The transversal across the Passo Tonale connects the town Edolo in the West with the Val di Sole in the east. The pass road has its starting point in the west near the village of Ponte di Legno, where the Gavia Pass merges the Tonale pass road. The pass summit crosses over a crest just at 1.884m. Built as a wide main road you can reach the summit easily since the Passo di Tonale is a winter ski resort. The village Ponte di Legno itself is just a bit off the broad road that runs in a large right curve passing by the village. However, It is worthwhile to take a left and invest in that brief detour through this picturesque village and plan a stop and park your bike for a cappuccino in an Italian bar. Important to mention is also the gas station on the wide ring road which we usually choose before we get into the pass road.
Once you have reached the pass summit you will very quickly notice that this is up here is a classic winter resort. Up here the winter sports is going on mostly up to spring time, especially since many cable cars transport the skier uphill to the mountains of the Presanelle group. The town itself is then almost completely extinct during off season and live comes only back in the months of July and August. Then up here the peddlers meet at the Passo di Tonale from 10:00am to 2:00pm for a giant flea market.
The pass road itself runs from Ponte di Legno through a couple of clearly arranged serpentines and curves the most part through dense forest up to the pass. The driver can catch from time to time a short view over to the surrounding mountains, but should be loose the focus on the entire road. The pass summit itself is located exactly at a war memorial, which commemorates the killed soldiers during both World Wars.
From the pass summit down into the Val di Sole fun comes back quickly riding a bike because the road is not only in very good condition, but also resonates with infinitely uncountable beautiful curves with a magnificent view to Presanella mountains and its glacier downhill. We recommend to pass over the pass summit and take a break approx. 1 mile behind it at a small car park. First, it is not so windy down here and second it has a beautiful view towards the mountains with their glaciers.
From the village of Ossana on the configuration of roads changes at the junction where the road from the village Male merges the pass road. From here it continues very broad and well developed and allows a little bit higher riding speeds. We use the Passo di Tonale most of the time when we commute form Grisons over to South Tyrol or on a tour around the Ortler with Umbrail pass, Stelvio and Gavia Pass.