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Gardesan thrills: the Road of the Gorge

From the lake to the plateau along the direttissima, first carved in hairpin bends into the mountainside and then crept to the bottom of a ravine.


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Where is


SP38 & Via Benaco, 25010 Tremosine BS, Italia (303m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

First of all, we say fórra, "from the Longob. furha (space between furrows), a deep gorge with vertical walls, very close together, generally due to the strong erosion exerted by the watercourse flowing into it." That being said, try to imagine a road running along the bottom of such a gully. Provincial Road 38, as it is registered at the road registry, in the space of a few kilometers overcomes the 350-meter difference in height that separates the Riviera Gardesana from Pieve, capital of the municipality of Tremosine. And it does so with a succession of passages that will not leave even the most astute driver indifferent.

Why it's special

From the lake, the Strada della Forra ramps up with a series of hairpin bends that immediately warm the tires. The asphalt webbing is squeezed between vertical rock and a low wall that conveniently precludes the precipice from view. Then from the sun we move to the penumbra of the deep notch carved over millennia by the waters of the Brasa stream. Here, too, hairpin bends, bridges and tunnels. The roadway does not allow two vehicles to cross, so from time to time there is a widening that is just enough. Many have described it as "the most beautiful road in the world"-certainly one of the most exciting.

Not to be missed

At the end of the most impassable section, the road draws its breath for a moment and widens at the point where an inn is strategically located. Here you can stop to recover from your excitement, but also to retrace the last stretch of the gorge on foot: a few souvenir photos are a must, but also take the opportunity to contemplate the surroundings: the tumultuous waters of the stream, the blades of light descending from above, the sudden flight of a bird that vanishes into the half-light... An even more evocative experience in the dark, when the gorge is artfully illuminated, as in an adventure film.

A bit of history

For centuries the gorge was traversed only by a path, which for the locals was the shortest way to transport agricultural products from the plateau - wood, oil, grain - to the lake shore for embarkation on barges to Desenzano. Everything on the back! At the beginning of the twentieth century people began to think about a 'direttissima' carriageway: promoted by the parish priest, it was supported in Parliament by Giuseppe Zanardelli, a Brescian politician who held important government posts in those same years. Then it was a matter of building it, advancing mostly by dynamite, diverting the stream into a tunnel as well.


In 2008, the Gorge Road was involved in the filming of the movie Quantum of solace, with James Bond 's Aston Martin hurtling at breakneck speed up the hairpin bends. Without going that far, Tremosine motorists who travel the road have a specific patron saint, the Madonna della Forra, whose effigy can be seen, across the stream, surrounded by candles, in a large niche at the mouth of the most impervious section.

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