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The Best Road in the World - The Stelvio Pass in Italy?

The Stelvio Pass - sounds innocent enough, but  those that look for driving pleasure and have petrol running through their veins will know of the world renowned Passo Del Stelvio or to give it its road number, the SS38.  Famously voted as the 'Best Driving Road in the World' by messrs Clarkson and Co. on the BBC's Top Gear, the Stelvio Pass is not for the faint hearted.  It looks simple enough on the map, a mountain pass that bisects the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio (National Park) connecting Stelvio to Bormio.  Peaking at 2758m, the summit is a strange collection of cafes and bars full with petrol heads on both 2 wheels or 4 and a large fraternity of cyclists who chose to take on the Pass.  Its 48 switchbacks  lead you from the North side of the pass to the summit along its 28km stretch of spaghetti like tarmac.  While a similarly exhilarating albeit slightly less extreme decent from the summit south takes you to Bormio.

Sign to the Pass     

Tunnel at foot of Pass
Befitting of the various Italian marques who launch supercar after supercar, the Stelvio Pass is a proving ground that will test the skill of any driver whilst pushing even the most capable of Modena's finest to the limit. The views from the summit are something to behold as the reality of what you have just conquered sets in.  Open only from June until September due to snow fall at the altitude, the pass does prove popular and so can get quite busy, but you should not be deterred.  If you are in the region (North Italy), I highly recommend a day trip, whether you are in an Italian Supercar or a Rhino hire car!  Whilst the debate rages on as to what is the best driving road in the world, I for one doubt that any compete with the sheer drama of the Stelvio Pass.
One of 48 switchbacks on the ascent

Stunning view back from summit
Getting There;
The Stelvio Pass is easily accessible from the major airports of Milan (250km), Verona (220km) and Venice (320km).  You can access the Pass from the South West, however it is considered that the best drive is up its Northern ascent so accessing from the North is preferable.  It is also only 2 hours from Lake Garda so for those spending a relaxing week at the wonderful lake, why not plan in a day trip to the summit of the Stelvio Pass and so you too can claim to have driven the best driving road in the world, maybe.
The summit at 2758m
The 'easier descent' to the south
Chloe Demaret
Posted: September 09, 2011 by Chloe Demaret 0 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, social media guru, Chloe keeps our readers and customers up to speed with all the car rental and travel trends on our blog. Favourite destination: Dubai.

Last updated: Friday, July 3, 2020
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