I have been thinking it’s time for some serious exercise. All this eating and travelling means I have spent far too much time sitting recently. So I had resolved to re-balance this and having hired a mountain bike in the village I took the spectacular revolving cable car from Malcesine to the top of Monte Baldo.

As it rotates, the views across Lago di Garda and south along its eastern shore are quite breathtaking. From Monte Baldo I can see the open sided tunnel running along the far side of the lake. It became infamous as the setting for the frantic title sequence of 2008 Bond film ‘Quantum of Solace’. In this car chase he hurtled down the western lake shore through the tunnel towards Salo with ‘Mr White’ in the boot. Legend has it that one of the Aston Martins used in the chase is still at the bottom of the lake there!

At this time of year the air is still a lot cooler up here than down by the lake. So I have decided to pause for a coffee at Bar Cime del Baldo, to add a few more layers and write this card. Suddenly it feels very alpine with the chill air and the hollow ‘dong’ of the cowbells drifting across the mountains.

In a few moments I will set off for Torbole about 35km away. We will rise and fall on white roads and tracks through the mountains before plunging, hopefully not literally, back down to the lakeside. If my calculations are correct I should arrive at the perfect moment to impose on my dear old friend Marc Antonio for a late lunch. I sent him a message to say I was coming but needless to say he hasn’t replied…

I am lured by the promise of some real regional delights; perfect risotto, his legendary hunter’s stew and a surprise for dessert…who knows what he has in mind? The food from this part of Trentino and Lombardy is always amazing and very filling. I will definitely need to have worked up an appetite! Better get out there – those trails don’t ride themselves…Andiamo!…as they say round here. Why not join me on my next adventure?

Wish you were here! Spice Pioneer x