MTN/PASS 46°24’05”N 8°02’34”E
A tale of mercenaries & motorways linking Switzerland & Italy
It's a long time since the Simplon pass was used by smugglers and mercenaries. In the ten years since I last crossed over into Italy via the pass, it has transformed from a classic road to almost motorway like in its efficiency.
These days the Simplon pass road can be travelled practically all year round, thanks to the Swiss love of eliminating the impact of nature and promoting trade. Normally they leave the pass road and build a tunnel.
The pass starts from Brig in Canton Valais and climbs on dual carriageway to the splendid Ganter Bridge. The road returns to single lanes until the summit at 2005m.
The Hospiz of the Bernardine monks was once alone on the summit but now it's a stopping point for tourists, hikers and lorries.
The descent to Italy is the classic Swiss contradiction of smooth, super fast roads, with open curves and good visibility but speed limits that have you brake the whole way down.
It's a great way to get into Italy from Switzerland but no longer that much of drive.