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Old August 3rd, 2010, 09:06 PM   #1761
Verso
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Hmm, Predil on the Slovenian border is just 1,156 m, and I'm sure there're passes in Italian Alps as low as 500 m, like here.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 11:53 PM   #1762
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The Brenner Pass is probably the lowest pass connecting the Adriatic watershed with another one (except the Cadibona Pass, considered the border between the Appennini and Alps, that are in fact an uninterrupted mountain chain running from Clabria until Austria).
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Old August 4th, 2010, 12:03 AM   #1763
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
Hmm, Predil on the Slovenian border is just 1,156 m, and I'm sure there're passes in Italian Alps as low as 500 m, like here.
500 meters? no way
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Old August 4th, 2010, 02:06 AM   #1764
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I guess there is a small semantic confusion between the term "Alpin pass". In Italy, we usually refer to "Alpi" (Alps) as the mountain ridge that divided watershed running to the Ligurian and Adriatic Sea to elsewhere (or wherever else). The central mountain ridge that begins in Calabria and go all the way to the Western Alpine ridge near the Italian-French border is called "Little Alps". The "lower" mountain ridges north of the Padana Plain before the Alps are given other name like "Dolimiti" and "Pre Alpi".

So when I said "lowest Alpine pass" I meant, the lowest road connection not using a tunnel linking Germany/Austria/France lowlands to Italy (I don't count the near-sea level "pass" by the oceanside between Menton and Ventimiglia for obvious reasons).

In any case, to get to what is "up there in the North" from Italy without detouring through France or all the way to the Caspian Sea you have to cross the Alps and the lowest point you can make it is the Brennero Pass.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 03:17 AM   #1765
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All clear now. I think what you meant is the lowest pass in the Italian part of the main Alps' divide (Monaco to Vienna approximately), because e.g. Passo di Monte Croce Carnico on the Austrian border is at 1,357 m, but isn't on the main Alpine divide. I think you're right (if we exclude passes close to the Ligurian Sea).

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500 meters? no way
The word "Alps" includes all little hills in the Alps' outskirts. For example, Via San Lorenzo goes over a hill and is less than 500 m. I guess you meant more inland Alps, in which case we don't have such low passes either. But it all started when Suburbanist said Brennero was the lowest pass in the Alps, which of course isn't true. I hope we all understand now.
EDIT: actually the before-mentioned Cadibona Pass (Bocchetta di Altare) seems to be pretty important and is just 459 m asl.

Last edited by Verso; August 4th, 2010 at 03:23 AM.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #1766
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
The central mountain ridge that begins in Calabria and go all the way to the Western Alpine ridge near the Italian-French border is called "Little Alps".
Actually it's called Appennini, which doesn't mean little Alps.
Their name come from Mount Penna, in Ligurian Appennino
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Old August 5th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #1767
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
All clear now. I think what you meant is the lowest pass in the Italian part of the main Alps' divide (Monaco to Vienna approximately), because e.g. Passo di Monte Croce Carnico on the Austrian border is at 1,357 m, but isn't on the main Alpine divide. I think you're right (if we exclude passes close to the Ligurian Sea).

The word "Alps" includes all little hills in the Alps' outskirts. For example, Via San Lorenzo goes over a hill and is less than 500 m. I guess you meant more inland Alps, in which case we don't have such low passes either. But it all started when Suburbanist said Brennero was the lowest pass in the Alps, which of course isn't true. I hope we all understand now.
EDIT: actually the before-mentioned Cadibona Pass (Bocchetta di Altare) seems to be pretty important and is just 459 m asl.
for me a pass divides one side of the Alps to the other...that's the common sense.

