Location: Tyrol, on the border between Italy and Austria, Europe
Length: 21.5 km
Wide: 5 m standard, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 5): 5 for most of the road
Highest point: 2.474 m
Operating times: Mid-June to mid-October, 7 AM – 8 PM
Strada Statale 44 bis Passo del Rombo (SS 44 bis)
Route: Moso in Passiria – Timmelsjoch
Passo del Rombo (in German “Timmelsjoch”) is a high mountain pass with an elevation of 2.474 m, located along the border between Austria and Italy, in the Tyrol region. It connects the Val Passiria in Italy with the Oetztal valley in Austria.
The pass road was built in 1955, but an old path had always linked the two valleys. The first document that mentions its existence dates back to 1241.
Timmelsjoch is very popular with motorcycle riders, leisure drivers and tourists mainly due to its elevation, steepness and dramatic scenery, particularly on the southern side. Passo del Rombo is known to be one of the coldest passes in the Alps and heavy snow falls are frequent, sometimes even in July.
This spectacular serpentine road welcomes each year around 160.000 vehicles and is open to traffic from the first half of June to the second half of October, daily from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. The Ötztal valley side is subject to a toll charge. In general, the road is quite fluid and sees very light traffic.
The recommended route is from the scenic village of Moso in Passiria, on the Italian side. The drive passes through the idyllic Val Passiria, across pastures and forests. You will encounter sceneries staggering in their beauty and surprisingly remote at the same time. On the Austrian side, the 12 km long mountain road winds through 12 hairpin bends to reach Passo del Rombo.
One can enjoy a majestic view of the Ötztal Alps and realize that Passo del Rombo truly is a masterpiece of road construction, with no less than 60 spectacular hairpin bends which lead to its highest point – a truly memorable experience especially for cabriolet drivers. At the top of the pass there is a small but very interesting museum and a nice terrace that offers travelers warm drinks and meals.
Most noteworthy, Passo del Rombo is a heaven not only for motorcyclists and motorists enthusiasts, but for any mountain lover. Part of the pleasure of driving on this road is being so close to nature: goats, sheep and even ibexes are a common sighting on the mountain slopes.
Photos: wikimedia.org, giulio1954.wordpress.com, i50.tinypic.com, 2.bp.blogspot.com, haller.it, pinterest.comr/