Passo Gavia

The Gavia Pass Road, which connects the Alta Valtellinaespecially Bormio and Santa Caterina Valfurva, with the upper Valcamonica and Ponte di Legno, is particularly famous among cyclists as being one of legendary climbs of the Giro d’Italia. In fact, the road is also a paradise for motorcycle riders: tight curves, switchbacks, steep slopes, and at some points, it’s a very narrow road down to one lane wide. The Gavia Pass Road is pure fun for those who love to ride in the mountains.

Between history and legend

The origin of the Gavia Pass Road is very ancient, as since the Middle Ages numerous caravans of merchants from the Republic of Venice have crossed the Gavia pass to connect to the Via Imperiale d’Alemagna and, from there, reach Germany, the Tirol and the countries of northern Europe. There were many casualties during attempts to make the crossing during the winter months due to the landslides and avalances, and therefore the Gavia Pass was also known as the Pass of the Testa di Morto (“head of the dead").

The route

Starting from Bormio, proceed toward Santa Caterina Valfurva and from there begin the climb to the Gavia Pass at 2621 meters above sea level. Here, after admiring the White Lake, you begin the descent toward the Valcamonica.

After descending three hairpin turns and having passed a tunnel with only marginal lighting, you encounter a monument dedicated to the alpine soldiers who died in 1954 when the truck on which they were traveling slid off the cliff-side road.

The next 10 km are characterized by roadway of limited width; one that rarely permits two cars to pass each other. The steeper part of the descent ends in the town of Santa Apollonia, and from there the road widens and continues a more gradual descent to Ponte di Legno.

Faq

When does the Gavia Pass open?
The Gavia Pass opens between the middle and the end of May.
When does the Gavia Pass close?
The Gavia Pass closes at the beginning of November.
Are there restrictions for certain categories of vehicles?
Yes, there is a ban on buses and vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tons.
Should I fit winter tyres or have snow chains on board?
No, but it is recommended to have snow chains due to the altitude of the Pass.
Can I reach the top of the Gavia Pass by public transport?
Yes, during the summer months Automobilistica Perego operates a service from Santa Caterina to the Gavia Pass.
Passo Gavia

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