The Stelvio Pass is a mountain pass in northern Italy bordering Switzerland at an elevation of 2,757 m (9,045 ft) above sea level. It is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps. The road itself is a marvel of engineering skill; the exhilarating serpentine sections ask to be driven by experienced drivers for their own sakes. It’s one of the most scenic drives in the world. The toughest and most spectacular climbing is from the Prato side (this picture). Starting from Prato on the Northern side, it boasts a vertical gain of 1,808m (5,932ft) and 48 hairpin bends, all of them numbered on a stone by the road. The road is highly regarded, and in the popular British TV series ‘Top Gear’ it’s called the ‘greatest driving road in the world’ (Season 10 – Episode 1: 7 October 2007).
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