Strada degli Eroi is a military mule road built during WWI
Strada degli Eroi is a challenging mountain road running along the boundary of Trentino-South Tirol and Veneto, in Italy. It was built in 1922, after the First World War, to equip the summit area of the mountain.
How long is Strada degli Eroi?
Set high in the Pasubio massif of the Vicentine Alps, a mountain range of the Eastern Alps, this military road is 10.5km (6.52 miles) long, running south-north from 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% of 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 of temperature from the bottom to the top, and even from halfway to top.
Why is called Strada degli Eroi?
The name of the road (Road of the Heroes) comes from the fact that the rock face of the plates are placed in honor of the 15 gold medals for military valor who fought on the Pasubio during the Great War. It was built in 1922, after the First World War, as a path to equip the summit area of the mountain. It was later enlarged and on June 26, 1938 it was opened to motor vehicles. What makes it famous are the stunning views and the legend says that you can’t just go there only once.
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, 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