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17-04-2023 | Frank Jansen

Five tips for checking off the Stelvio

The Stelvio is perhaps the most legendary col in Italy or even Europe. Still on your bucket list? We've collected our five top tips.

1. Don't do a hit and run

For most reader, it will be quite a drive to ge there. So a short hit and run is not recommended, make it a longer trip.

2. Choose the right base

Nauders (Austria) might be suitable because of its shorter travel distance (depending in where you live, obviously). Prato is mainly a practical base. Bormio is a really nice village with a real cycling atmosphere. It's also close to the Gavia and the Mortirolo, but is further away if you come from the north. Livigno is also a great option.

3. Go early or late in the day

The climb is immensely popular among bikers. If you're riding up prime time you will have a lot of trouble with that. The solution: go very early in the morning or just at the end of the day. And bring enough clothing, the temperature difference between valley and summit is particularly large.

4. Combine with an event

The Stelvio is included in several gran fondos and other cycling events. The most famous examples are the GF Stelvio Santini, the Drieländergiro and stage race Haute Route Dolomites. In addition, there are several days when the Stelvio is car-free, such as the Stelvio Bike Day on September 2.

Eventually, you can also combine the Stelvio perfectly with, for example, the GF Gavia e Mortirolo (which does not include the Stelvio). Plenty of options and that way you'll make the most of the long travel time.

5. Don't forget the surroundings

In the immediate vicinity of the Stelvio are a lot of climbs that are more than worthwhile. How about the Gavia and the dreaded Mortirolo, which can be cycled up from six sides! But the 'third side' of the Stelvio, Pass Umbrail, is also a must if you're in the area. Also nearby are Forcola di Livigno, Berninapass, Ofenpass, Fluelapass and plenty more lesser-known climbs.

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