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The Passo dello Stelvio (Stelvio Pass) is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps; at 2,757m (9,045 ft) high. This route takes the SS38 from Bormio to Prato Allo Stelvio through the famed pass. The road is highly regarded, and in the popular British TV series 'Top Gear' it's called the 'greatest driving road in the world' (Season 10 - Episode 1: 7 October 2007).
The route takes you from Bormio to Prato Allo Stelvio, passing over the Stelvio Pass in 46 km (28.6 mi) in a thrilling 40 minutes (if you are lucky to have no traffic).
Bormio is a popular starting point for the Stelvio Pass. It's a small town of 4,000 people located in the province of Sondrio, Northern Italy. Bormio is easily accessible along the historic Piazza Cavour and the Via Roma; main road trading points on the route from Venice to Switzerland. The town maintains its medieval town centre and is a popular hot springs town, with spa baths at Bagni Vecchi, Bagni Nuovi and Termi di Bormio. Also worth stopping here for some excellent (albeit expensive) Italian coffee. For more information on what to see, where to eat and sleep in Bormio see: www.comune.bormio.so.it
From Bormio ride North on SS38 for 21.1 km (xx mi) to Piz da las Trais Linguas. The road is famous for being a technical challenge. The hairpins for which it is most famous are perhaps the toughest part, and there are plenty of them. However, that's not all it is. There are a wide variety of corner on some excellent quality pavement and some of the views are simply stunning.
One such view is the Piz da las Trais Linguas (the peak of three languages); this summit is the tri-point where the Italian, German and Romansch languages meet. This is also where you'll find most of the bikers hanging out for coffee, admiring the view or just mentally preparing for the descent.
The pass itself is located on the border of Italy and Switzerland. It has 60 hairpin turns, 48 of which are numbered on the most Northern section. After the Stelvio Pass the route continues along SS38 for many more hairpin turns. The road is seasonally closed and is a highly technical ride. Elevation changes of 1,160 m (3,085 ft) in Bormio, upto 2,757 m (9,045 ft) at the pass, then going back down to 920 m (3,018 ft) in Prato Allo Stelvio.
Continue on SS38 from Passo dello Stelvio to Prato Allo Stelvio. From Piz da las Trais Linguas head East for 10 km (6.2 mi) then continue Northeast for 15 km ( mi). This downhill section has many more hairpins where you'll pass through the towns of Trafoi, Maso di Fuori, Gomagoi and Ponte de Stelvio to reach Prato All Stelvio.
Prato Allo Stelvio is a town of 3,400 people located in the province of South Tyrol, Northern Italy. Prato Allo Stelvio is a good stopping point because here you can continue 60 km (37.3 mi) East to the city of Bolzano, Italy or ride back the opposite way on Stelvio Pass back to Bormio, and we heartily recommend you try the pass in both directions. Interestingly, despite being an Italian town, over 97% of the residents speak only German; the town is also known as Prad am Stilfer Joch. For more information on what to see, where to eat and sleep in Prato Allo Stelvio see: www.gemeinde.prad.bz.it
Stelvio Pass is basically a straight road with no turns off, so you can't get lost. It's very fast and no matter how good you are, the locals are faster but be careful: It's a very technical road and crashes can be very nasty. Make sure you ride it at least a few times before starting to push it. While it can be a dangerous road, it's also a beautiful one and the views are spectacular. Rest assured, if you do ride it, you'll want to do it again. And again...” Enjoy the ride! EatSleepRIDE
The Stelvio Pass inspired a motorcycle from Moto Guzzi check it out here: