Today our route took us from Trento, Italy to Zuoz, Switzerland through miles of apple orchards, a few vineyards and over six passes; two of which were significant. Passo di Gavia at 2,621 meters is the third highest pass in Europe. Passo del Stevio at 2,757 meters is the second highest pass in Europe. Actually, there is some controversy about Passo del Stevio’s status as the second highest pass. Some claim that it is actually the highest pass in Europe and the one in France claiming said status is false since that pass added an additional loop to the top of its pass to garner the highest pass status. I may need to ride the French pass to make the final determination on the “highest status” for myself.
When we left the summit of Passo del Stevio, a Swedish film crew who were in the process of filming a movie on the pass stopped us. After a fifteen-minute wait, we were released to ride once again. Lined up in front of us were a Corvette and two Maseratis. John passed all three on the way down the mountainside that included 48 switchback corners. I followed the cars and used them as a shield against oncoming vehicles. It should be noted that the roadway to the top of both Passo di Gavia and Passo del Stevio are only one lane wide with two-way traffic. Taking a blind switchback corner on a one lane road with a 15 percent incline to find a Volvo sedan heading directly at you can make for an exciting moment. It is not for the faint of heart.