Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Assietta Road (Strada dell'Assietta)

Strada dell'Assietta
This is a really famous road even all over the Europe. On the "Strada della Assietta" (Assietta road) is indeed very frequent to meet German motor-bikers or Dutch off road cars riding on this high altitude road. The road is also well known as the 5 Cols road (Strada dei 5 Colli). The way I prefer to ride it is from east side to west side making an anticlockwise loop for several reasons. In order to close the loop I prefer the asphalt road SS23, because it is much faster additionally the riding on the asphalt is limited because if you choose the anticlockwise the asphalt part is mainly downhill.

There is also possibilities to close the loop following the "la via dei Romani" off-road route, but I don't like since it has not a good sun exposition especially in the early morning and in the late afternoon and too steep for me, maybe more expert mountain bikers can appreciate it. Additionally my road bikers soul loves asphalt road downhill and the downhill from Sestriere to Pragelato is really enjoyable. I usually start from Pragelato,but you can start the loop where ever you prefer.

Uphill toward Colle dell'Assietta
Another reason, if you choose clockwise loop you would have the downhill from Testa dell'Assietta to Piano dell'Alpe that is very steep and stony while if you get the anticlockwise loop this part is uphill and you can enjoy the landscape and you would have the downhill from Col Basset to Sestriere which is mainly in the wood and not so much stony.

There are several variants of the the tour the shorter is about 60 km while the longer is about 80 Km, there is also the "Grand Serin" and "Colle della Vecchia" variant. My favorite is the longer tour starting from Depot. The uphill up to the Hotel Pracatinat is inside a big trees wood where you can enjoy a nice view of the valley. After the Pra-Catinat Hotel the uphill start being less steep and you can enjoy much more the Pra-Catinat area where you can also have a top view the Fenestrelle Fortress.

Pian dell'Alpe
The Pra Catinat road ends up in the asphalt road that bring to "Colle delle Finestre" SP172 here you can get both directions. If you get uphill you will take the "Gran Serin" variant, turning left in the unpaved road before arriving at the top of Colle delle Finestre. If you get downhill you will turn right in Pian dell'Alpe in the unpaved road following the sign to Sestriere. From this junction starts the long uphill up to the Testa dell'Assietta at 2600 meter of altitude which will give you heartbreaking landscapes.

Colle Lauson
After the Testa dell'Assietta you will realise why this road is also called the road of 5 passes. It starts a continuing up and down that will bring you up to the last the Col Basset which is the beginning of the downhill toward Sestriere.The peculiarity of this road it that you are now riding at above 2000 meter altitude sometimes you can see the landscape of Susa valley you can easily see Oulx and sometimes the Chisone valley you can easily notice Pragelato.
Chisone Valley view from Strada Dell'Assietta


Route - Long ride



Route - Short ride


The Video



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