This page provides a summary for cycling and climbing by bike the top climbs in Italy including the top Italian bicycling regions including Lombardy/Lombardia, Piemonte/Piedmont, Tentinto-Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and, or course, the Dolomites. Biking up some of the greatest climbs in the world such as Passo dello Stelvio (Prato Allo Stelvio), Passo Mortirolo -Mazzo di Valtellina, Passo Di Gavia (Ponte di Legno), Monte Zoncolan (Ovaro), Blockhaus (Roccamorice), CColle delle Finestre, Colle della Fauniera (Pradleves) and many more. This page contains the top bike climbs in Italy, the Italian Alps and the Dolomites. Riding and climbing the top, most difficult, hardest, challenging, extreme, best, scenic, inspiring, bucket list climbs in Italy (Italia).
Passo dello Stelvio from Prato Allo Stelvio.
Italy is our favorite country for climbing by bike. It has it all: stunning scenery (the Dolomites, Stelvio, etc.), history (Giro d’Italia), and challenge (three Top 10 World Climbs).
Our favorite Italian bike climbs are:
PASSO DELLO STELVIO, TRENTINO ALTO ADIGE AND LOMBARDY REGIONS
ONE OF THE FOUR MOST FAMOUS WORLD BIKE CLIMBS
This fantastic bike climb is the centerpiece of the World Cycling Area of Bormio. 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.
There are NO shortages of photo opps on Stelvio!
MONTE GRAPPA, VENETO REGION
THE GREATEST CONCENTRATION OF EXTREME BIKE CLIMBS IN THE WORLD
The bodies of 22,190 Italian and Austrian WWI soldiers are interred in the Sacrario del Monte Grappa.
We believe Monte Grappa has the highest concentration of HC climbs than any other area in the world. The eleven Monte Grappa HC climbs within a 17.5 mile radius are unparalleled. We spent six days on Monte Grappa climbing all eleven ascents in the Brevetto del Grappa Journey Book. Staying longer in the area to complete the climbs in more days would have been preferred, but our tight schedule permitted us nothing more.
We designed a Monte Grappa 11 Climbs Jersey and filled in the circle
at the completion of each climb. 08/26/17 to 09/01/17.
The company Energiapura Race Suits sponsors this fun and difficult challenge and makes available in Romano d'Ezzelino a Journey Book which has a page for each climb and a location for two stamps (one for the start of the climb and the other for the “Cima Grappa,” or, top of the climb). The objective is to have your book stamped at each of the eleven stamp locations (usually a tavern or ristorante) at the beginning of each climb and then at the top after completing the climb. All routes up Monte Grappa end at Casa Armata del Grappa E Rifugio Bassano (otherwise known as Rifugio Bassano, or Rifugio Bassano a Cima Grappa).
Finish for all eleven climbs.
The Rifugio Bassano is located just below the Sacrario del Monte Grappa, where 22,190 Italian and Austrian soldiers who died on Monte Grappa in WWI are interred.
View from the observation area on Sacrario militare del monte Grappa.
Location of the Madonna del Grappa framed in the center of the ornate window.
ZONCOLAN, FRIULI-VENEZIA GIULIA REGION
A RUGGED CLIMB WITH THE BEST KILOMETER SIGNS IN THE WORLD
KM markers honor the great Giro racers of the past.
Final approach to the summit.
PASSO GAVIA, LOMBARDY REGION
THE DAY THE STRONG MEN CRIED
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 -- often 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.
The legend himself -- Andy Hampsten - Cinghaile Cycling Tours.
Beautiful scenery on this climb. . . of course, we are cycling in Italy, after all!
As with so many (most?) of the top and greatest Italian Alps/Dolomites climbs, there are many hairpins (tornante) along our climb that are visible from both below and above.
PASSO MORTIROLO, LOMBARDY REGION
FREQUENTLY INCLUDED IN THE GIRO, AND RIGHTLY SO!
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.
Pantani monument on tornante at km 7.5.
DOLOMITES, TRENTINO-ALTO ADIGE AND VENETO REGIONS
PERHAPS THE MOST SCENIC CYCLING VENUE IN THE WORLD
In our opinion, the Dolomites are the most beautiful cycling area in the world. Some of our favorites:
Passo Giau is a fairly short, mild climb by Italian cycling climb definition. The Giro has included this climb seven times since 1973.
Nuvolau as seen from Passo Giau.
At nearly 20 kilometers, with a 5/4% average grade, Passo Falzarego is a long climb. The Giro has included this climb five times since 1976.
This outstanding climb probably has more beauty to behold than any of the other Dolomites climbs, and that’s saying a lot.