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San Bernardino Pass

San Bernardino Pass Introduction

San Bernardino Pass is a very tall mountain pass in the Alps. It is about 6,800 feet tall. It connects the Mesolcina and the Hinterrhein valleys between Bellinzona and Thusis. It is situated on the far eastern side of the western part of the Alps, and it shouldn’t be confused with the Great St. Bernard Pass, or the Little St. Bernard Pass, for that matter. The top of pass is representative of the Italo-German language frontier, as well as the watershed between the Rhine basin and the Po basin. 

The route initially became important as a track for mules in the 1400s when the route between Splugen and Thusis was referred to as the Via Mala. A wheeled vehicle road was opened up in the late 1700s. The road was improved to a significant degree in the early 1820s. The Kingdom of Sardinia helped to finance it. They wanted to enhance a trade route that would connect the Piedmont and Genoa to the Graubunden, a trade route that wouldn’t be under Austrian government control. 

Traffic flow as better facilitated when in the late 1960s, the San Bernardino road tunnel was finished, because then automobile traffic on the pass had been cut down, which would benefit people who took the time to circumvent the tunnel. The pass road is not open except for in the summertime. 

Close to the crest of the pass is the holiday resort of San Bernardino. There are unique plants, pine trees, and bogs that really make San Bernardino stand out as beautiful atmosphere. The village has wet meadows that surround it, and there is wetland flora that can claim the biggest number of species in the Southern Alps. In the wintertime, when the road is closed off, San Bernardino is transformed into a winter paradise. It is certainly a resort worth visiting in the wintertime, as it is quite idyllic and paradise-like, with a number of activities. 

This enchanting mountain pass crosses over a high, mysterious moor that has sparkling pools and beautiful glacial rocks that go up to the top of the pass. 

The Bernardino Pass has been used since Roman times. The primary difficulty was not actually the pass but the complicated route through the Rhine gorge between Zillis and Thusis, which has been called the “Bad Road”. It was definitely named the “Bad Road” for a reason.

San Bernardino Pass Photo Gallery

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