COLLE DELLE FINESTRE ROUTE – STRADA DELL’ASSIETTA
COLLE DELLE FINESTRE ROUTE (SUSA-MEANA-COLLE FINESTRE-DEPOT)
This road in Susa Valley links SUSA, through MEANA DI SUSA to COLLE DELLE FINESTRE.
It’s 18,7km long, with a climb of 1692m with a medium gradient of 9% and 33 hairpins!!
From COLLETTO DI MEANA ( 1452 m) to COLLE DELLE FINESTRE it’ is a dirt road for the last 8km.
Pay attention when the dirt road begin you are entering ALPI COZIE PARK so drive slowly and respect the bikers.
Going down to USSEAUX and CHISONE VALLEY the road is partially asphalted but in PIAN DELL’ALPE it’s dirty again. Turning to the east the road continues to FENESTRELLE FORT and going on to west the ASSIETTA ROAD starts.
This is the best and most spectacular entry to Assietta road and it was a stage of the italian bike competition GIRO D’ITALIA 2005-2015 and in 2018 with the epic feat of Chris froome and in the future will see also the passage of TOUR DE FRANCE that will arrive in Sestriere.
The climb from Susa to Colle delle finestre is considered hors categorie, a challenging route, one of the most difficult in Europe.
At the top of the watershed you can find FENESTRELLE FORT dominating the valley below and the road to COLLETTO, was built safety from the rock face overlooking COLLE DELLE FINESTRE in MEANA DI SUSA, and it was a work of support to other forts Fenestrelle and Assietta. Its secluded position protected it completely to view from Val Chisone side and at the same time it allowed to storable cannons to operate.
This road was built by Kingdom of Italy military commanders in 1890, with the aim of allow a quick troops movement from Chisone to Susa Valley. This project was realized in 1889, studied by combat engineers. The greatest difficulty was to face the steep mountainside from Meana village to Colletto, that was a point of forced passage.
This road, classified as wagon dirt road, had precise characteristics: 3m width, gradient not more than 10% and minimum radius of curvature 8m.
After many studies on existing roads near Meana, engineers studied the best path to bypass 700m of difference between Suffit village and Colletto: 24 masonry hairpins in 4km only, making a stone stair hidden in the forest.
This road is open seasonally from may to november.
STRADA DELL’ASSIETTA- THE LONGEST RIDGE ROAD AT HIGH ALTITUDE OF ALPS
I’s the most famous military road of Western Alps and it’s the highest military route in Europe, touching 2550m at “ Testa dell’Assietta”. During this route you can find many forts built in different historical ages so it is like a real open air historical museum.
The dirt road can be travelled by motorbike, cars, bike and on walk.
For the largest part this road is inside Alpi Cozie park, that’s why particular attention, respect for the environment and for walkers , is requested.
It was built in the ridges’ watershed between Susa Valley and Chisone Valley which was the theatre of the battle of July 19, 1747 in which Savoy’s troops hopelessy outnumbered ( 7500 soldiers and local volunteers against more than 20000 well-armed soldiers) stopped and defeated french invaders killing more than 5000 soldiers -while only 219 Savoy soldiers were killed- included their Chief General Fouquet de Belle-isle.
This battle is remembered every year with an historical commemoration and in Piedmont it’s an historical day.
The 19th century road was repaired many times until The second world war , and it’s the heart of a system of forts and roads developing for more than 100 km going down the sides in a wonderful scenery dominating the western Alps.
The route starts from PIAN DELL’ALPE , in USSEAUX land in Chisone Valley and after 30km reaches MOUNT FRAITEVE in SESTRIERE land. It is almost entirely over 2000m.
Passing at the foot of CIANTIPLAGNA PEAK (2849 m), of PUNTA VALLETTE (2743m), of GRAN PELA’ (2692m) and GRAN SERIN PEAK (2629m) you arrive at COLLE DELL’ASSIETTA (2474m).
After you can continue on SusaValley side crossing the following hills: COLLE LAUSON, COLLE BLEGIER (2381m), COLLE COSTA PIANA (2313m), COLLE BOURGET (2299m), COLLE BASSET (2424m). The route goes under the following mountains: TESTA DELL’ASSIETTA (2566m), TESTA DI MOTTAS (2547m), MONTE GRAN COSTA (2615m), MONTE BLEGIER (2585m), MONTE GENEVRIS (2533m), MONTE TRIPLEX (2507m) and MONTE FRAITEVE (2701m).
The main axis continues in the eastern part in Chisone Valley across PRA’CATINAT and FENESTRELLE FORT and in Susa Valley across COLLE DELLE FINESTRE. The GRAN SERIN fortresses system is connected to the road descending from FRAIS IN CHIOMONTE ( today partially impracticable). In the western part goes down to SESTRIERE or SAUZE D’OULX, from FRAITEVE, while another road, today partially impracticable, called STRADA DEI CANNONI, links it from COL BLEGIER in ALPI COZIE PARK to SALBERTRAND and SAUZE D’OULX.
The modern Assietta road system is the result of some works made since three way alliance’s signed in 1882 by Austria, Germany and Italy when France had become an enemy again and Assietta’s plateau became again a defensive strategical territory of italian western borders. That’s the reason why it was decided to build the military site.
In 30’s the entire Assietta road was upgraded: the old forts were already unused but the roads were considered particularly important because they allowed troops movements in Chisone and Susa Valley, linking alpine defensive lines.
The top part of Colle delle finestre was the only stretch of road which was not considered because not useful and too difficult to keep in order and it was completely abandoned, but every viable road took part to the great restructuring plan in Assietta territory to transform them in two way roads.
The new road Crossroad Colle delle finestre -Colle Assietta, built in 1937-38 granted the communication between Fenestrelle fort and Assietta. In the same period the road Col Blegier-Sestriere was built merging the first part of the Assietta military road and Col Blegier-Genevris.
When you arrive to Fraiteve you can choose if you want to go down to Sestriere by the main road and then go down to CESANA TORINESE and MONGINEVRO , or to go to SAUZE D’OULX and OULX driving in high Susa Valley with the possibility of reaching with the road system TORINO, BARDONECCHIA or MONGINEVRO.
The Assietta road is accessible from June to November depending from snow condition and it’s
subjected to regulations:
In July and August on wednesday and saturday from 9 am to 5 p.m. the road is closed to traffic from PIAN DELL’ALPE to COLLE BASSET ( crossroad to Sportinia km.5 ). In the open days the limit is 30km/h from Sestriere to Pian dell’alpe crossroad, and the parking is permitted only in the parking lots and the transit of veichles with weight over 35 q and width over 2 m is strictly forbidden.
TORNANTI DEL COLLE DELLE FINESTRE
FORTE DI FENESTRELLE