Strada degli Eroi is a military mule road built during WWI

Strada degli Eroi is a challenging mountain road located in Italy. It was built in 1922, after the First World War, to equip the summit area of the mountain.

Strada degli Eroi

Where is Strada degli Eroi?

The road straddles Trentino-South Tirol and Veneto, in the northern part of the country, high in the Pasubio massif of the Vicentine Alps, a mountain range of the Eastern Alps.

Why is it called Strada degli Eroi?

The name of the road (Road of the Heroes) comes from the fact that the rock face of the plates is placed in honor of the 12 gold medals for military valor who fought on the Pasubio during the Great War: Lieutenant Cesare Battisti, Umberto Cerboni, and Carlo Sabatini; Captain Aldo Beltricco; Bersagliere Torquato Cardelli; Major Felice Chiarle, Mario Rossani; Second lieutenant Fabio Filzi, Giordano Ottolini, Ferdinando Urli; Colonel Antonio Gioppi, Edoardo Suarez.

When was Strada degli Eroi built?

The road was built in 1922, after the First World War, as a path to equip the summit area of the mountain. In 1937, work started to convert the path between the Galleria D'Havet and Rifugio Papa into a road, which had already been planned during the war. The Galleria D'Havet was also expanded into a road tunnel. The construction work, carried out by engineer troops on behalf of the Ministry of War, was completed in 1938, and on 26th June of the same year, the approximately 2 km long road was ceremoniously opened. What makes it famous are the stunning views, and the legend says that you can’t just go there only once.

How long is Strada degli Eroi?

This military road is 10.5km (6.52 miles) long, running south-north from a tiny parking lot on Strada Statale 46 to Rifugio Generale Achille Papa (General Achille Papa hut). Beyond the hut, the road leads to Strada degli Scarubbi and Strada delle 52 Gallerie. The road is very steep, hitting a 12% maximum gradient through some of the ramps. The elevation gain is 838 meters, and the average gradient is 7.98%. The true surprise that people most often don’t expect when coming to this place is the huge difference in temperature from the bottom to the top, and even from halfway to the top. The road crosses the scenic Galleria Generale Achille d'Havet tunnel.

Is Strada degli Eroi open?

The road is totally unpaved except for some asphalted hairpin bends. In its entirety, it’s marked by milestones that every kilometer give the distance to the beginning. During the war, it was only a trail and was later enlarged to allow easy access to the Sacred Area, alternatively Scarubbi of the road where snow remains much longer due to exposure to the north. Closed to motorized traffic in the eighties because of the danger of the journey especially in the final stretch, it is now very popular with hikers on foot or by mountain bike. Having fallen into disrepair, the Italian government has closed off much of it in an attempt to prevent further injuries and deaths from those driving off the edge because of the cracked surface and loose rocks.
Pic: Nicola Morandi