The road to Prato Piazza Pass isn’t an easy one
Passo Prato Piazza (also called Plätzwiesensattel) is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.993m (6,538ft) above the sea level, located in the province of South Tyrol in northern Italy.
Located in the Casies/Gsies Valley, the road to the summit is unpaved. There are 2 routes to reach the summit. From the north is fully surfaced. It starts asphalted, and the changes into a paved forestry road that goes nicely and easily in serpentines to the pass. There is only a short steep ramp just as you reach the pass. At first the ascent is very gentle, with wide, sweeping switchbacks leveling the grade. Then beyond Ponticello (1491m) the average gradient increases to around 7% and after you exit the dense forest it begins a steep section of around 13%. The ascent is 12 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 788 meters. The average percentage is 6.6 %.
From the southern side, the road is graveled, a hard-packed strada sterrata. It’s called Strada Carbonin and starts from Carbonin, at 1.450m above the sea level. It’s full of people walking here on fine days. After a couple of kilometres of gravelled forest road, you suddenly will find approximately 1.5 kilometre of fine asphalt road right there. The last part up to the plateau before the pass is very rough.