San Boldo Pass – The Road of 100 Days (in 100 Seconds)

One for the avid climbers this week – Welcome to the San Boldo Pass in Northern Italy!

Comprising of 706m of elevation spread across 17km – and featuring this very unique mountain feature – the San Boldo Pass is known colloquially as the ‘strada di cento giorno’, or ‘Road of 100 Days’. This title was given after its rapid creation – by the Austro-Hungarian Army – between the months of February and June 1918; where a workforce of 1,400 worked through three shifts around the clock to provide the occupying forces with a critical access road for supplies and munitions.

The key feature of the road is this particular mountain climb; with five separate tunnels cut into the rock making the pass feasible – due to it’s military use the road could not exceed a 12% incline.

Today the pass is still a very active road in the area , despite the 30km/h speed limit, and single-lane climbs. That said; cycling up this stunning pass is unlikely to result in speeds anywhere close to this imposed limit; as the average 4% incline across the 17km will certainly take its toll!

Can you think of any other iconic hill-climbs that people should know about?

Image credit: Giancarlo Rado

Doug Stidolph 2013