The challenging road crossing Stelvio Pass, the highest road pass in Europe, is one of the most scenic drive in Italy
Itinerary: Bormio, Stelvio Pass, Prato allo Stelvio, Alps
The best scenic road in Italy: the hairpins of Stelvio Pass
The scenic drive SS 38 that connects Bormio in Lombardy to Val Venosta in South Tyrol is one of the most dramatic and challenging roads in Italy. It crosses Stelvio Pass at 2758 meters a.s.l. and offers a spectacular mountain scenery. Entirely inside Stelvio National Park, this road winds up to Stelvio Pass through a stunning landscape with continuing breath-taking views on towering mountain ranges such as the group of Ortles and Mount Scorluzzo.
This scenic drive is especially loved by motorcyclists, owing to the fact that before the pass there are 36 hairpins on the Lombard side and after the pass, on the Tyrolean side, there are another 42 ones.
During the winter, the pass is closed due to snow from October to May.
The scenic drive road of Stelvio Pass starts from Bormio (pic n°4) and has a very challenging 21.5 km long climb that leads from the 1,225 meters a.s.l. of Bormio to the 2,758 meters of the pass.
The first of the 34 hairpins (pic n°3) is just outside of Bormio. Past the road sign to Livigno and Passo Foscagno, the road starts climbing up immediately. After the village of Bagni Vecchi, you will enter the majestic Braulio Valley (pic n°2). From here you will go through a succession of short tunnels carved into the side of the mountain, where you should pay close attention as they are narrow and unenlightened.
The tunnels start right before the steepest part of the whole climb and end near the rest area that is under the waterfall of Braulio. From here will start the many switchbacks that will take you to the altitude of 2300 meters.
Arrived there, the road becomes smoother for a few kilometers. In this part, you will also find a road sign towards the Umbrail Pass on the Swiss border. At this point, there are less than three kilometers to the summit of the Stelvio Pass, and the road becomes steep again. Once on the top, you will enjoy the natural beauty of the place and one of the most amazing views of the Alps!
Past Stelvio Pass, you will follow the road descending on the Tyrolean side (pic n°1) which is featured by another succession of 48 hairpins and sharp turns. You will go through the villages of Val Venosta, Trafoi, and at the end will reach Prato allo Stelvio (pic n°5), where this beautiful scenic drive tour will come to its end.
Beautiful mountain scenery and spectacular views during the whole tour!
Some pictures of this scenic drive:
The Tyrolean side (pic n°1); The majestic Braulio Valley (pic n°2); Hairpins on the Lombard side (pic n°3); Bormio (pic n°4); Prato allo Stelvio (pic n°5); The road to Stelvio Pass (pic n°6);