A ride over Passo dell'Ampola connects two scenic lakes with
yet another lake: On the west side is Lago di Garda: big,
lots of toursim, spectacular scenery. On the east side is
Lago d'Idro. It is quite a bit higher and more removed from
the commercial tourirst world. But pensions exist. Along the
way you pass Lago di Ledro, forested and lined by villages .
The summit of Passlo d'Ampola itself could easily be missed
if somebody didn't put a sign there.
For a skinny tire bike, the western appraoch presents a
problem: a long tunnel, closed to bicycles. Mountain bikes
can use the Ponale, which then becomes the most spectacular
part of the entire ride. For more on the Ponale, see the Tremalzo
START-END EAST: leaving Riva Del Garda south, profile
turns onto Ponale shortly after this
2.(250m,03.2km)route turns right off Ponale road and
follows path to Valle Di Ledro
3.(470m,7.4km) Pre di Ledro
5.(730m,18.4km) Tiamo di Sotto
6.(753m,19.6km) TOP: highest point, in Tiamo di Sopra
7.(747m,23.1km) TOP: Passo dell'Ampolo
8.(410m,32.9km[800) START-END WEST: west of Storo; jct
with bike path along Fiume Chiese
From West. Legally it's not possible to
ride a road bike on pavement only from Riva di Garda into the
Ledro Valley. Due to a tunnel, "only" the Ponente is
open for bicycles. This is a spectacular alternative for a
mountain bike. But it is a little rough for skinny tire bikes.
In practice, people have told me that they have ridden through
the tunnel, more often in a downward direction. There is more
info on the Ponente on the Passo
Past the tunnel bicycle traffic is again diverted from the
road onto a trail in Pre. The bike trail becomes partially non
paved again and also very steep and curvy in places. But by that
time riding on the road is not a problem any more, and during in
my case weekday traffic was very light too.
The Ledro Valley makes a very luxuriant impression on first
sight. Large villas sprawl out in luxuriant dense vegetation.
This pass does not give the impression of being one, just a
continuous valley. Actually the highest point in the road is
before you get to the official pass sign.
the Ledro Valley with its lake on the way to Passo d'Ampolo
From East. (described downwards).
The pass itself is just a flat part of the road with the turnoff
to Passo Tremalzo. From here the road rolls into the entrance of
steep sided green canyon of moderate height. The canyon
becomes deeper and the road uses a few tight switchbacks, that
have to remain with in the limit of a narrow canyon floor to
descend into Storo. That village has lots of place to spread out
in this wide flat bottomed valley. In medieval fashon the houses
still sit close together and plant a firm stake on the north
side of the valley. The arrival in Storo was my favorite
part of this pass ride. At the bottom waits a meticulously paved
bike path to speed you down to Lago d'Idro.
A day on a tour with this point as intermediate
summit is on page: Passo