Stelvio Pass: The summit of your driving experience
Explore the place where engineering and natural marvels intersect behind the wheel of one of the world’s best luxury cars
The mountain roads through the Alps represent some of the greatest engineering achievements in Europe’s architectural history. Twisted all the way up to the icy mountain tops, the hairpin bends intersect enchanting beauty of the high Alps, offering stunning views and spectacular driving adventures.
Of all the Alpine passes, the Stelvio Pass (Passo dello Stelvio, Stilfser Joch) is undoubtedly the most admired. Located in northern Italy bordering Switzerland, it is the highest paved road in the Eastern Alps and the second highest in the Alps, at an elevation of 2757m above sea level. This iconic steep winding road wanders between the scenic mountains offering an ultimate driving experience and a perfect luxury getaway. Surrounded with exclusive spa resorts, stylish hotels and fine dining restaurants the Stelvio route lets you combine the thrill of one of the world’s most dramatic drives with 5-star relaxation.
Whether you’re a passionate supercar enthusiast, an affluent traveller, or both, soak in the scenery of alpine peaks behind the wheel of one of the world’s most exciting super cars, sports cars or luxury cars and see for yourself why Top Gear named it “the greatest driving road in the world”.
Choose your high-end vehicle for the Stelvio Pass
The Stelvio Pass is a truly magnificent piece of road and its challenging 180-degree hairpin turns described by Jeremy Clarkson as “15 miles of Asphalt spaghetti draped on an Alp” deserve to be conquered on wheels of a powerful sports car. It is a test of breaks, steering and grip power. Therefore, whatever you choose from our fleet, be it a Ferrari Portofino, a Porsche 991 Cabrio, a Mercedes G63 or other, on the Stelvio, the magic of these cars can’t be expressed in numbers. It’s about how it makes you feel – it takes any emotion, magnifies it and makes every driver feel like a superhero.
For a shot of adrenalised dynamism, Ferrari Portofino is capable of unleashing a massive 600 cv and sprinting from 0 to 200 km/h in just 10.8 seconds. The Stelvio is a marvelous piece of history, and is there a better way to enhance that timeless thrill than by driving it behind the wheel of the iconic Porsche 911. A long, twisty road is the habitat in which 911 keeps building speed when it’s up and running, while its beautifully weighted steering really stands out. It’s smooth, it’s daring, it’s wonderful. But for the taste of raw power, choose a Mercedes G63, and conquer Stelvio in this AWD SUV with V8 engine and side-exit exhaust roaring next to you.
When is the best time to drive the Stelvio?
Stretching across the high Alps, the road is closed during the winter due to tricky weather conditions. It usually opens late May or early June, and stays open till October. For snow enthusiasts – if you drive it early or late in the season you might still experience the fairytale winter landscapes at higher altitudes.
Owing to its iconic status, bare in mind that the Stelvio is one of the busiest high passes in the Alps. For that reason, if you want an uncanny pleasurable sensation of your drive, we recommend you fire up the engine early in the morning, preferably midweek and in the off-peak months of June and September. Having the road for yourself surrounded by nothing but pristine nature and the sound of your super car thundering through the alpine passes and tight mountain bends is definitely worth it.
If you decide to experience the Stelvio Pass at its finest with the first rays of sunshine, we suggest you book an accommodation close by in one of the amazing spa resorts and hotels this region has to offer. That way you’ll get on the road and enjoy the thrill before it becomes hectic. This brings us to the following question.
Where to stay near Stelvio?
The Stelvio is best experienced from the north west side, so the recommended starting point for your conquest is Bormio, a lovely town located on the southern border of Stelvio National Park in the Lombardy region of Italy. From this direction you’ll warm up for the great ascent driving through the heart of Stelvio National Park and its famous alpine landscapes. But before you set off on your Stelvio adventure, we suggest you spoil yourself in the lap of luxury of a 5-star spa resort Terme Bagni di Bormio (Via Bagni Nuovi 7, Valdidentro, IT). Take a day to relax and indulge in exclusive spa treatments, natural cave saunas, ancient thermal baths and panoramic pools, and enjoy the finest gourmet experiences dining in the midst of one of the most fantastic views of the surrounding Italian Alps. After a good-night sleep in a posh suite decorated in Art Nouveau style of Grand Hotel Bagni Nuovi, or a charming rustic room of Hotel Bagni Vecchi, you’ll be more than ready to rise up to the Stelvio challenge.
Start your Stelvio Pass journey
The highlight of your journey starts early in the morning as the sun begins to rise. Your supercar awaits for the climb up to the world-famous Stelvio Pass. You buckle up, take a deep breath, acknowledge the peace and quiet and the romantic scenery that surrounds you, when the baritone howl of your engine breaks the silence and you hit the gas. Before you know it, you’ll be touring deeper into the Italian Alps as the rays of sunshine light up the asphalt in front of you.
Stelvio is not for the faint-hearted. As you approach the famous wall of switchbacks, you’ll feel the anticipation rise and adrenaline starting to flow. At the foot of the pass, it is a truly stunning road to view, and the wall of 48 hairpins running up its north face really are a sight to behold. The Stelvio Pass isn’t a road you drive for speed, but for the thrill. In the narrow curves of the road rising up to 2757m above sea level your head will get pushed backwards into the comfortable leather headrest and you’ll feel the impressive engine power below you. Each of the turns are numbered with stones, and as you climb and climb up, mastering each turn feels utterly empowering.
Once your reach the summit, standing at the top of the Stelvio Pass, you’ll be amazed at the breathtaking ribbons of asphalt you’ve just conquered. Than you’ll truly understand why it is the pinnacle of driving experiences.
How to round up your Stelvio adventure?
Heading back down the Stelvio Pass towards Bormio is a great drive, but if you’re eager to enjoy different hairpin corners over scenic mountain passes and a cruise alongside alpine lakes, cross the border into Switzerland. You can drive through the idyllic landscapes of the Swiss Alps and have lunch in one of the divine restaurants with spectacular mountain views, before you cross the border back into Italy.
Our recommendation: If your you decide to embark on your Stelvio journey in late May, don’t miss the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como. The grounds of Villa Erba get transformed into a unique and exclusive setting, where you are privileged to admire the finest historic vehicles and motorcycles of their eras with the enthusiastic and knowledgeable aficionados in the audience.