We decided not to hang around and got on the motorway to our first stop at a services near Genoa. Which meant as soon as we had crossed the border we were onto one of the best motorways in the world - the Autostrada dei Fiori - a series of viaducts with views across the Mediterranean separated by tunnels. What more could you want?
After our baguette stop at Spotorno and a chance for a soggy cheese sandwich we turned north and followed the windy motorway upwards towards Turin, where the rain decided to come down heavy, forcing us to get the roof up at the next toll booth.
The drive into Turin was straightforward enough and we were soon parked in the Lingotto car park ready to explore the old Fiat factory, another location from the Italian Job. We first found the north ramp where the cars went from level to level but were soon barred from going higher up. At the other end of the shopping centre was a lift to the former restaurant giving us a glimpse of the rooftop test track and it's banked corners. Still no further, I then spotted another glass lift this time to the rooftop art gallery, where we got right to the top and found an open door, then to be told we weren't allowed out. So near and yet so far... We did get a good view of what we came for though, so we left fairly happy.
We headed off towards Milan, our first mission to do as per the Minis and escape Turin. The place was a dump, with beggars on the street junctions and shantys on the road side. The day's comedy moment was watching a Citroen DS overtake us over some speed bumps, taking them all in it's stride and completely soaking them up. I now want one as a daily...
The next two hours of motorway was more of the same and another heavy downpour meant a quick hard shoulder stop to get the roof up again. After being split up again in the traffic and low visibility we all eventually made it to Monza where we had another stop for a look around.
Like Spa, it was all very open with us first walking into the Ascari grandstand before looking for the old original banking. Trying to run up that in the wet was not fun! It was a case of clinging to the fence and climbing up, it's steeper than you can imagine! It was even worse trying to get back down... We had a general exlpore around T1 and then set off in search for fuel for the Honda which was now on vapours. Firstly I found a station that wouldn't accept my car, so I stuck a note in and bent over as it cost me £1.95 a liter, secondly we found a Shell and had the same problem, this time to the tune of £2.07! In the meantime, Lee beached the Clio on a kerb and had to be pushed off.
We then set off on the final half hour of the journey to the hotel, until we spotted a DIY store, still just about open at 7pm on a Sunday, where we stopped for parts to fit my refurbed TCT. We quickly checked in and then fixed the spare back together, ready to replace in the morning in the (hopefully) drier weather.
We then had a ride into Como for our evening meal at the familiar restaurant on the shore of the lake that we had eaten at two years ago. The food was great and decently priced and the beer came in litres. The waitress was a bit of a clown though, pretending to spill everything on us.
Having found the cars again, with the rain now gone and the sky clearing it's just a hope that it stays good for tomorrow, though I'll be checking the Stelvio Pass webcam again in the morning I reckon!