Already a modern road, the pass now has an even more modern bypass.
The pass was originally the Via Mala - an important mule track in the fifteenth century. The first road for carriages was opened in 1770 and significantly improved in the 1820s. The pass was financed in part by the Kingdom of Sardinia, who were keen to improve the trade route between Genoa and Piedmont to the Graubünden. A new road with a large tunnel section was opened in 1967 - the old pass road still remains in use during the summer.
Two routes run alongside each other for most of the duration. The old pass road winds up and down while the new road uses a tunnel before emerging as a dual carriageway that descends into Italy. You can access both roads from various junctions on the route including the village of San Bernardino. The summit has a hostel and lake surrounded by hundreds of piles of cairn stones.
|Summit Location||46°29’46.0”N, 9°10’15.0”E|
|Summit Altitude||2066 metres|
|Start||Hinterrhein 1624 metres|
|End||San Bernardino 1611 metres|
|Opens||June to mid-October|