Climbing up the Stelvio Pass — one of the highest mountain passes of Europe
It comes as no surprise that Italy was named as one of the 36 best countries to travel to in 2020. This southern European country boasts of magnificent attractions, from historic landmarks and ornate churches to splendid mountains and pretty lakes. It is the combination of beautiful nature and a rich cultural history that makes the country such an attractive destination. One of the best ways to get acquainted with Italy is to take a road trip, and although you’ll be spoiled for choice, driving from Bormio to Prato Allo Stelvio (also known as Prad am Stilfser Joch) is highly recommended. It will take you to the Italian Alps with its gorgeous landscapes and scenic villages that will make your journey an unforgettable one.
Before hitting the road, be aware that the Stelvio Pass is one of the highest mountain passes of Europe. The pass is a 47km-long alpine pass consisting of 46 hairpin bends and steep grades. Hence, you will need a car that can navigate these roads safely and securely. It is also worth noting that the road can become busy, so it’s best to start early and even enjoy the breathtaking sunrise.
That said, check the right type of vehicle that you should use for your trip. Large cars and caravans are probably not the best models to drive this stretch with its numerous twists and turns. It is also vital that you feel confident driving the car and maneuvering it on this type of terrain to make your journey stress-free.
What to See and Do
The nearest airport from Stelvio Pass is in Bergamo where you can get a rental vehicle and the drive to Bormio will last under 3.5 hours. Bormio’s town center is steeped in history with its ancient frescoes, medieval fountains, and beautifully carved doors. Pop in the Civic Museum of Borneo and delve into the town’s agricultural and skiing history. After a stroll, relax in one of the renowned thermal baths of Bormio. Get soothing aqua massages, swim in the outdoor pools, or just soak in the water while admiring the magnificent scenery around you.
From Bormio, it is a short drive to Stelvio Pass, around 9km. Drive through the winding roads and make your ascent in good time admiring breathtaking landscapes and snowy peaks. In Prato Allo Stelvio, don’t miss the Stelvio National Park, a protected area in the Central Alps. Hike, walk, or cycle in summer and spot wildlife along the way. In November, the nearby town of Sondrio, holds the annual Sondrio Festival showing international documentaries on nature and environmental conservation.
The drive up to Stelvio Pass is a memorable trip, offering wonderful opportunities to see quaint towns, historic sites, and awesome mountains. If you’re dreaming of an exciting road trip that combines nature, history, and culture, put Stelvio Pass on your itinerary the next time you’re in Italy.