Length: 19,3 km (12 miles)
Width: 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 10): 7
Highest point: 1,775 m (5,769 ft)
Operating times: open all year
Route: from Semonzo to Cima Grappa
Cima Grappa Road Description
Cima Grappa is one of the toughest roads to drive in Italy because of the gradient ramps and the serpentines you will have to drive on. As a result, many drivers choose this route as a challenge and to test their skills, but also to do something thrilling that they enjoy.
This high mountain pass is located at an elevation of 1,775 m (5,769 ft) above the sea level, as part of the Grappa massif. The massif, found in the northeast of the Veneto region, straddles the provinces of Treviso, Vicenza and Belluno.
At the top of the pass, you will see the Sacrario Militare del Monte Grappa, which is a monumental burial site for the soldiers killed on both sides of World War I. So, this is a more than a spectacular and challenging road to drive. It also is a historical place. If you drive up to the pass, you can admire the landscape as well.
Routes to get there
Overall, there are nine routes that take you to the summit and the most popular one start in Semonzo. From this point, the ascent is 19 km long. The elevation gain over the distance is 1.530 eight meters, and the average percentage is 8.1 %. Also, thanks to its features, the Giro d’Italia happened here a few times.
The asphalted road is in good condition, so an extra reason to come here for this drive. When starting the climb, the first 11 km of it have a constant gradient, of 7,4%. The slope increases for the next 7,5 km and reaches 8.9%. There are some of the stretches where it gets to 14%, making it close to impossible to drive while maintaining a constant rhythm.
As mentioned before, you can do some sightseeing in the area because you have some things to see. Monte Grappa and Cima Grappa are known for the military memorial located on the top. This is the place where more than 20,000 soldiers from the Italian and Austro-Hungarian armies are buried. In their honour, the monument named Ossarium was built. Moreover, the same engineers that designed the Vittorio Emanuele III gallery have created this one as well.
This road features many elevation changes, winding turns plus spectacular balconies that show you the valley. It’s a demanding route, but that’s what many drivers want, a challenge. Finally, after this ride, at the summit, you will find a quiet and peaceful place. Moreover, the landscape during the ride and at the top is fabulous. It will gradually changes as the altitude rises. From green pastures, you will begin to see the rocky peaks and the views from above as you drive towards the pass.
The road to Cima Grappa is a must-do in Italy. It combines the best of a mountain road: fun twists with beautiful scenery.
Photo sources: https://www.italybikehotels.com/road/great-challenges/monte-grappa, https://www.dangerousroads.org/europe/italy/3399-cima-grappa.html, https://bicivenetojournal.com/2012/09/10/a-meeting-on-monte-grappa/, http://www.thebikecomesfirst.com/the-col-collective-monte-grappa-more-than-a-mountain-video/