Location: Province of Belluno, Italy
Length: 7 km
Built: during World War I, upgraded in 1967
Wide: 5 – 8 m standard, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 5): 4
Highest point: 2.320 m
Operating times: May – November
Strada Panoramica Delle Tre Cime (Tre Cime di Lavaredo toll road)
Route: Lake Misurina – Rifugio Auronzo
Tre Cime di Lavaredo (English:Three Peaks of Lavaredo, German: Drei Zinnen) are one of the most renowned mountain groups in the Alps, reaching impressive altitude of 2.999 m. Located at the border between the provinces of Belluno and Bolzano in northeastern Italy, these distinctive peaks are part of the Sexten Dolomites.
The road leading to Rifugio Auronzo, a famous mountain cabin found on the southern side of these amazing mountains, is called Strada Panoramica Delle Tre Cime. This great road was built during the first World War to serve as a transport road, since the front line between Italy and Austria ran through these mountains. Even today you can still find in the area a number of old fortifications, commemorative plaques and man-made caves.
The climb to Rifugio Auronzo is considered to be one of the greatest classic drives of the Dolomites and, most noteworthy, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo are the symbol of the Dolomite UNESCO World Heritage site.
This scenic route will lead you to the foot of the Three Peaks of Lavaredo and is at a distance of 25 km from the comune of Auronzo di Cadore, 18 km from the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo and 16 km from Alta Pusteria.
The road is in excellent condition, it’s open from May until the end of October and is relatively broad for a mountain road, reaching on some areas a width of up to 8 m. The main and easiest access route is from Misurina Lake at an altitude of 1750 m. As this is a toll road, you will be asked to pay a small fee.
With an average slope gradient of 12.4% and a maximum of 16% on the last portion, the drive starts with an initial steep ramp which quickly becomes more even and even slightly downhill. During the first two thirds of the road, you will encounter only soft curves and just a few serpentines. The surprise will come once you reach the last stretch: this fabulous road becomes steeper once again, with some very narrow and spectacular turns just before reaching Rifugio Auronzo at the altitude of 2.320 m .
This amazing drive will take through scattered forests and picturesque alpine pastures, offering along the way breathtaking views of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Especially relevant, the route is very popular among cyclists, hikers and mountain lovers due to its difficulty and steepness.
Photos: pustertal.org, vivosuedtirol.com, summitpost.org, fotoeweb.it, panoramio.com, skiforum.it, suedtirolerland.it, cyclingtheroadlesstravelled.com,