Strada della Forra is one of the most scenic drives in the world. This Italian road burrows its way through the mountain in the ravine formed by the river Brasa. A small car with functioning horn is recommended. For the skilled drivers only. The drive is known by motorcyclists from all over Europe, as it is impressive and not exactly without danger in a few narrow and steep spots.
Where is the Strada della Forra?
This legendary road (Road of the Gorge) is located in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy, on the shore of Lake Garda, in the northern part of the country. It’s a real gem, nestled in the depths of the mountain, along the rift carved by the river Brasa. It is a spectacular combination of tight bends and galleries dug in the rocks, and offers a breathtaking view.
How long is Strada della Forra?
The road (officially Strada Provinciale 38) is also known as Strada dell'Orrido. It’s 9.1km (5.65 miles) long and links Tremosine with the districts of Pieve and Vesio. The history of the road begins in 1889, when the project was first conceived. It was designed in 1913 by Arturo Cozzaglio on behalf of Giacomo Zanini, a local priest who saw the need of a road to link the isolated communities in the area. The road was inaugurated on May 18th, 1913, and when it was finished, the Frankfurter Zeitung called it “the most beautiful road in the world.” Winston Churchill defined it as the eighth wonder of the world. The road is a gem of engineering and landscape. It was built by exploiting a crack in the rocks created by the Brasa stream, and follows the bends in the mountain and the stream of water.
Is Strada della Forra safe?
The road is totally paved. Rock slides can occur anytime and can sometimes block some parts of the road. A small car with functioning horn is recommended. This road is literally carved out of the cliff with hairpin turns, blind corners, adverse camber and low tunnels. It’s a nail biting adventure even for the practiced driver. For the skilled drivers only. It might become very unpleasant and stressful experience for some drivers but it’s great and unforgettable for those seeking a real riding experience. Not such a fun for the passengers in the car. Sometimes a bit narrow and traffic stalls because some drivers don't know how big or small their car really is. It’s dangerously beautiful. If you plan to drive this spectacular road you should ask yourself, if you have sufficient driving skills and that you know exactly how wide your car is. As an experiment the local council instituted in 2020 a one-way system on the narrowest part of the Strada della Forra – uphill only, which affects the stretch between the Pizzeria la Forra at 45.776656, 10.760050 and the lakeside road. This year it applies until 30 September, 7 days a week between 10:00 and 19:00. The “no entry sign” is just below the Pizzeria so there is access from Pieve to both restaurants.
Where was Quantum of Solace filmed?
The surface of the road is paved. It’s a quite challenging drive but definitely worth it. The part of the gorge is now in great demand as a film set. In recent years, its breathtaking views and verdant scenery have made it a sought-after location for film shoots and car commercials from the breath-taking car chase seen starring the most famous secret agent in the world, the legendary James Bond Quantum of Solace, to numerous television commercials for the European market of prestigious car manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes. It’s featured every year in hundreds of YouTube videos.
June 2022 Update: The road is open again, with one-way restrictions as follows: Until 30 September 2022 it is uphill only (i.e. from the lakeside road, SS 45 Gardesana, to Pieve) between the hours of 10:00 and 19:00, otherwise both ways.
The road was closed for a while. Basically there was a serious snowfall in December 2020 which caused serious rock falls.
Road suggested by: Peter Wells
Pic: StudioB12 Guarneri Gianpaolo