Monte Grappa is located in Veneto's Alpine foothills, an area between the provinces of Treviso, Vicenza and Belluno, and with a height of 1,775 metres from the valley floor, is one of the most arduous Italian climbs. For us Italian cyclists, Fare il Grappa, or doing Grappa, isn’t just a stamp in our cycling passport, but also a remarkable traditional ritual. Fare il Grappa is a bit like doing the Stelvio Pass, because it’s just as good as the Alpine and Dolomite crossings.
Fare il Grappa is a challenge, like the one that the Alpini – Italian Alpine troopers – heroically won by repelling the constant attacks of the Austro-Hungarian and German troops, protecting the northern border during the Great War. If it had not been for this impregnable defence, Italy’s geography would be quite different today.
And perhaps it’s not by chance that the Alpini’s motto was "You shall not pass here". These days, the biggest challenge to tackle here is reaching the peak, thanks to the 10 different paved routes available. Are you ready to take up the challenge?
Monte Grappa Certification
Also known as "The 10 climbs of a lifetime", the Brevetto del Monte Grappa, or Monte Grappa Certification, is presented to cyclists who, within a year, climb the 10 most important and challenging ascents on road bike. Certification comes in 3 levels:
Brevetto Oro (Gold): for cyclists who climb all per 10 ascents;
Brevetto Argento (Silver): for cyclists who climb 6 of them;
Brevetto Bronzo (Bronze): for those who only climb 3.
Certification is by way of affixing a specific stamp to your travel journal, available at authorised businesses.
Climb #1 -> From Romano d’Ezzelino to Cima Grappa – Strada “Cardona”
Of all Monte Grappa’s ascents, this is perhaps the easiest and that’s why it’s advisable to choose it as the first climb, if you intend to tackle the others. The Giro d'Italia has also chosen this face several times.
Climb #2 -> From Semonzo to Cima Grappa – Strada “Giardino”
It’s local cyclists’ favourite route for their training sessions, thanks to the gradual increase in difficulty: initially the road is very scenic, with spectacular terraces overlooking the plain below.
Climb #3 -> From Fietta to Cima Grappa – Il salto della capra
This face is no joke: the stretch known as the “salto della capra”, or the goat's jump, is truly hair-raising for all cyclists, thanks to 600 metres of giddying gradient that boasts the nickname "Mortirolo del Veneto", as in “mortar”.
Climb #4 -> From Possagno to Cima Grappa – Strada degli Alpini
The main characteristic of this climb is the constant shift between challenging gradients and easier ones. Remember, however, that there are 20 kilometres uphill; it will often feel like it’s over... but it’s never-ending, or almost.
Climb #5 -> From Cavaso del Tomba to Cima Grappa – Strada del Tomba
There is only one adjective to describe "Strada del Tomba": hard. The average gradient of 10% and the numerous peaks at 16% are a testament to this.
Climb #6 -> From Pederobba to Cima Grappa – Strada della Monfenera
Strada della Monfenera looks like the classic road for a Sunday outing, as it winds through beech and pine forests. Mark the stretch that climbs from an altitude of 800 to 1,300 metres, which is the most demanding.
Climb #7 -> From Alano di Piave to Cima Grappa – Strada del Grappa
It’s clearly divided into two parts: the first is quite doable, the second is more challenging right up to the peak. Of all the climbs, this has the least traffic.
Climb #8 -> From Seren to Cima Grappa – Strada Chiesa Nuova San Luigi
There are only a few stretches where you can catch your breath, in fact, this is the climb with the most arduous gradients (even over long stretches) and a very narrow road.
Climb #9 -> From Caupo to Cima Grappa – Strada Cadorna
Just under 30 kilometres uphill. Just under 30 kilometres in which you climb uninterruptedly up to an altitude of 1,775 m a.s.l. Just under 30 never-ending kilometres.
Climb #10 -> From Cismon to Cima Grappa – Strada del “Col dei Prai”
This climb is completely off-limits to motor vehicles, and also has 2 short stretches of dirt road
Monte Grappa Bike Day
A non-competitive, free event dedicated to all cycling enthusiasts. In the last edition, over 10,000 cyclists from all regions of Italy, Europe and the world came together to climb Monte Grappa.
Monte Grappa Bike Night
The protagonist of this event is Strada del Giardino, (climb #2), closed to traffic on this special occasion. Starting late in the afternoon, it takes place under the stars and is an unforgettable experience for the most romantic cyclists.
Monte Grappa Bike Tre
An experience reserved for a lucky few. This is a 3-day bike ride to the Monte Grappa summit, accompanied by Italian champions of international calibre.
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