On the west side of the Etsch valley (ital. Val d'Adige), with a magnificent view of Bolzano and the Kaltern Lake, you will find the well known Mendel pass (ital. Passo di Mendola). Although the pass itself is surrounded by dense forest, and there is nearly no view down into the Etsch valley, it offers to the motorcyclist in the rocky steep section the possibility to stop by in small parking bays and enjoy the wonderful panoramic view across the valley. It is worthwhile to really stop here and sneak in such a bay for picture shooting. The view then extends from Kaltern far over to the Dolomite Alps, the Ritten mountain and down to Bolzano.
The pass itself leads up from the Adige valley on the right hand side just a view miles behind the village Eppan (ital. Appiano) towards the village Kaltern (ital. Caldaro) and runs to the beginning through orchards and then relatively quickly disappears in dense, cool forest. For many years road construction is still going on at the Mendel pass (they have started in the 90's) that help to make the road better and wider, but the frequent construction sites should be passed with caution, especially in summer time (in summer 2006 three areas with dirt track).
The pass summit itself is dominated by tourism and several restaurants with sun decks invite you to take a break and it interesting that the prices are still at a reasonable level. It is also worthwhile to take a detour from the pass up to the Penegal (1.737m) mountain crest from where you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view into the Adige valley. Since you need to walk about 500ft form the parking lot up there to the viewing point, we recommend to not leave any loose stuff on your bike. Signs warn of thieves.
The western side of the Mendel Pass again passes through dense pine forest and reaches after a few kilometers the village of Fondo. The Mendola itself is the boundary between the province South Tyrol in the east and the province Trentino in the west. In the village Fondo you can turn towards south and extend the tour down to to Lake Garda or straight over to the Gavia and Stelvio Passo or Tonale and to the right over to the Gampen pass and further on to the Timmelsjoch or Merano.