The same would be true for the Pyrenees..the main "passes" are the one that allow traffic - from historic times - to go from one side to another, ie from modern France to modern Spain
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Old August 5th, 2010, 01:14 PM   #1768
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Anyway there are famous passes within Italy borders, as Stelvio, for istance, between Lombardy and Trentino-Alto Adige

Yep, I know some people say Sud Tyrol is not Italy...
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Old August 5th, 2010, 03:43 PM   #1769
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Originally Posted by GENIUS LOCI View Post

Anyway there are famous passes within Italy borders, as Stelvio, for istance, between Lombardy and Trentino-Alto Adige

Yep, I know some people say Sud Tyrol is not Italy...
Well, I guess South Tyrol/Sud Tirolo/Südtirol is as Italian as Silesia is Polish as Istria is Croatian. We just need to get over 60+ years war grievances... Or should Nice and all the land the French took subsequently in WW2 be Italian again ? What about Danzig and the ex-Finnish east territories? And, yes, I am an anti-regionalism, anti-localism supporter (no "federalism" or "autonomy" in Italy, no independent status for Basque Country or Cataluña, no "devolved powers" to French regions etc. etc.). We've had enough bloody fights in Europe, millions died and we'd better forget this whining.

==================================

In any case, there are two DISUSED Alpine road passes. Because environwackos would make it virtually impossible to open new alpine passes, I'm very sad that two former passes are now disused.

One is Passo di San Giacomo (2135m) east of the Simplon pass (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=...54932&t=h&z=15).

It was the only road connection between Switzerland and Italy between Simplon pass and St. Gotthar pass (as Ticino is on the "other" side of the watershed). The picky Swiss decided to close road to traffic - not that there was any significant traffic, Italian approach takes more than 2 hours in best case scenario etc. - in 1993 They said the road saw so little traffic that it would be better to leave it as a bike and trail path only

Other closed road pass is in the border with Austria is the the Passo di Vizze (2276m) east of the Brennero pass (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...77162&t=h&z=14). Though close to the large motorway, it provided a very interesting and scenic shortcut to Maruhofen and all the isolated valleys connecting there. However, the Austrians closed the last 8km or road (not only the ascent) in the 1970's out of concern of infiltration of Italian home-grown terrorist near some quite isolated hydropower dams in the region. They never reopened it and in the 1990's decided to convert the route into an "eco path" (gotta HATE environmentalists), as, well, any person who can ride a car can also bike 9km upwards a mountain pass without fainting/crumbling/dying.

In 2002 Italians made their nasty move too, closing the last 3km up to the top (the unpaved section of the road, but otherwise nice for traffic) because they didn't want to keep maintaining a rout that used to see an AADT of 43 (never mind the road was usually closed from December to June anyway). Now you have to CLIMB or BIKE upwards in the Italian side too, though less than in the Austrian side.

Fortunately, there are just two other unpaved road Alpine passes that are not paved, thus making them susceptible to closure for traffic. All others are quite vital.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 06:14 PM   #1770
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interesting discussion on last 2-3 pages
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Old August 5th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #1771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddard Stark View Post
for me a pass divides one side of the Alps to the other...that's the common sense.
A pass is a passage between two points higher than the pass itself. It doesn't matter if it is at 100 or 3000 m above sea level, or if it connect two or the same watershed.

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Because environwackos would make it virtually impossible to open new alpine passes...
Thankfully there are ambientalists (but the truth lies between the extremes).
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Old August 5th, 2010, 08:25 PM   #1772
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Thankfully there are ambientalists (but the truth lies between the extremes).
I don't know any mainstream environmental organization in Italy that has any reasonable approach to road construction. Some of them acquiesce to projects like widening if compensatory measures like noise barrier are build too.

But take ANY new roadway project (Pedemontana, Bre-Me-Mi, TEM, A12 Civitavecchia - Livorno, improvement/new alignment for SS 106 - Jonica, Messina Strait Bridge, ANY new highway (even 2X1) in Sicilia...) that involves chopping down a bunch of trees and they will become Italy's progress, development and growth fierce enemy.

