• World’s Most Dangerous Roads: Stelvio Pass

Anyone who lives and breathes the thrill of driving should find the time to head on over to Italy for a trip through the Stelvio Pass at one point in their lives. At 9,045 feet, it may not be the most dangerous road in the world, but it is the highest paved road in the Eastern Alps and may suit driving aficionados just fine for a holiday destination. Especially since this famed road features 60 hairpins turns, 48 just on the northern pass, and a wonderful view of beautiful landscapes. That information alone makes Stelvio Pass worthy of just about any bucket list.

The Stelvio Pass was originally built between 1820-1825 by the Austrian Empire. It connects the Valtellina with the upper Adige valley and Merano and covers a climb of 1871 meters (about 1.16 miles). Many tourists head over during open season (June-September) to marvel at the twist and turns, including the trio from Top Gear and the great Stirling Moss.

Continued after the jump.

Stelvio Pass isn’t all fun and games. There are many accidents caused by people who underestimate the difficulty of the zig zag road and overestimate the ability of their vehicles. This is especially true from the Prato and Bormio sides where climbing is the most impressive and, at the same time, the most challenging. Even Stirling Moss - a man that has been called "the greatest driver never to win the World Championship" - had trouble on the Stelvio Pass during a classic car race in the 90s. Difficulty level aside, Top Gear set about to find the greatest roads in Europe during their tenth season and were quick to name Stelvio Pass the winner of the competition. Of course, that statement was then retracted when they visited the Transfagarasar Road in Romania, but that’s another road for another time...

Top Gear on the Stelvio Pass Road

If you do happen to take a trip to the other side of the pond, tourist guides advise that people drive the road from the north west side. Visitors can drive up the famous wall of switchbacks inly coming from that direction. When approaching from this side, they can walk through the very heart of the Stelvio National Park itself before starting the ascent. This amazing walk takes drivers through several spectacular stretches of alpine forest and many kilometers of sweeping roads before arriving at the foot of the pass.

All of this beauty comes at a price: your patience. Being one of the busiest roads in the world, Stelvio Pass will get that road rage flaring, but in the end, it will be absolutely worth it to cross it off your bucket list. So, prepare your passport, pack your bags, and give it a go!

Video Montage: A trip down the Stelvio Pass from the comforts of your home

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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  (1) posted on 07.4.2014

hhhhhhmmmmmm!!!! I want to feel the chills while driving on this road!!!
oh, please let me.......

  (384) posted on 02.10.2012

This crooked roads has the dangerous in the Europe. This street has the coolest and yet drives more adrenalin.

  (256) posted on 10.28.2011

Yeah! It is absolutely no doubt that this is the most dangerous road in the whole world! If you really overestimated the ability of your vehicles or underestimate the zigzag road of it, you will surely meet an accident, but even though it is too dangerous, I have to agree that it’s still so fun!smiley Just, an extra carefulness will definitely need on it.

  (342) posted on 10.18.2011

No doubt, if why is it called the world’s most dangerous roads! Seeing its picture, you can already say that it was really dangerous but just like them, I still find it very exciting road. smiley

  (472) posted on 09.13.2011

This would be the best test driving road for the car dealers most especially of the pick trucks and SUV for the steeps of the road and narrow width.

  (384) posted on 07.26.2011

The scenery of the place is quite admiring. However, the zig zag highway is dangerous, especially at night. I wonder on what are the safety measure that the local government had to do to assure the safeness of the drivers and passengers. 

  (579) posted on 07.26.2011

Admittedly, the Stelvio Pass is quite a dangerous road. And I think with the structure of the land it’s close to soil erosion or landslide. I guess the driver needs to watch out for their speed limit. 

  (569) posted on 07.26.2011

This kind of road trip is only for those adventurous people who is not scared to die. I can say that it is really a dangerous one because I notice that some part of the road doesn’t have its fences. It also has a lot of twists and turns, since we all know that some of the driver is not that good in drifting.

  (52) posted on 07.26.2011

oh la la....

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