Location: South Tyrol and Belluno Provinces, Italy
Length: 110 km
Wide: 5 m standard, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 5): 4
Highest point: 2.239 m
Operating times: throughout the year
SS 241 Strada Statale 241, SS 48 Strada Statale 48 delle Dolomiti
Route: Bolzano – Pordoi Pass – Cortina d’Ampezzo
Grande Strada delle Dolomiti (German: Die Große Dolomitenstraße) is a stunningly beautiful mountain road located in northern Italy. It connects the city of Bolzano in South Tyrol with the small town of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Belluno Province, over a total distance of 110 km.
The Great Dolomites Road was opened on 13th of September 1909 after eight years of hard work, a relatively short amount of time taking into consideration the technological means available at that time.
Originally created to serve military purposes, the Grande Strada delle Dolomiti quickly became one of the most famous roads in Italy. As a result, the local population, which up to then was used to the harsh mountain life, benefited greatly from the construction of this road as they could now turn their attention to new activities such as opening new hotels and restaurants in the area, in order to cater the needs of the increasingly large number of tourists.
This scenic drive starts from the medieval city of Bolzano, the capital of the South Tyrol Province. Set in an enchanting valley and surrounded by vineyards, Bolzano was always considered to be the gateway to the Dolomites and to its many attractions.
From Bolzano, following the Strada Statale 241 (SS 241) and heading East, the road becomes increasingly narrow and dangerous, reaching a maximum gradient of 12% on some areas. After crossing Passo di Costalunga, the border between the provinces of Trento and Bolzano, head towards the comune of Vigo di Fassa. From this point on you will drive on the Strada Statale 48 delle Dolomiti (SS 48).
Once the city of Canazei is reached, the steep and curvy road takes you to the Pordoi Pass, one of the highest mountain passes in Italy with an altitude of 2.239 m. From this point on, Cortina d’Ampezzo is 47 km away.
Grande Strada delle Dolomiti can be driven in about three hours, although it’s highly recommended to take your time and stop along the way in order to really appreciate it’s beauty. With lots of dangerous hairpin turns and narrow ravines, combined with majestic mountains, picturesque alpine forests and pastures, the Great Dolomite Road will surely provide an unforgettable experience for anyone.
Photos: omniauto.it, moviment.it, welt.de, holidaycheck.com, relaisundalpen.de, wikimedia.org, belleepoquefilm.it, unibz.itr/