Livigno, a quiet, remote located mountain valley is nestled in the midst of a so called Zona Franca mountain area, which means tax-free district. This leads to interesting pricing situations like for example: 1 liter of premium petrol, in 2000, did cost just 1,300 lire, or the equivalent of DM 1,30. Latest price in 2005 was 63 Eurocents for a liter of premium gasoline. Prices for 2012 were at 1,15 Euro for a liter. The valley is accessible from three sides. The whole year from Zernez Unterengadin by the toll tunnel, from Italy via the Passo di Foscagno, or from Switzerland via the Forcola di Livigno pass.
The Forcola di Livigno pass branches on the south side, a few bends down from the summit of the Bernina Pass to the left and follows a small barren valley gently uphill. After a few meters, the Swiss border station is reached and the motorbike tourist has to continue his ride over a frost rugged road through a no man's land between the two country borders of Italy and Switzerland to the summit, which is reached after a few miles. This is then the Italian border station.
From now on, the view opens in the Livigno valley, in which the traveler follows gently down the pass road following steadily the right valley side down Livigno “downtown”. It is a busy traffic down in Livigno city, especially all that many cars and mobile homes that want to reach the countless supermarkets and tax free shops of Livigno. Correspondingly long traffic jams wait for you at time on exit this area through one of the three border stations. The customs officers check very well. Passing by that jam line with the motorcycle is really never a good idea, since you will be punished by the officials with non-compliance and you then will have to wait until you have queued at the old place in the queue again. Hard rules, but they work.
The Alpine passes are only recommended during the summer season. In winter the valley is accessible only through the tunnel and the valley is mostly filled by winter sports trourists. The driveway from Bernina to the Italian border is very scenic and you feel moved back in time to the old Karl May movie. Screes, little green, a narrow canyon. The descent into the Livigno valley however, despite the traffic is clearly setup and you can ride a quick groove ride downhill.
The motorbike traveler should take the time and buy a few little tax free items in Livigno. The prices are quite unique and the selection is huge. To save the toll for exit we then recommend to ride the Passo di Foscagno whose entry exit can be easily overlooked in the village. This pass leads then over to Bormio, the Passo di Stelvio and continues to Passo di Gavia.