A colossal Alpine stage with over 5,400 m vertical altitude gain crammed in as little as four climbs. The route starts uphill on Passo Campo Carlo Magno, leading into the Val di Sole, and after approx. 45 km takes a first-ever pass on the recently-opened Passo Castrin/Hofmandjoch and enters the Val d’Ultimo/Ultental. The long descent on wide, well-paved roads, winding halfway up the mountainside, leads to the outskirts of Merano. In Foresta/Forst, the route goes up again, entering the Val Venosta and travelling up almost the entire valley. The stage then tackles the Stelvio [2758 m] along the toughest side (nearly 25 km sloping at 7.5%, half of which above 2,000 m). Immediately after the long descent (with several short tunnels in the central section), the route takes in the final climb leading to the Laghi di Cancano, with 21 hairpins along the mountainside (“scale di Fraele”).
The closing climb (nearly 9 km with gradients around 7%) leads to the Torri di Fraele approx. 2 km before the finish. The route crosses two short tunnels and takes a brief descent to the Lago delle Scale, then flattens out, skirting the lake for approx. 1 km. The final 500 m have a mild 3.5% uphill gradient. The home straight (200 m) is on 6.5 m wide asphalt road.
start / finish
Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo and Val Rendena (western Trentino) are a mosaic of naturalistic beauties where to live a mountain experience 360° around. In these places, the alpine setting shows its best: on the east side there are the Brenta Dolomites-UNESCO World Heritage, on the west side you can admire the shiny glaciers of the Adamello and Presanella. All around, the delicate frame of the Adamello Brenta Geopark with its extraordinary richness of flora, fauna, alpine lakes, waterfalls and ancient forests populated by brown bears.
Madonna di Campiglio glamour and modern, Pinzolo ideal for sports and families, the Val Rendena rural and traditional. 25 kilometers, in about 30 minutes by car, from the lowest point of Villa Rendena (600 m slm) to the highest of Madonna di Campiglio (1.550 m slm) where the mountain shows all its splendor. Places of rare beauty are the result of the winning combination between nature and man. Intense green woods expand from the mountains to the valley stopping close to the typical towns that show, at a deeper level , hidden treasures of alpine, religious and popular culture.
The traditional food of Val Rendena sinks its roots into a poor past and features wholesome ingredients and exquisitely authentic flavors like the cornflour for polenta, garden produce, herbs and other aromas. Sausages and cheeses, polenta, mushrooms and wild game are typical Val Rendena delicacies.
The area also features a variety of grappas flavored with wild berries and other mountain plants, such as dwarf pine and woodruff, as well as a unique spirit distilled from gentian root, which is made exclusively in the valley and it is ideal as a digestive after even the most lavish of meals.
Of particular note the cheeses of the valleys made from the milk of Rendena cows, the only breed of cattle that is native to the Trentino area and has Slow Food status.
Points of interest
San Vigilio church and Danza Macabra fresco in Pinzolo
San Vigilio church dates back before the year one thousand and it is one of the most important building of Trentino. At the beginning it was only a chapel, then torn down and replaced with the present buiding with three naves supported by granite columns. Its most famous paintings are Danza Macabra and the Seven Capital Vices, frescoed by Simone Baschenis. Danza Macabra depicts tha Death dancing, in front of which all the people are the same; it is 21 meters long, with 40 figures and captions in vernacular that show the death warning to humankind.
The grinder monument and the emigrants path in Pinzolo
Placed at the beginning of the village, the monument was realized in 1969 thanks to the offering of Rendena emigrants abroad. The monument is dedicated to the big emigration of Val Rendena grinders in the world, where they worked with their tools to grind blades and knives.
Moreover, there is the emigrants path, a singular pavement with 92 granite plates that shows the names of the countries and towns where the migrant workers went to.
Laghi di Cancano (Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio)
Sport, nature, wellness and many events for people of all ages: there’s nothing that Valdidentro can’t offer. It is the ideal destination to live different and exciting experiences. Situated at the foot of the well known Cima Piazzi, its 24,000 hectares makes it the largest municipality in the province of Sondrio. Valdidentro boasts locations and landscapes of exceptional beauty like the Cancano Lakes. These artificial lakes are located in the heart of the Stelvio National Park and “protected” by the Fraele towers, the symbol of Valdidentro.
Fascinating alpine land, renown for the beauty of its natural landscapes, Valtellina is rich and generous in gastronomy too. A long tradition of local products, the centuries-old culture, a fruit growing land, the patience and determination of its people, these are the ingredients of Valtellina products which are now protected by the European trade marks. You can enjoy a gourmet experience in elegant restaurants and charming mountain huts. From the alpine herbs of our mountain had its origin one of the most famous amaro in Italy: the Braulio. Pizzoccheri, apples, bresaola and wines are only few of the many culinary excellences of the territory. Butter, milk, yoghurt and cheese: in Valtellina there’s a whole world of taste to be discovered from the milk stores to the holiday farms, not to mention the mountain cottages where people still work in the respect of the balance and rhythm of Nature. Valtellina Casera DOP, Bitto DOP and Scimudin are three characteristic products of the cheese-making tradition which have become very well known.
Valtellina has always been a land of vines and wines. It stands out for its excellent production. The terraced vineyards are, by all means, the more distinctive aspect of the valley, which is identified with the countless dry stone wall all along the vineyards. There are special environmental conditions that foster the suitable climatic conditions for wine production and in particular the production of “Nebbiolo”, the typical grape variety of Sondrio from which different renowned wines are produced: Valtellina Superiore, Sforzato di Valtellina and Rosso di Valtellina.
Points of Interest
Historic remains and places of worship: Valdidentro offers a large historic, artistic and cultural heritage. Among others, the Fraele towers are particularly charming and have a high value in terms of historical evidence. The well-preserved ruins are what is left of a military outpost of the local defensive system. Valdidentro is dotted with many churches that are part of the historic and artistic patrimony as well as an integral part of the landscape. The church of S. Martino and Urbano in Pedenosso for example, is well known due to its strategic location. Also worth mentioning are the parish church of Isolaccia dedicated to Saint Mary situated in the heart of the village and the famous church of San Gallo which origins are still a mystery.
In addition to hydro power, with the power stations of Rasin and Fraele, the manufacture of iron has been a major resource for centuries. The steel plant of Premadio, also known as “Ferriere Corneliani”, are still nowadays an important example of industrial archaeology in Alta Valtellina.