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Colle Fauniera/Colle Pantani

Colle Fauniera, a tribute to Marco Pantani

Colle Fauniera or Colle Pantani (also known as Colle dei Morti, "Hill of the Dead") is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.511m (8,238ft) above the sea level, located in the Cottian Alps, Piedmont, northern Italy. It is part of the communal territory of Castelmagno and Demonte. It’s pretty steep, with sections up to 13.77%. It’s said to be the most alluring and unspoilt pass around 2.500 metres in the Alps.

This pass connects the Valle Grana, which ends here, with the Vallone dell'Arma (a lateral of the Valle Stura di Demonte). The name Colle dei Morti stems from a fierce fighting occurred in 1744, when French and Spanish soldiers were killed nearby in an ambush by their Savoyard enemies. The road is asphalted but pretty narrow. Some parts of the road are impassable for 2 cars at the same time. The road is usually closed from October to June (weather permitting). It’s pretty steep, with sections up to 13.77% .

There are 3 possible routes to climb the pass, all of them with average percentage over 7%. Starting from Ponte Marmora, the ascent is 22 km long and the elevation gain is 1.567 meters. The average percentage is 7.1 %. Starting from Demonte, the ascent is 24.7 km long. Over this distance, the gain is 1.721meters and the average percentage is 7 %. And starting from Pradlèves, the ascent is 22.4 km long, with an elevation gain of 1.689 meters. The average percentage is 7.5 %. The road was fully asphalted first in 1999, to allow the Giro d’Italia race. After its appearance on this race there are more tourists each year trying to climb the pass. This remote, demanding, and magnificent road is one of the highest paved mountain passes in Europe. 
At the summit there’s a huge statue dedicated to the great cyclist Marco Pantani, in memory of his epic climb on the Giro of Italy’99 through the steep climbs of the pass. It happens because the Communal Council Castelmagno in the Italian Piedmont decided to rename the mountain pass and give the official name of "Colle Pantani." The most striking feature of this initiative is that it is not add a name or a second name. It has been changed officially, so the geographical location of the passage of the fauna renamed the pass, being called Colle Pantani. The change, therefore, will be permanent. The new name is just awaiting ratification from the Institute of Military Geography of Italy, and Pantani's name will appear, officially, on topographic maps of the region. This is an unprecedented event, since there is no known cyclist in the world that has given his name to a port.


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