The white-knuckle drive across the Ortles mountains over the Passo dello Stelvio (Stelvio Pass) to Bormio follows a convoluted route consisting of 48 switchbacks and turns. Motorbikers love the thrills and the views while cyclists see the climb as the ultimate challenge – it’s often an important stage of the Girò d’Italia. It’s one of the last Alpine passes to open to traffic each year, sometimes staying closed until July if there’s been a late fall of snow. 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. The visitor centre at Via Roma 131/B (wbormio.eu) can advise on accommodation as well as nature trails in the southern reaches of the Stelvio national park.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Where to find the best beaches in Italy

Where to find the best beaches in Italy

From secluded coves to lively seafronts, there are plenty of places to sun worship in Italy. But with an increasing number of hotels charging for access to the …

20 Jul 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Video: the 1 minute guide to Italy

Video: the 1 minute guide to Italy

Italy has long been one of Europe's most popular destinations. From the magnificent remnants of ancient Rome to the coolest in contemporary culture, secret beac…

08 Jun 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Why Turin should be your next foodie break

Why Turin should be your next foodie break

Not so long ago, Turin (Torino) – Italy’s great northern powerhouse – was largely ignored by tourists, unfairly dismissed as little more than a giant Fiat…

26 May 2017 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month