Friday, January 31, 2014

Stelvio Pass Road Trollstigen, Italy:

Stelvio Pass Road Trollstigen, Italy

The Stelvio Pass, located in Italy, at 2757 m is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps, and the second highest in the Alps, slightly below the Col de l'Iseran.The pass is located in the Ortler Alps in Italy between Stilfs in South Tyrol and Bormio in the province of Sondrio. It is some 75 km from Bolzano and just 200 m from the Swiss border. The Umbrail Pass runs northwards from the Stelvio's western ramp. The "Three languages peak" above the pass is so named because this is where the Italian, German and Romansh languages meet.The road connects the Valtellina with the mid Venosta valley and Meran. Adjacent to the pass road there is a large summer skiing area. Important mountains nearby include Ortler,The original road was built in 1820-25 by the Austrian Empire to connect the former Austrian province of Lombardia with the rest of Austria, covering a climb of 1871 m. The engineer and project manager was Carlo Donegani. Since then, the route has changed very little. Its seventy five hairpin turns, 48 of them on the northern side numbered with stones, are a challenge to motorists. Stirling Moss went off the road here during a vintage car event in the 1990s, with an onboard video of his incident being shown on satellite TV.Before the end of World War I, it formed the border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Italian Kingdom. The Swiss had an outpost and a hotel on the Dreisprachenspitze. During World War I, fierce battles were fought in the ice and snow of the area, with gun fire even crossing the Swiss area at times. The three nations made an agreement not to fire over Swiss territory, which jutted out in between Austria and Italy. Instead they could fire down the pass, as Swiss territory was up and around the peak.After 1919, with the expansion of Italy, the pass lost its strategic importance.



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