Rifugio Piccolo Pirovano is a high mountain refuge at an elevation of 3.018m (9,901 ft) above the sea level, in the Alps, in the province of Sondrio, Lombardy, near the Italian and Swiss border. It's one of the highest roads of Europe.
The road to the summit starts from the Passo dello Stelvio. It’s extreme. Only 4x4 vehicles. It’s 2,3 km long and the surface is gravel. It’s extremely steep, closed in winters and it can be impassable also in summers with snow. The road ends at this point where the snow, skiers and glacier starts. There are 2 other hotels in the zone: Baita Ortler and Hotel Thoni.
Make sure you get your vehicle and yourself well-prepared before driving this road. You first have to climb the Passo delle Platigliole. It’s a 4x4 road climbing up within a lunar landscape. This road is soon gravelled, but apart from two short bad sections with 25% you can otherwise ride this road on the way up to the end where the snow, skiers and glacier starts. There are 3 other hotels in the zone. Never underestimate this track! The area becomes very windy and accordingly cold.
This narrow gravel road is certainly breathtaking and it has a fearsome reputation. This road becomes very steep already at its first turn. Along the road you get some nice views over the Stelvio pass. The runway conditions vary from flat passages to other hardly rideable steep sections. The road is difficult and it’s a nightmare in the wet or dark (or both). There is little room for error on this road. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice.
Due to the unique location and the climb in elevation over thousands of feet, and passing through remote areas, it is important when driving in these conditions to be prepared. t’s incredibly disorienting to look over the edge, or even just to see the valleys a couple thousand feet below you. It’s a mind numbing vertical drop of hundreds of meters so you might want to give it a miss on a windy day. It's one of the highest roads of the country.