Passo Stelvio
The Queen of the Alpine roads
Passo Stelvio

Passo Stelvio

The panoramic road

The highest mountain pass in Italy is the Stelvio Pass, or Passo dello Stelvio. At an altitude of around 2,757 m, the Stelvio Pass connects Bormio, which belongs to the Lombardy region, with Prato in South Tyrol. The Stelvio Pass is particularly famous for its panoramic road with 48 breathtaking hairpin bends, which are used by numerous motorcyclists and cyclists in summer.
Not only the view of "King Ortler" with its 3.905 m is captivating the visitors. Also the fantastic location in the middle of the Stelvio National Park, which is home to a unique flora and fauna, makes the visitors' hearts beat faster.
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Popular and notorious: the Passo Stelvio
After a 5-year construction period, the almost 50 km long Stelvio Pass road was completed in 1825. Under Emperor Franz I, the road was intended to connect Lombardy, which at the time belonged to the Austrian Empire, with the rest of the empire. 
On the South Tyrolean side, the road consists of almost 28 km with 48 hairpin bends, on the Lombard side of almost 22 km with 34 hairpin bends, and there are 6 tunnels.
Despite the 1870 m difference in altitude on the South Tyrolean side, the gradient of the road could be kept relatively low at 9%. Only in a few places does it rise to 11%. Naturally the road - especially its eastern part - is highly prone to avalanches, therefore wooden avalanche protection tunnels were built soon after its opening.
Until 1848, the pass road could thus be passed all year round. 
During the revolution of 1848 some of these avalanche tunnels were set on fire, making the road impassable. This prompted the authorities of the time to create alternative routes: the Tonale and Aprica passes were upgraded, which reduced the importance of the Stelvio Pass road. 
Around the pass you can still see the remains of the First World War, when the Italian front passed over the Stelvio Pass. 
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The Stelvio National Park
The high alpine national park is one of the largest nature reserves in Europe and covers almost 130,800 hectares and stretches across South Tyrol, Trentino and Lombardy. It encompasses large parts of the Ortler Alps, the Livigno Alps and the Sobretta Gavia Group and borders the Swiss National Park in the Engadine to the south-west. The National Park is bordered to the north by the Vinschgau Valley and the Val Müstair, to the east by the Ulten Valley, to the south by the Val di Sole and to the west by the Valtellina. 

It stretches from 700 to 3900 m above sea level and thus runs through all Alpine climate zones. The flora and fauna here are accordingly unique! Besides deer, roe deer, ibex and chamois, eagles and vultures also live here. To protect this area with all its inhabitants it was declared a national park in 1935. In the 1970s the national park was extended to its present size.

Five visitor centres have been opened in South Tyrol in order to communicate the various themes that are important for this region:

Visitor centrePlace Topic Contact 
 AquapradPrato allo StelvioThe element "water" with the permanent exhibition "Under the fishes - a journey into foreign worlds".info@aquaprad.com
 AvimundusSilandroThe world of birdsinfo@avimundus.com
 CulturamartellVal MartelloThe world of mountain farmers in the National Park then and now  info@culturamartell.com
 LahnersägeSanta Gertrude / Val d'UltimoThe forest as an irreplaceable resource of nature and the special exhibition "Puppies-Born to be wild".info@lahnersaege.com
 NaturatrafoiTrafoiLife in the high mountainsinfo@naturatrafoi.com

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The Martelltal Valley in the Stelvio National Park and the visitor centre Naturatrafoi
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