Itinerary: Sampeyre, Casteldelfino, Pontechianale, Chianale
Colle dell'Agnello, the highest Alpine pass in Piedmont
Colle dell'Agnello (pic°1), located in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, is one of the highest international road passes in the Alps located on the border between Italy and France linking Pontechianale (Italy) to Molines-en-Queyras (France) (pic°5). You will enjoy beautiful sceneries and landscapes especially from the Italian side while climbing towards the pass.
This motorcycle tour starts from Sampeyre, an ancient village with nice stone houses and an amazing church. From here, the road will take you to Colle dell'Agnello Pass crossing charming alpine villages and astonishing mountain sceneries.
The road starts climbing 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 on, you will have to face some sharp turns, until you will get to Pontechianale (pic°3), after a few 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, an ancient Swiss pine wood the largest one in Italy and one of the largest woods in Europe.
After some 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 here and visit the Church of Sant'Antonio, and 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. It's a real paradise, a beloved destination among Italian and International motorcyclists and bikers! Anyway, ride always carefully!
Colle dell'Agnello pass is located at 2,744 meters above sea level, so, when you will get to the top you will enjoy the wonderful Alpine sceneries over the Monviso massif, 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 cycling race). Furthermore, it is a perfect place for those who like trekking, hiking and enjoying nature.
This motorcycle tour ends here, now you can go back to Sampeyre otherwise if you like, you can cross the Italian - French border and ride downwards towards the village of Molines-en-Queyras. In our opinion, the Italian side is much more exciting and spectacular with many more bends, turns, switchbacks than the French one. Anyway, Molines-en-Queyras can be the perfect starting point if you are planning to ride on the legendary French alpine passes too.
Some pics of Colle dell'Agnello Pass and the nearby area:
Colle dell'Agnello Pass in winter (pic°1); Chianale (pic°2); Pontechianale (pic°3); Road to Colle dell'Agnello Pass (pic°4); The Italian-France border (pic°5); Casteldelfino (pic°6);