Facts

Location: Swiss-Italian border connecting Chiavenna in Italy with Splügen, Switzerland

Length: 30.2 km from Chiavenna, 7.8 km from Splügen

Built:  between 1818 and 1823

Wide: 5 m standard, 2 lanes

Surface: asphalt

Surface quality (out of 5): 4

Highest point: 2.115 m

Operating times: May – November

SS 36 Strada Statale 36 del Lago di Como e dello Spluga

Route: Chiavenna – Passo dello Spluga – Splügen

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Description

Passo dello Spluga (German: Splügenpass) is an international mountain pass connecting the Hinterrhein valley in Switzerland with the Valle Spluga in Italy and is also one of the highest paved mountain passes in the Alps, reaching an altitude of 2.115 m.

The Spluga Pass has been known since antiquity although now is a quiet pass where you can still find big portions of the old historical road which have survived the passage of time. Due to its dramatic scenery and proximity of snow covered peaks, Splügenpass is a popular destination for tourists, drivers and hikers alike.

The road to the pass is closed during the winter months, usually between November and May, but worth driving when open. Unlike the Stelvio Pass or the impressive Furka Pass in Switzerland, Passo dello Spluga is not a well-known road and as a result is far less crowded, but by no means less spectacular.

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Passo dello Spluga is characterized by a high number of hairpins: no less than 72 between Chiavenna and Splügen and is a showcase of the very best Italian road engineering.

Approached from the Italian side, this spectacular ascent starts from the small town of Chiavenna at the altitude of 333 m. The average slope for this portion of the road is 5.9% and the the elevation gain is 1.780 meters.

You will drive along the stunning Valle San Giacomo for about 25 km and along the banks of the famous Lake Como. Curve after curve, the slope steepens and one is left to admire the vertical cliffs hundreds of meters high and the remote, wild environment surrounding these magnificent mountains.

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Just 3 km before reaching the top, the serpentine road passes the small village of Montespluga. It’s well worthwhile to take a quick break here to visit, do some shopping and maybe enjoy a cup of espresso.

Starting from the village of Splügen in Switzerland, the climb to reach the highest point is much shorter: 7.8 km, with an elevation gain of  658 meters and an average percentage of 8.3%. 

In conclusion, Passo dello Spluga is a thrilling road to drive and equally worth mentioning are the popular summer and winter resorts surrounding this ancient pass, with a total of 48.4 km of slopes that reach up to the impressive height of 2.948 m.

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Photos: usvs-iclismo.it, cdn.c.photoshelter.com, panoramio.com, albergoristorantecoppa.it, borntobefreeitaly.it, vaol.it, tripadvisor.com

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