The drive to Giau Pass offers the best views in the Dolomites

Passo di Giau is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.238m (7,342ft) above the sea level, located in the province of Belluno, in the Veneto region of Italy. You get some of the best views at the top. It’s said to be one of the most beautiful passes in the Dolomites.

Passo di Giau

Can you drive to Passo di Giau?

The road to the summit, also known as Jof de Giau and Suogo de Jou, is totally paved. It’s called Strada Provinciale 638 (SP638) road. The road was completed and fully paved in 1986. Known for its harsh and relentless gradients, it is one of the most visited Dolomite passes. It is passable by trucks and coaches.

Is Passo di Giau challenging?

It’s a difficult climb through 55 sharp hairpin turns up to the top and 3 tunnels for protection against avalanches. It’s pretty steep, hitting a 13% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps.

Highlights of the summit 

Surrounded by mountains, the summit hosts a small hotel and a church known as Chiesa di San Giovanni Gualberto. North of the pass, a minor gravel road climbs up to Monte Ragusela, a mountain peak at 2.296m (7,532ft) above the sea level.

Is Passo di Giau open?

Set high in the Dolomites mountain range, the road is open year round but in winter, snow tyres or chains are mandatory. The winter season is often compromised by the avalanches that come down to block the uncovered parts of the road.

How long is Passo di Giau?

The road is 20.0 km (12.42 miles) long, running south-north from Selva di Cadore to Pocol towards Cortina d'Ampezzo. The pass has featured in the Giro d’Italia race.

Is Passo di Giau worth it?

Tucked away on the northeastern part of the country and surrounded by high mountains, this beautiful pass is well worth the drive. The road is a pleasure to ride especially early in the morning when there is less traffic and includes outstanding and indescribable landscape with terrific views into the Dolomites mountain world. The pass once marked the boundary between the Republic of Venice and the Austrian Empire, the old border marker is still on at the pass.

Where was Ladyhawke filmed?

It was the setting for some of the scenes of the 1985 movie Ladyhawke, with Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer.