The most famous piece of public road in the world. Been there, done that. Discovering legendary roads and the difference between fame and greatness
As residents of the very south of Germany, we have plenty of great roads for a spin, right at our front door. But since the internal combustion engine and our passion for it are threatened, we decided to take it a little further in 2021. So we left known roads and valleys to experience awesome drives - while we have the chance.
I mean.. look at it, just look at it. Who doesnt love blasting over small bridges?
Always looking for the real thing, top shelf, we straight away set out minds to Stelvio. Passo Dello Stelvio needs no introduction, but allow me to recap just the facts: 50km, built around 1825, 48 turns on the Tyrol side, 34 in Lombardy. Topped at 2757 meters above sea level its the highest mountain pass in Italy.
Quickly a group of 5 cars and 10 friends was found, and routes were planned: Starting in the Blackforest and heading to Lindau at Lake Constance in the morning, we entered Austria right behind Oberstaufen. Following Bregenzerwaldstraße, we climbed Hochtannbergpass to Warth village. Onwards, into Lechtal through Lech, Zürs and up the Arlbergpass.
You wouldnt believe in what vehicles people take on the Alps.
Weather wasnt ideal, but this caused low traffic. I guess you cant always get everything you want. At least, our Photographer had the chance to take fascinating shots. Next waypoint: Reschenpass - Reschensee. The Reschen Strasse from Pfunds to Nauders was blocked, so we diverted a few meters into Switzerland, a very confused Customs Officer included. Our detour lead us up Norbertshöhe - what a drive that is. If you ever have the chance, drive that thing. Reschenstrasse aint nothing compared to Norbertshöhe.
After Arlbergpass, the weather increased a lot. Even the sun paid a visit.
Reschensee was packed with some Windsurfing Championship, so we kept our wheels spinnin. Down Mals Heath we went into Vinschgau, which is breathtakingly beautiful. From there, it was only a short ride to our Hotel: Rocca Bianco, right at the Stelvio road.
First Kilometres of the Stelvio road
Hotel Rocca Bianca. Our stay for the night.
And what a stay it was. Gaby, our Restaurateur, was prepared perfectly. Running this 5-room Hotel all on her own, being snowed in from October to May, shes tougher than most bikers that rest on her beautiful balcony, which offers great views of the Glacier.
Sit, sip, breath, look.
The toughest guy we met was Gabys dog. He deserves his own heel, because look at the MF. He looks like hes been in the infamous world war 2 alp battles:
Deaf, blind, old - still kicking ass. He has seen things man.
Absolute silence, only some wind and the creek down in the canyon. From time to time, the silence is disturbed by redlining engines, roaring up the Pass. Gaby prepared a delicious roast hare for our group, beer was fresh and cold, a lot has been experienced in that first day which already resulted in long stories being shared from driver to driver. But our main destination was still waiting for us, above us. So early in the next morning, after a great breakfast, again perfectly prepared by Gaby, we started the engines and were ready for the big one.
Passo Dello Stelvio.
So, Passo Dello Stelvio. An incredible road. Steep, tight, people on crazy vehicles. Is it fun to drive? Yes. Is it the greatest driving road in the world? Not for us. But its fascination isnt only about the turns and the driving itself, but the landscape surrounding you. That is one of a kind, indeed.
But we still werent done yet. From atop Stelvio, we headed over to Umbrailpass, down into Val Müstair. Again, breathtaking really.
Heading through Val Müstair, into the Swiss National Park. Totally different landscape, yet another awesome drive.
Crossing Ofenpass and then Flüelapass, driving was just perfect, again. After all these mountain passes, from Davos on, we took the highway to get home. Tired, intoxicated by the drives and the landscapes, we were as done as one can be. And so is this story. Some photo encore is the last thing I can provide you! If you have any questions about Route/Planning/Hotel, feel free to use the comments, I will happily answer them :)