The Stella Alpina Rally



I thought I’d write about this annual event in the Alps as it is coming up in the next couple of months and it might be something that some of you are interested in. The 'Stella Alpina Motociclistica Internazionale'.

Now commonly referred to in England as ‘The Stella Alpina Rally' or simply ‘The Stella', the Stella's purpose has always been to provide an opportunity for a friendly gathering of motorcyclists with a common interest and to give the average road rider the chance to experience something totally different.




The main event is a ride up the Colle del Sommeiller in Bardonecchia, Italy, which offers the highest possible off-road track in the Alps at 3,009 metres (around 9,872 feet). As everyone sets off in their own time, you find other motorcyclists coming past you in the other direction as you go up and down the track.

The idea of riding on an unsurfaced track can seem daunting to some riders. However, I have even seen Goldwings and sidecar outfits heading up there. The track can be negotiated on most motorcycles, and it’s something that everyone should try.

Another great part of the weekend is the social scene, and the chance to meet a lot of like-minded people. So as I mentioned above, the meeting takes place in the small town of Bardonecchia, which is near the Italian/French border at the end of the Frejus tunnel. The tunnel is the faster, more direct route to Bardonechhia, although you have to pay to use it and if you have some time on your hands then it’s definitely worth going up and over the top of the mountains instead of through them; you’ll find some beautiful scenery.

It’s easy to get over to Bardonecchia in one or two days riding from the UK. However, if you’re interested in touring a bit of Europe then it’s always nice to leave a week or so in advance and mooch around the surrounding countries for a bit.

For those of you considering going to the Stella, the date for your diaries is the second Sunday in July – every year. Having attended this rally 5 times, I can honestly say it’s a fantastic holiday if you enjoy riding abroad and taking on a challenge.

Check out the YouTube videos below if you’d like to see a video of the Stella Alpina track, and some photographs from my previous trips to Bardonecchia.





If you know any mates that are interested in touring or off-roading, don’t forget to direct them to this page!