A popular curvy road to the summit of Mendola Pass

Passo della Mendola is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.362m (4,469ft) above the sea level, located between the provinces of Trentino and South Tyrol, in Italy. It is a route which is very popular with cyclists and bikers.

Passo della Mendola

The road to the summit is paved. It’s called Strada Statale 42 (SS42) and was built between 1880 and 1885. The pass summit itself is dominated by tourism and several restaurants with sun decks inviting you to take a break. The hairpins, though not numerous are wide, and there are a number of wide sweepers to play on. The instability of the cliffs overhanging the road is a cause of concern, and work was undertaken in 2005 to stabilize them. The pass is under constant observation, particularly in the spring, when thawing and refreezing cause danger of slides.

The pass is also known as Mendel Pass or Passo Mendola. Starting from Appiano, the ascent is 14.8 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 958 meters. The average percentage is 6.5 %. It has a maximum grade of 12%. Open to traffic throughout the year, may be closed for short periods in winter when the weather is bad. Trailers are prohibited. In the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century, the area was a popular health resort, above all with aristocrats and emperors.

The drive is very scenic. It suffers the harsh meteorological conditions of the area every winter. Especially on weekends and bank holidays you have a lot of traffic of cars and motorcycles. But it’s a wide road. During the week normally it is much calmer! The road is characterised by its 17 sharp bends as well a great panoramic view. The road is a delight to drive, with every kind of twist and turn.