Monte Jafferau

Monte Jafferau, a military road built in 1886

Monte Jafferau is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 2.805m (9,202ft) above the sea level, located in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy. The road to the summit is called Via dei Saraceni.

Set high in the Cottian Alps, the road to the summit is totally unpaved. It’s called Strada militare Fenil-Pramand-Föens-Jafferau and Strada militare 79 (also known as Via dei Saraceni). It’s a military road built in 1886, very challenging and not for the faint hearted. The summit divides the territory of Bardonecchia from Valfredda.
The road features many hairpin turns and tunnels. This dirt track unfolds for over 20 km, almost entirely over 2.000 meters above the sea level. 4x4 vehicles only. High clearance a must, though. The trail is prone to rockfalls, so can be tricky in places. If the weather is bad, you would not consider it. It's one of the highest roads of Europe.

This military old trail is usually impassable from late October through late June or early July (depending on snow). The open and close dates all depend on snowmelt and snowfall each year. The slope of the road is less than 14%, and the width is around 3 meters. There are some fairly rocky sections, not hard but difficult in most cars. The road follows a route among several forts. It's one of the highest roads of the country.

The summit hosts a military fortress, known as Forte Jafferau (also called Jafferau battery). It was built from 1896 to 1898 and was used during both world wars. The battery was constructed in a dominant position to defend the hills of the Bardonecchia basin. It was the highest military battery in the country and the second highest in the Alps. At the end of the Second World War the fort was destroyed under the terms of the peace treaty with France.
Pic: Kas pierski


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