Lana is actually an inconspicuous small village in South Tyrol close to Merano. Located on the western slope of the Etschtal valley, Lana forms the junction between the Gampenjoch pass road and to the Ultental valley. Many motorbike travelers just overlook the small exit road to the Valle Ultimo valley, because most motorcycle travelers use the route through Lana as a ”as fast as possible” transit road across the Gampenjoch pass down to the Garda lake. If you are not ”just in transit”, you should take that exit to the beautiful Ultental valley.
The entrance into this tour is made in Lana GPS point N46°37' 08.4” E011°08' 30.7”. From Lana, always up through vineyards, the view reaches far towards northeast across the Etschtal valley over to the town Merano and into the Passeiertal valley. Beautiful curves, eternally and cleanly stretched out lead us into the plateau valley, passing small and a large storage lakes.
After the large storage lake, the Lago di Zoccolo, the road suddenly narrows down to a single track and wooden cattle fences on the left and on the right side of the roadway restrict the view. The road is very narrow and caution is required. The view over the alpine huts and farmsteads, that are located along the way are located in a typical picture book countryside.
We reach a small village named Sankt Gertraud and in the first moment we determine to say ”here is the end of the world”. Parking lots, tourist busses and that’s it. We turn to the right and find the entrance to the road that leads us up to the Lago di Fontana Bianco lake or in German language Weissbrunnsee GPS location N46°29' 26.9” E010°52' 10.3”. This hint we have received from two Italian Carabinieri policemen, who we have had met in the Ultental valley at the storage lake dam. From here on the road really becomes more than narrow, however the road is open for normal public traffic, except bussed or lorries.
Riding through a forest, through Alps meadows, passing beautiful original farmsteads the road constantly leads us uphill. A zigzag after the other, very difficult to oversee, always through the forest we climb up the mountain from Sankt Gertraud to the lake. No, you won’t find this road in any mapping software or Garmin release. In all these sources the ”world” ends in Sankt Gertraud.
At the top, at nearly 6,600ft above sea level, you will find the hostel Genziana at GPS point N46°29' 02.4” E010°47' 26.2” located at a small natural storage lake with approx. 1,000ft diameter. Here is granny the cook. Hand made Tyrolean Knoedel. Grandpa serves and we are surprised. Some motorbike travelers have found the way up beside some hiking tourists.
The small lake invites to cool the feet and the kitchen from granny Knoedl Moidl is simply ingenious and outstanding. Built very rustic, a very beautiful beer garden shaded by firs you really can relax at 6,600ft in the middle of the Stilfserjoch national park.
If you then finally have decided to leave this paradise, we do not recommend to use the route back through Lana but to take a right turn at GPS point N46°33' 32.1” E011°02' 01.3” right after the villages Proveis and Laurin. This road leads to the west side of the Mendel pass road, across a very calm and lonely road, in the middle by a wooded resort and underruns the mountain by a vertex tunnel over to the province Trentino.