Stories > Editors pick: five great roads in Italy
Editors pick: five great roads in Italy

Editors pick: five great roads in Italy

Published 2020-02-09 by Zdravko Anticic

Planning a trip to Italy next summer? You are not alone. Each year thousands of supercar owners travel to the most beautiful country in the world. The roads are amazing, probably the best in the world. In this blog post, we would like to share our five favourite ones for your summer bucket list.

If you want all the best roads, hotels, restaurants and secrets no tourists find, we recommend the book Gran Turismo - the supercar owner’s guide to Italy. The English version is now available in both printed and e-book format on our webshop.

> Gran Turismo - The Supercar Owner's Guide to Italy (e-book)

> Gran Turismo - The Supercar Owner's Guide to Italy (printed)

Please note that the Stelvio pass is not on this list. Albeit being a very famous road, it is far from the best in Italy. We actually advise against visiting this road with a supercar. Too much traffic, too many bicyclists, and most importantly: too many really tight corners that take the fun of driving away.

Here are five great alternatives to the Stelvio Pass. In no particular order. They are all equally great, in their own way.

Grande strada delle Dolomiti

Scenery: A
Excitement: A
Asphalt quality: B

We start with a real classic. Grande Strada delle Dolomiti. This is not really a road, but a whole series of roads between Bolzano and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

The road starts (or ends, depending on where you start) in Bolzano. Drive out of town and set the navigation to Lago Di Carezza. Then you will take route 241 via Ponte Nova and Nova Levante. In Lago Di Carezza you set the navigation to Cortina d'Ampezzo. It is that easy. The entire road is 110 kilometres long and takes about three hours to drive from start to finish. Amazing driving and scenery.

SS12 - Passo dell’Abetone

Scenery: B
Excitement: A
Asphalt quality: B

A road made famous by all the Ferrari marketing material produced there. Until just a few years ago, nearly all press images were shot on this road. Passo dell'Abetone runs between Modena in Emiglia-Romagna and Pistoia in Tuscany. Head south from Modena on SS12.

This is a very fun road, which is often used for the annual Mille Miglia rally. Not as dramatic in nature as in Passo della Cisa, but somewhat more entertaining.

SS1 - Passo del Bracco

Scenery: B
Excitement: A
Asphalt quality: B

If you are going south, towards Cinque Terre, La Spezia or Portovenere, I highly recommend Passo del Bracco. This road is also part of Via Aurelia (SS1), and a fantastic fun driving experience in the mountains overlooking the sea.

With many tight bends it is especially suitable for cars with a little less power. Think Lotus and you will understand. The road is very popular with motorcycle drivers and cyclists during the weekends, so please pay attention. Also, please stop at the cafe in Mattarana after the highest point of the pass. It is a classic stop for all locals that enjoy this road on the weekends.

SP13 - Passo del Vestito

Scenery: A
Excitement: A
Asphalt quality: B

This little gem connects the Tuscan seaside with the Garfagnana valley just north of Lucca. It is a dramatic and very entertaining drive both uphill and downhill. You recognise the road from the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace. Please pay attention - the road is sometimes quite narrow. Also, it can be a quite scary experience as a passenger, when the valley below the road is several hundred meters deep.

Road starts in Massa and ends in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. Enjoy!

SR 429 - Strada Fioraie

Scenery: B
Excitement: A
Asphalt quality: A

Finally, this little monster. Discovered by us in 2018, it is the most exciting road in Tuscany. We have never, ever, met so many twists and turns in such a short distance. It is an everlasting dance with the laws of physics in your supercar. Insanely thrilling and adrenaline pumping.

The road is between Castellina in Chianti and Poggibonsi. You will absolutely love it.

What is your favourite road in Italy?

There are many really good roads in Italy. Do you have a favourite one? Please share it with us by e-mailing Peter Ternström.

Zdravko Anticic
Zdravko Anticic
zdravko@granturismo.org

Locations mentioned in the story

SS12 - Abetone Pass
One of the very best roads in Italy, used by Ferrari test drivers on regular basis
Grande Strada delle Dolomiti
A fantastic road in the north of Italy
SS1 - Bracco Pass
A fantastic road between La Spezia and Sestri Levante.
SR429 - Strada Fioraie
This extremely twisty road between Castellina in Chianti and Poggibonsi.
SP13 - Vestito Pass
A mountain pass that was made famous from the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace.
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