The most picture perfect road to drive in Gran Paradiso National Park, between the Aosta Valley and Piedmont regions of Italy, is without a doubt Colle del Nivolet, also known as Nivolet Pass. A road that has been shown in scenes of the movie “The Italian Job”, and a road that many of you have seen photos of. Yet no videos or images will prepare you for the panoramic landscapes you will witness when you are approaching the peak at 2,641 m above sea level. Magical, breathtaking, exciting, dangerous - this road is all of that.
“The higher up on this road I got, the more I fell in love. I thought I already had reached heaven at the very beginning of the road, with a view down over some of the most beautiful road curves I had ever seen. A white cloud was floating across the valley over my head, and butterflies were flying around me when I sat there on the hill for a while, breathing in fresh mountain air. But when I continued the drive past the artificial lakes and higher up in the mountains, to eventually have a beautiful view down over Serrù Lake I had just passed... That was actually the real heaven."
To reach the Nivolet Pass, about 100 km north-west from Turin on the map, you can put the town Cereso Reale in your navigation. This is one of the last towns before the 18,5 km climb up the pass starts. Colle del Nivolet is a dead-end road and what goes up will return down the same route. Either on the same day, or if you wish to spend a night there you can find a couple of simple mountain huts on the road - Rifugio Città di Chivasso and Rifugio Savoia.
It is busy in the summer for a good reason - the road attracts nature loving hikers, bikers, and petrolheads. Timing is crucial if you want to experience it with as little traffic as possible. There are not that many safe places to overtake, and meeting a car in a bend on this narrow road can make your heart skip a few beats. However one of the world’s most dangerous driving roads also happens to be one of the world’s most beautiful driving roads.
Map link: goo.gl/maps/F68nojusXL92