Within the next week or so I will be getting to Brig, Switzerland, and would like to make my way over to northern Italy, somehow. I've been trying to research some of the ways to cross the Alps, but I'm having issues finding a route that doesn't have long dark tunnels where I'm likely to get turned into part of the pavement. What is the best and safest way of making it into Italy from Switzerland on a bike?
Gotthardpass to the italian speaking part of Switzerland and then to Locarno and then further south via Laggo Maggiore ;)
nufenen also pass gets you over to the italian speaking part of switzerland, and you can comfortably ride down the state highway 2 which reserves a whole lane in each direction only for bikes! i agree with andreas, best entry from there might be via locarno / lago maggiore.
ciao, safe travels
It will be difficult to completely avoid tunnels in Switzerland. Most of the tunnels have lighting, and many have a narrow footpath on the side as well.
The easiest way with the least amount of tunnels would be riding up the valley from Brig to Ulrichen and then take the Nufenen Pass to Airolo. From Airolo you can head to Locarno and Lake Maggiore or alternatively to Lugano, Chiasso, and Lake Como.
I've done a tour from Zurich via Alps to Venice. We crossed the Alps on this route:
- Switzerland -
Zurich, Zurichsee - route 17
Walensee/Walenstadt - route 3
Lenzerheidepass (1549 m, ascent 5-11%, length 32km)
Albula Pass (2315m, ascent 8-12%, length 33km)
La-Punt - route 27/29
Bernina-Pass (2330 m, ascent 12%, pass length 56 km)
- Italy -
Santuario Madonna di Tirano - route SS38
Villa di Terrano/Stazzona - route SS39
Passo dell'Aprica (1176 m, ascent 6%, length 31km)
Edolo - parallel route SS42
Breno - route SP345
Passo di Croce Domini (1892 m, ascent 10-12%, length 51,5 km)
warning: better continue on - route SP669 - as the route SP345 via Giogio del Maniva is only a gravel road
Lago d'Idro - route SS237
Vestone/Nozza - parallel route SS237
Sabbio Chiese/Valsabbia Spa
Tormini - route SS45bis
Salo/Lago di Garda - route SS572/SP39/SS572
Desenzano del Garda
These are nice and scenic, manageable passes, not a lot of traffic. Road conditions in Switzerland are superb, but as soon as you cross the border into Italy be aware of potholes.
Oh - and no tunnels!!!
Have a great trip!
Thanks for all the replies!
It looks like the best way then is nufenen pass to airolo and then down into Italy from there, or alternatively, ride up the valley along I guess the furka pass to andermatt and then south via the gotthard pass to airolo as well.
I'll likely do the nufenen pass, unless the other is nicer?
Like Ina, I did a trip from Zurich to Venice.
We went to Bad Ragaz and then not through Chur but taking the Wolfgang pass to Davos. Then the Fluela pass to Zernez and then the Ofen/Fuorno pass to Santa Maria. Not a single tunnel.
Maybe it's also something for you to consider. Either way it will be beautiful, enjoy!