Location: Udine Province, Italy, Europe
Length: 15.5 km from Ravascletto, 11.9 km from Comeglians
Built: January 1940 – end of 1942
Wide: 5 m standard for most of the road, one narrow lane for approx. 5 km
Surface: asphalt, with some gravel sections
Surface quality (out of 5): 4 for most of the road, 2 for the gravel parts
Highest point: 1934 m
Operating times: recommended from May until October
Panoramica Delle Vette
Route: Ravascletto – Monte Crostis, Comeglians – Monte Crostis
Monte Crostis is a beautiful, high mountain pass in the Friulian mountains of North-East Italy, near the famous Zoncolan ski resort. It is a popular destination for many hikers, drivers and cyclists. This road offers spectacular views over the Carnic Alps and surrounding Dolomites mountains to the west.
The road to the pass, called “Panoramica Delle Vette”, is paved for the most part with a gravel section of approx. 5 km, right on the slopes of Monte Crostis. Furthermore, the road is considered extremely dangerous and should be approached with caution.
There are 2 main routes to reach its highest point at 1934 m: either from Comeglians or from Ravascletto, two small but pittoresque villages located at the base of the mountain. The 2 routes merge once the village of Tualis is reached, 4.5 km from Comeglians.
Starting from the village of Comeglians at an altitude of 530 m, it includes almost 12 km of uninterrupted climbing with an average gradient of 10.4%. The surrounding environment seems remote and wild, with dense forests from up to around 1300 m. As the climb continues, the trees become sparser until a grassy alpine zone is reached.
Most noteworthy, the road turns steeper above 1700 m, averaging a gradient of 14% for the next 500 m, even reaching pitches of 17%. After 1800 m, the slope lessens until you reach the top. Here you can enjoy the view, relax and take some pictures of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
Another important fact to mention about the Monte Crostis Pass is that the plant and wildlife found in this area are amazing: sheep, marmots, tall grass, numerous streams and waterfalls will make you feel that the drive is definitely worth the risk.
In conclusion, Monte Crostis remains to this day a perilous road, although throughout the years the local authorities have invested a lot of effort in encreasing the safety of this climb.