Road trip guide: Conquering Markinkele

Markinkele is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.545m (8,349ft) above the sea level, located in the Alps on the border between Austria and Italy.


The road to the summit, also known as Cornetto di Confine, Marchkinkele and Marchginggele, is an old military road. This road tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides. Only the suicidal, the insane, or the paid-to-do-this should ever drive down.

There is little room for error on this road. It’s incredibly disorienting to look over the edge, or even just to see the valleys a couple thousand feet below you. On the Italian side, the road is extreme. Gravel, narrow, full of hairpins, very steep, slippery when wet, and impassable in winters. On the Swiss side it’s just a walking path.
On the summit, and along the road, there are several military constructions. Your wheels will be astounded at the wonderful views of the mountains spread out before you! They are terrible for drivers who are prone to vertigo. In many places the road is bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails. There are fantastic views from the summit.
Pic: Massimo Gugnoni