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Great Drives in Europe: Stelvio Pass

Stelvio Pass, Italian Tyrol
(9,045 feet or 2,757 metres elevation)

This road, built in the 1820s by the Austrian Empire, links Stilfs (‘Stelvio’, in Italian) in South Tyrol with Bormio (in the province of Sondrio).

A magnificent drive, and it is best driven from the north, southwards towards Bormio, to tackle the giddying zig-zag ascent, including some 48 hairpin bends on the eastern side, near the top of the pass, and with some notably narrow and steep sections.

The Umbrail Pass (please see below) runs northwards from the Stelvio’s western ascent.

This route is usually open from June to September.


A wonderful road, definitely providing one of the most exciting drives in the world, and with breathtaking scenery, but take care as over-enthusiasm on this route can be dangerous… It can get very busy too (ideally start early in the day).

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