Passo Dello Stelvio, Bormio, Lago di Rèsia and Reschenpass have become the main stops of our alpine crossing from Italy to Austria. Beautiful passes, magnificent views, picturesque landscapes, superb corners, all this made up the almost 400 km long trip from Bergamo to Sautens. These places are a true Mecca for motorcyclists, a paradise on earth. We couldn’t miss them either.
From Bormio to Passo Dello Stelvio
We left Bergamo in the morning. There were only 400 kilometers to do this day. Only, or as much, because whoever was already in the Alps knows that he would like to stop on every corner to take a photo. The views are so stunning that it’s hard to get away from them. Our route led along Lago di Endine, a picturesque lake which, perhaps because of its proximity to Lago di Garda and Lago di Iseo, was not so crowded with tourists, and offered a lot of more opportunities to relax as the others. Further on, in the direction of Bormio, which is a vestibule to one of the most beautiful and, in the opinion of many, most difficult motorcycle routes. The magical Passo Dello Stelvio.
Dello Stelvio Pass – Queen of the Alpine passes
They call her the queen of the Alpine passes. And not without reason. For almost 200 years, the Passo Dello Stelvio has been a source of admiration for all the travelers who have found themselves on it. The SS38 passing through it is one of the most famous mountain roads in the world, the most winding road in Europe and the most beautiful road according to the authors of Top Gear (until they saw the Transfăgărășan route).
The road was built between 1820 and 1825 by the order of the Austrian Emperor Franz II Habsburg, by the Italian engineer Carl Donegani. The 50 km long route connecting Bormio and Prad is 83, 180-degree bends, a large part of which, as much as 48, is located in its northern part. Originally designed for horse-drawn carriages, it has not changed much since its inception. The corners are really winding, the medium surface, sometimes lying pebbles and cavities in the asphalt can cause a lot of trouble and make the route will be quite demanding and dangerous. However, it’s undoubtedly worth the effort to get thru it. The only negative aspect of driving by the SS38 is the crowd. A lot of cyclists, cars, and motorcycles make you drive like in a traffic jam. The second issue is the weather, unfortunately in the Alps at these altitudes, it is terribly capricious. We were lucky that during the ride we were accompanied by beautiful sunshine. However, it didn’t last long, already on the corners towards Prad it started raining light rain, which later turned into a downpour. Passo Dello Stelvio like a real woman – it can be whimsical.
What is worth knowing about the Passo Dello Stelvio?
- The route is open from May to November. This does not mean that it is passable for motorcyclists. It is good to check the information about the condition of the route and the weather. As far as Stelvio is concerned, we follow the official fanpage on FB, we think that there is the most up-to-date information about Stelvio Passage. You can also search for information on the official website of Bormio. In addition, please note that the opening of Stelvio is only dependent on weather conditions and the technical condition of the road, the open date of May-November is subject to change.
- Height 2758 m above sea level, max. slope 14.8%.
- The asphalt surface is rather medium, with a lot of pebbles and some cavities.
- The route is quite difficult, the south-western part is much easier, so if you do not feel confident, you can try to drive from Bormio.
- From Bormio to Prad there are 83 bends, from Bormio to Santa Maria Val Müstair (Switzerland) there are 63.
- The entry is free of charge.
Picturesque Reschenpass – the perfect culmination of the day
Just after Spondigna, in Mals, the second of the picturesque routes that awaited us that day – Reschenpass – begins. The wonderful road along the Adige River and the artificially created Lago di Rèsia has always been one of the most important passings of the Alps. One of the main attractions of this route is the sunken village of Graun, or rather the only thing left of it – the church tower protruding above the lake Rèsia. After Reschenpass we moved on to Sautens. It was already a real race with a wall of water. Sometimes a storm followed us, and sometimes we followed a storm. Soaked, but with lots of memories and impressions, we reached our destination. It was worth it!
A bunch of useful links at the end
- We have prepared a ready-made suggestion of a trip to the Alps and Italian Dolomites, which of course includes Passo Dello Stelvio. Take a look at our day-after-day plan – maybe it will help you or inspire you to change your route. The link to the article can be found here.
- We have visited Stelvio Pass many times. Link to our other entry about the Queen of Alpine Passes can be found here.
- Stelvio has a beautiful friend right next to her, see the Passo di Gavia entry.
- Practically information about Italy, what to expect and what to prepare for, you will find in our guide Italy practically.
- Our route, which we chose on our way to Italy, is described here. You will find there a map and useful information.
- Do you go further on the Italian highways? Check in our article what costs you have to prepare for.
- We wrote about the traffic regulations and parking rules in Italy in this article.
Are you looking for a place to stay near Stelvio Pass?
We would be pleased if you could use our referral link to BOOKING.COM. You will appreciate the time we spend on running our blog and help us to expand it further. Below you will also find our suggestions for accommodation near Stelvio Pass.