Are you looking for cycling in Piedmont, Italy? For roadbike and mtb lovers, Piedmont is one of the most beautiful destinations. One of the highest roads of Europe, that you can find in Piedmont is the Somellier Road. Col del Sommeiller is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.993m (9,819ft) above the sea level, located in the Alpi Cozie between the Italian and French border.
This beautiful 26 kilometres road climb above Bardonecchia has it all: hairpins, alpine dams, a lake at the summit, and views to die for.
It’s a wonderful “adventure road“ from Bardonecchia to Sommeiller hill, a carriage road open to traffic, but opened for a limited period that changes every year according to weather conditions.
The Col de Sommeiller has a rather interesting story: the unpaved road dates from the 1950’s, when there was still a summer ski area on the Sommeiller.
After an avalanche and the decline of the Sommeiller glacier, it being left abandoned.
Whatever the history, at this moment, the Col de Sommeiller is one of the highest accessible points by 4×4 in Europe.
At the summit, there’s a stunning blue turquoise lake. Access from the Italian side starts in the village of Bardonecchia, on the road to Rochemolles.
This way achieves the highest elevation of the entire chain of the Alps: 3,009 m above sea level. Most of the track is a dirt road, from the Shelter Scarfiotti (2,163m) to the hill, it is not easy and it takes full transitability only between July and August.
The last kilometre of climb to reach Sommellier hill is the hardest, but the most amazing, thanks to the wonderful surrounding Alps view.
Immediately after the pass the french border is found; the dirt road continues after the parking alongside a little lake, but it has allowed only on foot or bike, a few minutes walking and you can reach 3009m.
A curiosity: Every year- from 50 years-in July at Sommeiller hill the motorbike meeting “ Stella Alpina” is organized, and many motorbikes from all Europe take part in this incredible event.
Cycling in Piedmont, Italy – Useful information:
The track is closed to motor vehicles every Thursday from 15 July to 30 September. On other days, you can ride the Col from 9 am to 5 pm.