La German Vita – the Mondino Transalpino Tour

Sunday evening. The bonnet is still warm, the key is pulled out of the ignition with an exhausted but happy sigh and we pause for a moment to reflect on the moments of the last 72 hours. Three days of driving together are behind us, which led us through the picturesque, spruce-lined roads of the Black Forest in the best weather, so that especially the convertible and Targa drivers were allowed to unpack the sun cream again at the beginning of October. The whole thing with an amazing amount of culture and even time to marvel at the view while idling in the hotel’s wellness area.

We accompanied the 8th Mondino Transalpino Tour, where every year friends and strangers who become friends join forces with one goal: to ride, enjoy and create unforgettable memories together. The Mondino Amaro founders know a thing or two about enjoyment. The eponymous aperitif combines Italian joie de vivre with Bavarian Alpine herbs and is also produced organically. In Munich, people have been toasting each other with the refreshing and versatile aperitif for a long time, because “a bit of dolce vita always goes” and Aperol Spritz has become rather hackneyed.

“A little bit of dolce vita always goes” and Aperol Spritz has become rather hackneyed.

The four Mondino founders are united not only by a passion for the Alps and Italy, but also for cars. It’s obvious that they made their first trip across the Alps to Italy, isn’t it? That’s how the Mondino Transalpino Rally was born 8 years ago. From three cars in 2015 to 30 cars today, the Mondino Transalpino Tour has become a highlight of the year for friends and friends of friends of the initiators. But even though many of the participants know each other – the mood and openness of the group resonates that newcomers are also welcome in the Mondino Family. That is what makes the vibe in the community. From Slovenia to Italy, the Mondino guys have already chased their participants over some passes, known or unknown, in past tours. This tour in the Black Forest has shown that we also have incredibly beautiful routes and undiscovered spots within Germany. Because there is a lot to experience there within three days.

We start off at the Unimog Museum in Gaggenau, where the first Unimog (abbreviation for universal motor vehicle) was produced by Mercedes-Benz in 1951. A short tour of the exhibition and a joyful hello later, we are all eager to take the first curves. Equipped with a roadbook, Mondino cap on our heads and rally stickers on the bodywork, we set off on our first stage towards the Schwarzenbach dam.

After a “Mondino Style” lunch with a view of the water, we continue along deserted country roads over narrow bends through small villages with typical dark wooden houses and flower boxes on the windows until our hotel at Schluchsee appears in front of us. In the evening we visit the Rothaus Brewery, where we trace the Tannenzäpfle and its history in the middle of the Upper Black Forest. The 0.33l Tannenzäpfle, which was still considered an unusual and bold bottle size in 1956, has long since established itself as a timeless classic.

After regional Geschnetzelte in cream sauce with spaetzle, we end the day with drinks at the hotel bar in the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten at Schluchsee.

The next day is a direct continuation of the cultural and educational mission of the previous day. In the golden morning mood, we travel along still sleepy forest roads to the Vitra Campus in the south of the Black Forest. Here in Rheinfelden, almost on the border with Switzerland, a family business is making design history. The iconic Vitra chairs are now familiar from every vogue student flat. The campus with its architectural works of art and the travelling exhibition are an absolute satisfaction for the aesthetic eye and inspiration for one’s own living room.

To satisfy our palates as well, we then head to Schliengen to my personal highlight of the tour: the VDP winery Blankenhorn, also family-run. In their modern and bright rooms we enjoy a wine tasting, accompanied by a regional “Vesperbrettle” and a subsequent cellar tour. This gives us a glimpse into the large fermentation vessels in which the 2023 version of the Spätburgunder we have just tasted lies on the mash.

Inspired by the sun’s rays in the cloudless, blue sky and the lively conversations, we walk through shady valleys, over lush, green hills past old farmhouses and cosy grazing cattle back to the hotel. Here we were treated to a four-course meal and rumour has it that the bar in the hotel’s own disco “Vulcano” was taken over by a couple of Mondinos at later hours.

The grande finale of our tour is the Junghans Terrassenbau Museum on the last day of the tour. Here we can learn a lot about the fascinating mechanics of cuckoo clocks. I think it’s an original designer piece for a stylish loft flat and would certainly look good next to the USB record player. Besides, the terraced construction is really cool to look at and is celebrated as one of the most unusual industrial buildings in the world. And all this in the Black Forest!

I think I speak for the majority of the tour participants when I say: who would have thought that the Black Forest has so much to offer and could provide the perfect end to the season. The panorama, the carefully worked out route and the varied programme made this tour a well-rounded experience and left nothing to be desired. Many thanks to Ferdinand Sauerbruch and Olivier Wöhrl for the great organisation! Would you like to discover the route for yourself? You can find route details for the individual days online and in the Scenic App with the following links: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.

You find more information here: and on Instagram Photos by Luca Eder (@_lucaeder) from Frameline Gallery (