It is considered the most beautiful road on the lake, winding and narrow enough to be suggestive in the eyes of every visitor to this area of Garda. Inserted between the rocks, the Strada della Forra is a real jewel among the passages that connect the lake shores to the Garda hinterland.
It looks like an ancient path, carved by the waters, yet it was inaugurated only in the early twentieth century! A story to discover …
The origin of the road
The shore of the Garda is the Lombard one, and the stream is the one that arrives on the lakefront, also collecting those of the Bondo stream; in a path that from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century was a source of energy for many activities including mills, leather tanneries, forges.
The Strada della Forra winds for about 6 kilometers and allows you to enter the heart of the mountain through tunnels that allow you to experience the rock made up of millenary layers, the climbing plants, in an almost fairytale setting.
Not surprisingly, it was defined by Wiston Churchill as “the eighth wonder of the world” – perhaps also due to the engineering effort of the time.
The construction and inauguration of the Vesio-Pieve-Porto road
Inaugurated in 1913, this new route at the time represented a sort of liberation from the isolation of the Tremosine area, which also includes the centers of Limone, Campione, Tignale and up to the Val di Ledro.
In fact, in order to reach the port, until then, they had to travel very steep paths, and often to embark the products of manufacturing or agriculture, or to receive other necessities, the inhabitants were forced to a physical effort and time not indifferent. When public funds were able to arrive for the design of this road, Arturo Cozzaglio, a brilliant geologist and engineer who had already developed several projects to facilitate the viability of the area, immediately took action.
Thus was born this legendary passage, now a national heritage and famous since the Thirties not only locally. The road of the Forra is to be covered with one eye on the path, the other on the beauty of the path – the breathtaking spectacle of Lake Garda and the steep rocks is indelible in the memory of those who have traveled it.
How to take the Forra road
For those who want to experience the thrill of this road section, you can start by taking the Gardesana Occidentale (the SS 45 bis) and arriving at the hub of the Port of Tremosine you have to follow the Provincial Road 38 Porto-Pieve-Strada della Forra (this is its name technical that you can also read on the road signs).
The length of the road, calculating the complete route from the entrance to the Port of Tremosine, becomes approximately 11 kilometers. It runs along the eastern side of the plateau and you can see the Brasa that descends from the side of the mountain, with some small waterfall.
The road can be crossed safely by car, even if the greatest emotion is perhaps that of traveling the bends of the Strada della Forra by motorbike.
In any case, the speed must be very slow because the hairpin bends of the mountain are narrow, the tunnels narrow, and you need a lot of attention while driving. Also because in some places the roadway is protected only by a low wall, and therefore you need calm and concentration to experience this adventure.
We remind you that with the camper the Strada della Forra is not accessible, since the heights and widths of the tunnels do not allow the viability of these vehicles, in the central part of the route.
The traffic is fine up to the central part, where the direction is alternated, and two traffic lights regulate the flow of directions in the tunnels. This moment represents an opportunity to look carefully at the rock outside the tunnel, its fascinating layers, and the unique atmosphere of this path between bridges in the void and sharp hairpin bends.
The official end of the SP38 is in Tremosine del Garda, which reserves another spectacular scenery from its heights, a town on a spur of rock between the mountain and the lake.
The Strada della Forra for bikes and pedestrians: you can, carefully!
The curves are very compressed between the rocks, the fast vehicles pass often, and the sides of the mountain can be yielding. Therefore, it can be difficult to travel this road by bike or on foot.
Complicated but not impossible. You can participate in targeted excursions, which often allow you to transit and visit not only the Strada della Forra but also the surrounding places and trekking paths – such as the one from Porto to Pieve.
In some points it can be difficult as a route, so it is always good to rely on local mountain guides, also because in some periods it can be closed due to bad weather or road maintenance, therefore not accessible on foot or by bike.
In the points accessible on foot of the Forra, the scenery is truly spectacular between the light that filters from the top of the gorge, the plants leaning against the walls in a unique vertical garden, the water that flows with a sound that echoes in the gallery …
James Bond on the Strada della Forra
A curiosity about this path: if we all have to pass with caution, during the filming of the James Bond saga film “007 – Quantum of Solace”, our beloved spy traveled it at full speed, in a chase to remember.
Aston Martin between crevasses and serpentines, was guided on the screen by Daniel Craig as he ran away from his pursuers: the classic race against time, which continues down to the shores of Lake Garda, always at a speed … only from the film!