A ride around Cuorgne, Piedmont

Route 6: A ride around Cuorgne, Piedmont

Never mind blowing the doors off… this road from The Italian Job will blow your mind

Colle del Nivolet has lakes, hairpins and virtually no traffic. It’s amazing.

Colle del Nivolet has lakes, hairpins and virtually no traffic. It’s amazing.

You have to really want to ride this road. It’s a dead end - and not one that’s handy for anywhere you’d normally tour on a motorcycle. The Colle del Nivolet climbs up into the Gran Paradiso mountains above Turin in the Piedmont but while it is a pass, it’s closed to motorised traffic at the top. That means going out of your way to reach the start… then after riding to the top, you have to turn around and come back.

So why would you bother riding it? Well, I got curious because this was where the final bus scene in The Italian Job was shot. Plus it looked amazing on a map, so I really wanted to ride it.., Let me tell you, this is not a road you resent riding up and down again. From the village of Noasca the road climbs four broad but steep hairpins, enters a long tunnel and emerges in mountain-riding heaven.

I’ve ridden some twisty roads, some steep roads, some scenic ones… but never one that’s so steep, so twisty and so scenic. Up and up it climbs, ever tighter, past first one reservoir, then another. Every time you glance over your shoulder there’s a staggering vista of spiralling tarmac. Just don’t look over the sides of the road unless you have a good head for heights. But because it’s a dead-end road, it’s deserted.

As with so many Italian passes, there’s a refuge at the summit - this one’s a walk away form the road. Ideal for a quick coffee break before heading back. The road is different on the descent - if anything, it’s even more involving, the views even more breathtaking. Never mind riding it twice, I could ride it again and again, all day long. I had to wait a long time to ride Colle del Nivolet, but it was worth it - and I can’t wait to ride it again.

Every other destination we feature in this guide has multiple routes - but here there’s only one, which should tell you how good this road is. If you need a new mountain destination, I’ve got a great idea…


Route 6: Cuorgne, Piedmont


The route: start/finish: Cuorne Distance: 175 miles. Riding time: 7 hours. Suggested stops: AM coffee: Colle del Nivolet, lunch: Aquila Blanca, PM coffee: Groscavallo
Route map,   Route GPX file    


Please note: This page contains the route files for The RiDE Guide To Italy which came free with RiDE magazine in July 2015. These website page are not regularly updated, so please check all critical information before you travel. All route files are in .gpx format. Garmin and BMW users can download the main file, which contains all the routes and our recommended hotels as separate waypoints. TomTom users can download the individual routes and use the Tyre software to convert them. For many routes we also have Google Map links. However, as Google Maps will not plot routes over seasonally closed high Alpine passes (such as Stelvio) when they’re shut, these may not work for every route all year round.