The Colle Fauniera is a mountain pass in the Cottian Alps, Piedmont, northern Italy, located at 2,480+ m elevation. It’s one of the roughest of road surfaces, but still one of the greatest of Italian road cycling climbs, having a statue of the legendary Marco Pantani at the summit.
We set this as an all day cycling route in the Italian mountains, with a long climb and an epic descent. The route starts in the beautiful Italian town of Caraglio.
As this cycling route is close to the Italian French border, you can fly into Nice and stay in the city and take in some great cycling, before crossing the border into Italy and taking on this awesome Italian road cycling route, one of the great Italian passes. If you choose, you can book a few nights accommodation at nearby Cuneo, or at Caraglio itself, which whilst more limited,is a beautiful place to stay. Either way, you’ll have a brilliant day cycling in the Italian mountains and have tackled one the greatest road cycling climbs in the world.
Every keen road cyclist should visit this amazing country, because road cycling the Italian Passes is a trip of a lifetime, and the Colle Fauniera road cycling route should be on every cyclists tick list.
Climbing the Colle della Fauniera Cycling Route
This Italian road cycling classic route starts in the beautiful mountain town of Caraglio, where the Giro d’Italia also started the route, before heading into the mountains on the narros and steep winding roads. It’s a long climb of some 35km to the summit, but there are a few lovely villages on the way, and an awesome descent afterwards.
It’s a tough day, so be prepared and take lots of water, gels and food, and a long sleeved jacket for if it turns cold. Please take care on the descent and don’t try to be a Strava hero.
Distance and Ascent: 88km and 2221 metres of ascent
Refreshments: Cafe possibilities on the way at villages. Demonte has lots of suitable refreshment options once you get back down. Caraglio has a few great lttle places to eat and drink at too.
Colle del Fauniera - Route Details
1. This route heads out from the small mountain town of Caraglio. Take the SP23 road that climbs into the mountains towards Pradleves, which is reached at 12km.
2. Once through Pradleves the road begins to steepen and becomes quite narrow, so care should be taken regarding other traffic. Make sure that if riding in a group,you do not take over the width of the road.
3. At 14km the road becomes the SP112 and climbs steeply towards the village of Castelmagno at 20km, twisting and turning as you continue climbing, now on the SP333.
4. At 23.5km pass through Chiotti Sant’Anna then Chiappi, eventually reacing a small junction at 33km. This is the Colle D’Esischie and a climb for another day. Stay ahead for the Colle Del Fauniera, which is reached 1km later and which opens up beautiful mounatin views beside the statue to Italy’s great cycling hero – Marco Pantani.
5. Take care descending on the narrow road, as the surface is not always ideal. Descend through scenic villages, as you head down the valley towards the main highway at Demonte 58km. Now turn left onto the SS21 towards Castelletto. At 76km turn left on the SS23 towards Cervasca, now on flat and easy roads that lead you back to Caraglio and good Italian food.
Click below for GPX files
Colle del Fauniera
Route Cue Card