The journey across the Ortles mountains over the Passo dello Stelvio (Stelvio Pass) to Bormio in Lombardy makes for a white-knuckle drive. This amazingly convoluted route consists of 48 switchbacks and turns but is well worth it for both the thrill and the view. Motorbikers love it and cyclists view the climb as the ultimate challenge – it’s often an important stage of the Girò d’Italia. Beware that this is one of the last Alpine passes to open to traffic each year, and it’s not unknown for the road to stay closed until July if there’s been a late fall of snow. If you’re travelling by public transport you can access the pass by bus from Malles, one early morning, the other mid-afternoon. The end point of the route, Bormio, is a rather snooty resort with a sprawl of hotels in its cobblestoned core.

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