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Friday, November 13, 2009

Plan B- A Pilgrimage of Sorts

By now its lashing down with rain and I vaguely follow signs to Como where our seven fold ties are being made (save that meeting for a later date) and beyond to the farther reaches of the lake. 

When I finally stop and ask for directions in Lecco, the attractive girl at the Agip station doesn't understand me entirely (who does?) but the way that she say "Mandello del Lario" and points to the north absolutely floors me.  In my mind this is how the name will always sound, in a soft, hushed, reverential manner.  I race through the lakeside tunnels, watching the cliff tops drift in and out as the clouds roll by- and then I am there.  The building seems implausible, who would put a motorcycle factory at the base of a Mountain and at the shores of a beautiful lake?  The Guzzi folks of course: Moto Guzzi

It is an old world factory in every sense of the word.  From its Italian airforce Eagle flying overhead to its vaguely Wonkaesque red door.  It is everything that it should be and so much more.  I know that supposedly old men in smelly leathers ride them,  that Guzzi appear to continuously  flirt with insolvency,  and that replacement parts are the stuff of myth.  It doesn't matter.  This place oozes soul and history.  I keep waiting for a mad hatter to stroll through the gates.

Instead I get Burtie(?) in a red jumpsuit who informs me that the gates close at 3:00 as does the museum tour (its now 4:00)  He then tells me that they haven't used their much lauded wind tunnel in years as it makes the lights in the town blink on and off.  I still stare at the doors and I am that much more mystified by this quiet town and its quiet brand as dusk and rain settle in.  For a brief Guzzi History:guzzista


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