Passo Stalle, an absolute must for road lovers
Passo Stalle (Staller Saddle) is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.061m (6,761ft) above the sea level, located on the Austria–Italy border. Drive at moderate speed. You’re not on a race.
Nestled in the High Tauern range of the Alps, the pass links Tyrol (in Austria) and South Tyrol (in Italy). The road to the summit is totally paved, linking the Defereggen valley in Tyrol with the Valle di Anterselva in South Tyrol. Due to the reduced width of the road, the circulation takes place alternately one way and is regulated by a traffic light. The border is at the top of the pass, where the second traffic light is located, which turns to green from 00:00 - 00:15h.
The road is well paved with perfect road markings. The pass is open only from May to October from 5:30 to 22:15h. In case of bad weather (heavy rains or danger of landslides) the road can remain closed, even only temporarily. For a long time fuel in Italy is a 40 % more expensive than in Austria. The last fuel station in Austria sits on a tiny little village named St. Jakob in Defregen about 14 km away from the border.
On the Italian side, the road is called Strada Provinciale 44 (SP44). It’s extremely narrow. At some points it is just one way and prohibited for caravans, buses, trucks and vehicles of more than 3.5 tons. On the last kilometers there is a traffic light which turns green every hour from 00:30 - 00:45h. The road is very dangerous because it is very narrow, with dead corners but good surface. This is especially true if going down against the red light. The red light is on for 45 minutes per hour on the Italian side until 10.15 pm, when the pass closes for the night. Partly on the Italian side, the road is that tight that a normal car has problems even to pass by a bicycle rider. If you are not the first one in the queue there is no chance to overtake another vehicle. The road is steep, hitting a 11.0% through some of the ramps.
On the Austrian side, the road is called L25. It is mostly not steep at all (which is why it is long), but for a couple of kilometres after the last village, Erlsbach (1549m), it is regularly steep at around 8% and hitting a 12.0% through some of the ramps.
Road suggested by: Michael Spannlang