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What is the Strada della Forra on Lake Garda?
The Strada della Forra is a road, about 6 km long, which through tunnels, drop bends and tortuous curves allows you to enter the bowels of the mountain by crossing the gorge of the Brasa stream to reach the beautiful village of Tremosine (423 m asl) from the state road of the lakefront.
It is located in the province of Brescia, on the northern Lombard shore of Lake Garda, immersed in a scenario that is nothing short of fairytale.
Not surprisingly, Winston Churchill called it “the eighth wonder of the world”, during its inauguration in the year 1913.
It was also the scene of a great chase in the James Bond film “007 – Quantum of Solace”, in which Daniel Craig drove his Aston Martin at full speed.
How can I reach the Strada della Forra on Lake Garda?
From the SS45 bis road, take the SP38, well marked by a special sign indicating -Strada della Forra-. The entrance to this road is located between the tunnel that leads to Campione del Garda and the town of Limone sul Garda.
We recommend driving caution as the road is quite winding, narrow, full of tunnels dug into the rock and above all worthy of your attention in capturing every glimpse, every hole, every set embroidery.
In high season it can only be traveled uphill, to avoid blockages due to the narrow dimensions of the carriageway in some points, which does not allow two cars to pass at the same time. The way down on the way back is taken from Pieve di Tremosine. It is a very quiet road for driving but also full of beautiful views of Lake Garda and its perched villages. It takes you back to the SS45bis road at Limone sul Garda. It is 11 km long.
Also for this reason the Strada della Forra is a paradise for motorcyclists, who, slender and free, can pass through in complete tranquility, enjoying the 360° panorama that only two wheels can offer.
It is also possible to travel on foot and by bicycle, the only way for those who are passionate about sports and want to grasp every scenario with all the time at their disposal (apart from a few points with the motorcycle, it is impossible to stop with the car along the way).
For trekking lovers, it is possible to venture along the path n ° 201 Porto – Pieve. You walk about 350 meters in altitude between mountain mule tracks and natural stairways. The route is of medium difficulty, for a total duration of about 3 hours.
The starting point is in the village of Pieve di Tremosine, next to Piazza Cozzaglio, and comes out at Cimaporto, from the dialect “n sìma pórt”, that means, at the top of the port.
What can I visit along the Strada della Forra and its surroundings?
After the final stretch of road that winds through the canyon, we advise you (we almost oblige because it deserves a lot) to park your car and motorbike briefly to walk it and thus visit the small effigy of the Madonna that was carried in procession and placed in the gorge by Don Michele Milesi . You will smell the fresh and humid scent of rocks and ferns and you will be able to better admire all the cuts of light that enter the gorge from above.
Continuing, the Strada della Forra leads to Pieve di Tremosine, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, where you can freely wander through the streets and the beautiful church overlooking the lake. For those with a sweet tooth, we recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to taste the delicious Tremosine cheese, made with local mountain milk.
Another must-see is the thrill terrace “Terrazza del Brivido”. It is located inside the Hotel Paradiso (Viale Europa 19 – Tremosine sul Garda – BS – tel. + 39.0318.104.22.168) and looks like a concrete platform suspended over 350 meters high.
Surrounded by an iron railing, it rises over the promontory on which it was built and allows you to admire the Garda almost suspended in the air. You know the Grand Canyon skywalk? It is at the same height and you can enjoy the view while enjoying a good espresso or a refreshing spritz! “What else?” George Clooney would say – who has not yet understood that he must also take a home on Lake Garda because it’s beautiful!
On the way back, you can take the opportunity to stop in the village of Vesio (618 m asl), at the foot of the glacial moraine that blocks the Bondo valley, and further down you can visit the beautiful village of Limone sul Garda and its cycle/pedestrian path in overhanging the lake.
Historical notes on the Strada della Forra on Lake Garda.
Excellent, now that you have received all the fundamental information concerning this masterpiece of engineering and nature, we also leave you some anecdotes about its history: the Vesio-Pieve-Porto road was inaugurated on May 18, 1913, in the presence of authorities, administrators, workers and all the population who celebrated the opening of the communication route as a liberation from hundreds of years of isolation from the lake shore.
Until then, in fact, to reach the port from where boats and steamers left, or to get to the towns of Tignale (BS), Limone (BS), Campione (BS) and Val di Ledro (TN), the inhabitants of Tremosine traveled steep and winding paths, loaded with goods to be taken to the plateau or to be loaded on to be put on the market.
At the end of the nineteenth century two telefori were built, a sort of cableway, to relieve the inhabitants from the burden of transporting oil, grain, coal and other basic necessities. But thanks to the great commitment of some locals, state funds arrived for the design and scaling works. Thus, the project by Arturo Cozzaglio, geologist and engineer, came to life, capable of creating unique solutions to overcome the difficulties of the mountain, such as the deviation of the road in the course of the Brasa stream or the ring of the Ponte Alto. These expedients made its realization easier and softened its slope.
Put it on your “to do list” and see you next time dear Outdoors!
Silvia Turazza – Garda Outdoors editorial staff