Itinerary: Sampeyre, Casteldelfino, Pontechianale, Chianale
Colle dell'Agnello is the highest international road pass of the Alps, located on the border between Italy and France
Colle dell'Agnello (pic°1), located in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, is the highest international road pass of the Alps, and it links Pontechianale (Italy) to Molines-en-Queyras (France) (pic°5);. You can enjoy beautiful sceneries and landscapes especially from the Italian side while climbing towards the pass.
The tour starts from Sampeyre, an ancient village with nice stone houses and a beautiful church. From here, take Strada Provinciale 105 and then Strada Provinciale 251, and after about 31 kilometers you will reach the Pass of Colle dell'Agnello crossing charming alpine villages and astonishing mountain sceneries.
The road starts ascending near Casteldelfino (pic°6), a nice town where you can stop and visit the Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia and the Church of Sant'Eusebio. This town is an interesting destination for culture enthusiasts, as there are also a couple of museums dedicated to the local ethnography.
From here, you will have to face some sharp turns, until you get to Pontechianale (pic°3), after about 6.5 kilometers. This is a small village overlooking Lago di Castello, an artificial lake that was created when the dam was built in 1942. Today, the lake is used to produce energy, but it is also visited by many tourists, especially in summer. The lake is located next to Bosco dell'Alevé, a very ancient and large wood that represents the biggest Swiss pine wood in Italy, and one of the largest woods in Europe.
After 4 kilometers you will reach Chianale (pic°2), a picturesque small village with a nice stone bridge that links the two parts of the town. Stop by and visit the Church of Sant'Antonio, stroll around the alleys of this village, listed among the most beautiful towns in Italy.
The last 10 kilometers (pic°4) before reaching Colle dell'Agnello Pass are a steep stretch with challenging switchbacks and hairpin turns but, once you reach the top, you will realize that it was worth it.
Located 2,748 meters above sea level, Colle dell'Agnello allows you to enjoy a wonderful Alpine scenery over Monviso, the Occitan Valleys, the French Regional Natural Park of the Queyras and, on a clear day, even over the French Cote d'Azur.
It is believed that Attila passed right by this pass during his march to conquer Europe. Today, it is one of the stages of "Giro d'Italia" (the Italian bicycle tour), and it is an ideal place for those who like trekking, hiking and enjoying nature. Also, the road of Colle dell'Agnello Pass is a beloved destination among Italian and International motorcyclists.