Exploring Passo Tre Croci: A Scenic Road Through the Dolomites

Passo Tre Croci is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.811m (5,941ft) above the sea level, located in the Province of Belluno, in the Veneto region of Italy.

Passo Tre Croci

Can you drive through Passo Tre Croci?

Set high in the heart of the Dolomites mountain range, the road to the summit is called Strada Regional 48 delle Dolomiti and is fully paved. The drive is quite easy, running through woodland with only a few minor hairpins, snaking rather than zig-zagging. While the road surface is generally good, it has some bumps due to subsidence. The incline is not too steep, peaking at a 14.5% gradient in some areas. There are only a few hairpins, and traffic is usually light even when the rest of the Dolomites are busy.

Historical Background

The name "Passo Tre Croci" has a tragic history. It is named after a sad incident from the eighteenth century, where a mother and her two children tried to walk through the pass but were caught in a storm. Unfortunately, they succumbed to the cold and exposure. To commemorate this tragic event, three crosses were erected at the pass, which gave it its name. After 1789, the pass was renamed to Passo Tre Croci, translating to "Pass of the Three Crosses", in memory of the unfortunate family.

How long is Passo Tre Croci in the Dolomites?

Situated in the northeastern part of the country, the pass stretches for 11.9 km (7.39 miles) from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Misurina. At its summit, visitors can find hotels, restaurants, and a spacious parking lot, all offering panoramic views of Monte Cristallo, which rises to 3,221m. Additionally, the pass has been a part of the Giro d'Italia race and usually attracts numerous cyclists and motorcyclists. Those interested in history will find World War 1 military structures at the summit. These bunkers were part of the ‘Sbarramento Passo Tre Croci’ of the ‘Vallo Alpino’, a defensive line that ran throughout the eastern Alps, marking the frontier with Austria during that time.