The Stelvio Pass, with its 2758 meters above sea level, is the highest pass in Europe. Located on the Rhaetian Alps, it divides Valtellina from Trentino Alto Adige.
It is an area rich in history where important events, such as the two World Wars, took place.
Later in the 60s with the advent of tourism as a business opportunity, some owners from Bormio built numerous hotels and ski lifts, giving rise to the SUMMER SKIING AT THE STELVIO PASS. It is also worth to remember the ascents to the Mounts Ortles and Cevedale.
The Stelvio Pass owes its fame to the Tour of Italy when Fausto Coppi won the most popular stage in his days. The great cyclist is remembered with a bas-relief near the church.
Don’t miss a visit to the museum dedicated to the engineer Carlo Donegani, the designer of the road which was opened in 1825. It runs from Bormio at 1225 meters above sea level and reaches 2758 meters of the Stelvio Pass with more than 1,500 meters in altitude.
The road, with its 40 bends and five tunnels, climbs for 5 kilometers up to the “Valle del Braulio”, where everybody can admire the waterfalls and looking up in the sky you may suddenly see two large birds: the golden eagle and the Gypetus barbatus.
The eagle is the symbol of the Stelvio National Park, as evidenced by the numerous signs along the roads and trails of the area.
The bearded vulture called “Gipeto” has reappeared in 1998 after ten years since the first successful release was completed. It is the largest bird existing in Italy. It lives in the central Alps of Valtellina and in the pastures of “Val Cedec”, “Val del Braulio” and “Val dei Forni”.
The Gipeto is so called for the remarkable tuft of hair located near its throat. Its wingspan can reach three meters and its body is about one meter long. The dark color of the plumage is typical of the young animal while the adult has a lighter tawny color due to the ferruginous waters of its habitat where it loves to bathe.
The Gipeto disappeared from our territory in the early years of the twentieth century because it was considered dangerous for children and grazing animals. As a matter of fact it feeds on carcasses only; it manages to swallow 25 cm. long and 4 cm. wide bones. If they exceed this size the Gipeto throws them down the rocks in order to smash them and eat the precious marrow the bones contain.
It is well known that the Gipeto does not consider living animals as preys.
The fights with the eagles are spectacular and the Gipeto is always the winner!