Sometimes I think they (environmentalists) would have us all using only the roadways that the Romans had opened and that would be it.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #1773
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
A pass is a passage between two points higher than the pass itself. It doesn't matter if it is at 100 or 3000 m above sea level, or if it connect two or the same watershed.
Thankfully there are ambientalists (but the truth lies between the extremes).
A pass is the highest point of a road built on the lowest possible way ;-)
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Old August 5th, 2010, 11:38 PM   #1774
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Not necessarily. Roads sometimes go a few meters higher in the mountain than the pass they traverse, but that highest point isn't called "pass".
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Old August 6th, 2010, 03:01 AM   #1775
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From wikipedia:
"In a range of hills or, especially, of mountains, a pass is a path that allows the crossing of a mountain chain. It is usually a saddle point in between two areas of higher elevation." So it's simply a path/road crossing of a mountain chain.

A saddle point is the lowest summit of a route in-between (as in they pass either side) two peaks - so is the highest point on a theoretical road built the lowest possible way, however a pass doesn't have to go the lowest possible way (though they tend to go the lowest practical way, which isn't quite the same).
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Old August 6th, 2010, 05:15 AM   #1776
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A "saddle point" is often refered to as a "pass", especially by non-native English speakers. You rarely hear someone using the words "saddle point". People are usually interested in the elevation of saddle points ("passes") and often stop there, not just in paths/roads running over them.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 09:15 AM   #1777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GENIUS LOCI View Post

Anyway there are famous passes within Italy borders, as Stelvio, for istance, between Lombardy and Trentino-Alto Adige

Yep, I know some people say Sud Tyrol is not Italy...
what this has to do with what I said?

I said an alpine pass for us is what allows traffic, people, goods to cross the alps.

Stelvio is surely a pass between Lombary and Trentino, but does not allow to cross the Alps

I am not saying there are no other passes except the ones between the two sides of the mountain range, just that the main passes (ie in our case the alpine passes) are the ones that allow to cross the same mountain range

And again - apart of the definition of pass or saddle - that is the common sense everyone uses about this concept

Last edited by Eddard Stark; August 6th, 2010 at 09:24 AM.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #1778
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what this has to do with what I said?

I said an alpine pass for us is what allows traffic, people, goods to cross the alps.

Stelvio is surely a pass between Lombary and Trentino, but does not allow to cross the Alps

I am not saying there are no other passes except the ones between the two sides of the mountain range, just that the main passes (ie in our case the alpine passes) are the ones that allow to cross the same mountain range

And again - apart of the definition of pass or saddle - that is the common sense everyone uses about this concept
In any case, I think those mountain passes are among the best spots for car trips in Italy

Next year, budget and time allowing, I'm planning a summer theme trip to cover 25-35 mountain passes in the Alps and the Pyrenees. My idea is to film them and make a sort of theme blog project. I'll only focus on passes above 1500 s.l.m.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #1779
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In any case, I think those mountain passes are among the best spots for car trips in Italy

Next year, budget and time allowing, I'm planning a summer theme trip to cover 25-35 mountain passes in the Alps and the Pyrenees. My idea is to film them and make a sort of theme blog project. I'll only focus on passes above 1500 s.l.m.
I still remember the time when I crossed the Simplon pass by car during a winter snow storm (damn my friends)

The wind was blowing and making scary noise, the snow was whirlind around our cars. The street was lightly covered with snow but we were passing - at the top - between two high walls of snow.

It looked a lot like the Caradhras attempted crossing by the fellowship of the Ring

On the way back I took the tunnel (you can load the car on a train and cross the Alps)
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Old August 6th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #1780
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
A "saddle point" is often refered to as a "pass", especially by non-native English speakers. You rarely hear someone using the words "saddle point". People are usually interested in the elevation of saddle points ("passes") and often stop there, not just in paths/roads running over them.
Very true.

In british English the saddle point is normally called a gap or col (which are never used for the road), and the pass relates to the road. The wiki article had a bit I snipped out where it gave a load of alternate names:

"In a range of hills or, especially, of mountains, a pass (also gap, notch, col, saddle, hause, bwlch (Welsh), brennig or bealach (Gaelic)) is a path that allows the crossing of a mountain chain"
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