STELVIO PASS (Bormio)
46.5294° N, 10.4532° E
Every year thousands of cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers flock to pay homage to this magnificent road and for good reason. Used by merchants since medieval times the Stelvio Pass (Passo Stelvio) connects Bormio to Valtellina and Trofoi to the Venosta Valley. Completed in 1825 by hand this road displays incredible engineering with many sections built on cliff faces. 37 switchbacks / hairpins and five tunnels were built to get to the summit from Bormio.
Its nickname? ” Italy’s Roof” although having featured in the Giro d’Italia many times and has inflicted suffering on thousands of cyclists, many will have other names for it.
|1564m||10.5%||10.5%||CLIMBED||AVERAGE GRADIENT||MAX GRADIENT|
The town of Bormio, and epicentre of Epic roads. One of three ways to go up the Stelvio Pass (Passo Stelvio)
From Bormio you can also visit the Gavia Pass (Passo Gavia) and Laghi di Cancano.
The Stelvio Pass from Bormio has 37 hairpin bends, and you will climb 1564m. Just to confuse you they count down not up.
At 3KM in you see/experience the first of the highly engineered switchbacks.
The road was built and engineered by Carlo Donegani in just five years between 1820 and 1825
Having gone past I Casa Cantoniera dello Stelvio you enter into a new valley and 5 tunnels. Carved into the rock, these are dark and worth taking caution in.
Arguably the prettiest section of the Stelvio Pass from Bormio. With its waterfall Cascata del Braulio raging down itside to a hydro electric dam, and 14 tightly formed hairpin bends / switchbacks. For many this their favourite part of the climb.
One of the 14 compact hairpin bends
Once above the section of switchbacks you enter into Valle Di Sotto with gradient backing off. A heavenly section with lush pastures, cows and dramatic views
Climbing the Stelvio Pass from Bormio is an extraordinary experience and for many is their favourite way of climbing/descending the Stelvio Pass. With its many sections and each one providing a very different feel/environment it is easy to see why. Tunnels, tightly constructed hairpins, lush pastures and an often snow at the finish it is one to savour every minute on.
STELVIO PASS CYCLING CLIMB FAQ'S
This road is only open from May to October and early/late season is not guaranteed.
From Bormio the Stelvio Pass has 37 hairpin bends / 37 switchbacks
There are three ways up the Stelvio: from Prato allo Stelvio, from Bormio and from Santa Maria/the Umbrail Pass in Switzerland.
The Stelvio pass from both sides would be considered a steep climb and from both side you have to ascend more than 1500m.
The best time to visit would be in early June or September. During peak summer months the pass does get very busy. However if you can start early to arrive at the summit before 8AM it will be much quieter.
The route from Bormio has 5 tunnels
Yes it has featured in the Giro d'Italia since 1953 and is a regular feature
The Stelvio Pass is very high at 2757m (8,448ft) but isn't the highest pass in Europe Col I'Iseran is. Just 13m higher! at 2770m.
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