It is always an emotional event, the re-opening of the Little St. Bernard Pass, between Italy and France, after a long and harsh winter. This year the opening is scheduled to 31st of May, weather permitting. It is in fact, not unusual, that the opening is postponed due to too much snow, and the snow clearance, on both sides, is at the moment working hard to secure the viability.
This squiggly, scenic road, with its saddle at 2188 m above sea level, works in the winter as piste number 7, in the ski area Espace San Bernardo, shared between La Thuile on the Italian side and La Rosière on the French.
The Little St. Bernard pass was historically one of the most important Alp passes. During the roman era, the pass was long time the principal route over the Alps, and there was even a "mansio", a store and a shelter for both wayfarers and the military along the road. Here is also the remaining of a Roman temple, dedicated to Jupiter who also gave his name to the pass throughout the Middle Ages.
According to some to some researchers, it was right here, over the Little St. Bernard Pass, that Hannibal led the Carthaginian Army, including the elephants, over the Alps on his way toward Rome in 218 BC.
Today this beautiful mountain route is popular with both cyclists and motorcyclists and it is a convenient starting point for many treks.
Do you want to know more about La Thuile in the summer and winter?