The northern Italian ski village of Bormio is a global cycling hub and the best place to stay for some of the most famous climbs in the world, including perhaps the most recognized climb ever, the Passo dello Stelvio.
Passo dello Stelvio from Prato Allo Stelvio.
Bormio is the hub for the greatest concentration of challenging and famous climbs by bike in Italy. We have stayed in Bormio twice to document some of the hardest and mainstay Giro d’Italia climbs there are: Passo dello Stelvio, Passo di Gavia, and Passo Mortirolo.
THE MOST FAMOUS CLIMB IN THE
The most epic bike climb in Italy.
#8 hardest bike climb in Italy and #42 in the world.
Ride 25.7 kilometers gaining 1,841 meters to 2,760 meters.
Stelvio from Prato allo Stelvio is unquestionably the centerpiece of the World Cycling Area of Bormio. Passo dello Stelvio is one of the four most famous bike climbs in the world. This is one of the greatest bicycle climbs in the world -- an unparalleled jewel. No more than what has already been written about it can be said; adjectives do not do justice to this extraordinary road and cycling climb. Passo dello Stelvio is truly in a class by itself.
Our first hairpin of . . . .
. . . 48!!
The best bike climb finish in the world -- seriously -- no exageration.
Passo dello Stelvio from Bormio.
Ride 21.7 kilometers gaining 1,534 meters at 7.1% average grade.
Passo dello Stelvio from Umbrail Pass.
Ride 13 kilometers gaining 1,119 meters at 8.5% average grade.
THE HARDEST CLIMB IN THE BORMIO AREA
Ride 11.6 kilometers gaining 1,271 meters at 11.1% average grade.
Mortirolo. Yes the Mortirolo! We love Mortirolo, and, contrary to many of its “sans scenery” critics, we beg to differ! At #9 on the Top Italian Climb List, it is a stout climb and serious challenge. There is a reason this climb has been one of the most frequently visited (see chart, below) by the Giro d’Italia over the years. Yes, the distant views are often blocked by the thickly wooded forests bordering the road as we ascend, but to the interested and trained eye, there is much to behold.
First of 33 tornante on Mortirolo from Mazzo di Valtellina.
The last of the 33 tornante.
Pantani monument on tornante at km 7.5.
THE MOST EPIC CLIMB IN THE BORMIO AREA
We consider Passo di Gavia the second most epic bike climb in Italy.
Ride 16.5 kilometers gaining 1365 meters at 8% average grade.
Beautiful scenery along the way.
Gavia tunnel and the old road bypass.
The cycling climb to Passo Gavia from Pont di Legno is one of the most iconic and classic of Italian Alps bicycle assents. This is the pass that made Andy Hampsten famous (or vice versa) in the 1988 Giro d’Italia -- referred to as “The Day the Strong Men Cried” by the Italian sport magazine La Gazzetta dello Sport. It is an unbelievable climb and “must do” for all cycling enthusiasts living in or visiting Italy.
Scenes at the top.
The legend himself -- Andy Hampsten - Cinghaile Cycling Tours.
Beautiful scenery on this climb. . . of course, we are cycling in Italy, after all!
Passo Gavia from Bormio is a wonderful climb and makes for an exceptional out-and-back, up and over Passo Gavia to Ponte di Legno and back (62 kilometers gaining 2,700 meters).
Passo Gavia from Bormio
Ride 25 kilometers gaining 1,337 meters at 5.3% average grade.
THE LAST (BUT NOT LEAST) CLIMB IN THE BORMIO AREA
Cycling Torri Di Fraele
Ride 9 kilometers gaining 637 meters at 7% average grade.
Just 20 kilometers from Bormio, this climb is also known as “mini Stelvio” and is on the must-do list (or at least “should do” list) if you are staying in or around Bormio.
PLACES TO EAT IN BORMIO
When I was cycling in and around Bormio in 2016, 2017, and 2018, I was not paying attention to where to stay and eat like I am now. However, PJAMM friend and contributor Craig Arcuri (Laurel Heights, PA, USA) has spent a good deal of time cycling around Bormio (and apparently eating around there, too). Craig has provided us the following information regarding dining in Bormio:
I made a little list of restaurants I've been to in Bormio. The numbers are the Yelp rating. But it's Italy. It's all good :-)
I suppose my favorites are Bistrot Pizzeria Umami and The Steakhouse Braulio. Many of these places close after lunch until after 5. That just doesn't work if you need to replenish after a big climb. The Steakhouse is always open so that's been my go to place:
Bormio Restaurants I’ve been to. All Good to Great:
The Steak House Braulio - 4.2
La Nuova Pastorella - 3.6
Bistrot Pizzeria Umami - 4.2
EnoPizza4u - 4.3
Ristorante Pizzeria Sole - 4.2
Ristorante Buca 19 - 4.4 (at golf course)
Chisco Da Michele - 4.6
Ristorante Pizzeria Contado - 4.5
Ke Pizza Takeaway - 4.5
Panificio Eredi Romani - 4.8
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