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In Napoleon's Footsteps

Our idea was to drive from Valais in Switzerland through the Italian and French Maritime Alps to the Mediterranean Sea, traversing some of the old gravel roads in the process. As a virtual side-effect of his military campaign against the Habsburgs, Napoleon conquered Italy in 1796/97 and left extensive marks in the Alps. The enmity led to a multitude of forts, bunkers and canon fortifications along the alpine borderline between both countries, up to 3000m above sea level. All those facilities had to be supplied and therefore a network of alpine military roads was constructed during times of war; a good portion of these roads are still negotiable to this very day. A car with good ground clearance and all-terrain tyres is advantageous. Our route: Great St. Bernard Pass, Aosta Valley, Col del Colombardo, Susa Valley, Varaita Valley, Maira Valley, Col de Tende, Coast of Liguria. Our equipment: Nissan Navara with Gordigear Explorer Plus 165cm installed on the tray and a tarp for shade.


Artwork and/or text courtesy of Joachim Schoelkopf.