suisse

Wednesday September 14: Day of Leisure, Venice

Thursday September 15: 150 Km 8:30am pick up at Venice Punto Sabionni – Bologna via monotonous landscape. Via Serenari, Hotel Nettuno

Friday September 16: 140 Km Bologna – Prato – with 11am visit to Ferrari Gallery at Maranello. Continue to Florence. Overnight in Prato, Palace Hotel

Saturday September 17: Organized tour arranged by Italian car enthusiast Mariam Weising. Tour of mountain park with lunch and show at Mariam Weising Theater. Return to Prato

Sunday September 18: 08:30 depart by coach to Florence. Walking tour with visits to the museum and cathedrals

Monday September 19 185 Km Prato – Tellaro di Lerici – Morning visit to Villa Poggio in Caiano, built in 1480 for Lorenzo the magnificent. Continue to Carmigganano to visit the Vaiia of San Fernandino in Artimono commonly known as the villa of 100 chimneys (actually there are only 40). Continuation to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower. Afternoon travel heading north through the Apuan Alps with a stop at a Carrara marble quarry at cave dei Frantiscitti. Tellaro di Lerici, Hotel Cristallo di Pietrino Fabiani

Tuesday September 20 Day of rest took passenger ferry and walking paths the very picturesque Midieval towns of Cinque Terre, Portovenere, Riomaggiore, Manarola and the very attractive towns of Vernazza, Bonassola and Deiva arina.

Wednesday September 21 130 Km Tellaro di Lerici – Santa Margherita Ligure – travel to the Portofino peninsular. Santa Margherita Ligure, Hotel Tiguellio et de Milan

Thursday September 22 Passenger ferry to Portofino. Walking tour of Portofino with lunch at the Hotel Splendid bar ($32 for a hamburger but the setting was spectacular).

Friday September 23 175 Km Santa Margherita Ligure – Genoa more travel through beautiful mountains and countryside. 2pm turn in cars south of Genoa and continue by motor coach to airport hotel 30 miles outside Milan, for farewell dinner. Milan, Hotel Astoria.

Saturday September 24 Full day at leisure. 9am motor coach delivered us to Piazza Castello to tour Milan. Returned to hotel by Eurorail for dinner and preparation for 4:15 am departure to the United States.