Rifugio Duca degli Abruzzi is a high mountain refuge at an elevation of 2.809m (9,215ft) above the sea level, located in the Valle d’Aosta region, in northwestern Italy. It's one of the highest roads of Europe.
The road to the summit is gravel, rocky and bumpy. This road tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides. It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be extremely challenging. Expect a very narrow trail with several hairpin turns. The elevation gain is 899 m. It's one of the highest roads of the country.
The road can be closed anytime due to snow and ice. It’s usually impassable from September to June. In many places the road is bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails. 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. The refuge Oriondé Duca degli Abruzzi was built and opened in 1929.
Pic: Wes Hardy