Colle Di San Zeno


I came onto this route because the higher Passo Crocedimini was still closed because of snow. Not many cars seem to find their way onto this road, and that even though it really is not very narrow. Aerial views of villages and church towers were the main attraction on this route for me. For great mountain views there are probably better routes, but if the weather is hazy sunshine, that limits far views to imagined objects, this may not be that important.


1.(270m,00.0km) START-END WEST ALT: Concesio
2.(510m,23.1km) START-END WEST: route turns left
3.(620m,25.5km) Pezzazole
4.(810m,28.3km) St Apollonio
5.(1418m,37.2km) TOP: Colle San Zeno
6.(210m,54.6km) START-END EAST: Pisogne on Lac d'Iseo

Approaches

From South.
To maximize the elevation gain on this side I started the profile in Brecia. I turned onto the route, after coming down Passo Maniva, looking for signs that say Pezzaze"

The first two villages after Pezzaze were my favorite part of the ride. Climbing progress can be measured in "church tower" units. There are two types of this unit to choose from. Besides two medieval town cores there are also many modern buildings that speckle the green hazy hills below the peaks.

After the first dozen or so switchbacks the road withdrawns into the forest, and traverses along the hillside. At one point the trees open up and a pass can be seen just below the bread loaf shaped mountain across the valley. But after the traverse, the road starts to climb again in long switchbacks. That pass was higher than it looked. My heavy touring luggage may also have played a part in thie impression. On top is a albergo, a power line and another limited hazy view to the north.


From North. (described downwards) After rolling down two traverses you find yourself looking up at a single ski slope, an artificial gash in the mountain, and not much more. After that the road disappears in the forest. The next and last exciting part is the final descent to the Lago d'Iseo. From Fraine, across the wide valley another town lies plastered on the mountain at half height. Below there are factories and expressways, shops and traffic jams, you can almost hear it up here. - No you can't. Because up here there are still no cars, just a few quiet crucifixes. But the anxiety of rejoining the modern traffic world made me think I heard cars. But once you get down, it is actually very manageable. A Piste Ciclabile leads in both directions. I took the one north - but only for a short time. This route is only partly paved and contains a few very steep sections somewhere north of Darvo, and at times is much longer than the road.

A Day on a Tour

( < Colle Maniva | Passo di Gavia > )
Colle Di San Zemo :
San Colombano > Pezzaze > Colle Di San Zeno > Fraine > Pisogne > Darfo > Breno > Cedegolo > Demo > Malonno: 62.8miles with 4469ft of climbing in 5:45hrs (VDO MC1.0 m4:13.6.6)




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