Bike

Punta Veleno Bike Route at Lake Garda

One of the most ferocious bike climbs in Italy

davide fambri
Text

Davide Fambri

Mountain bike, ski touring and paragliding
Angela Trawoeger
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Angela Trawoeger

Creator, photographer and content manager

A mountain and road bike route which takes you from the shores of Lake Garda to Prada, through Val Trovai and all along the tarmac road “Punta Veleno”.

One of the most ferocious bike climbs in Italy! A thousand metres climb over 10km and nowhere to stop and draw breath!
Twenty hairpin bends (all numbered) on a tarmac road.

Maps and GPS Track

Details

  • Technical characteristics

    • Starting point
      Assenza di Brenzone
    • Endpoint
      Assenza di Brenzone
    • Route
      Assenza di Brenzone – Castello – Punta Veleno – Prada – San Zeno di Montagna – Castelletto di Brenzone – Assenza di Brenzone
    • Starting height
      90m
    • Highest point
      1081m
    • Altitude – ascent/descent
      1220m/1287m
    • Distance
      36,5 km
    • Duration
      2 hrs
  • Difficulty

    • Difficulty
      difficult
    • Technical difficulty (1 to 5)
      3
    • Technical difficulty (1 to 5)
      5
  • Scenic appeal

    • Experience (da 1 a 5)
      3
    • Landscape (da 1 a 5)
      4
  • Type of route

    • Round tour
    • Insider tip
  • Best time of year

    • All year round
      without snow

Partner

Hotel Villa Carmen en
Hotel Villa Edera 360gardalife en
Arco mountain guide 360gardalife 3

Points of interest along this bike trail

Or should I say: why do it?!
Hard, certainly, but not impossible!

It is a great challenge for sure.
It is a huge satisfaction to get to the top especially if you do so without having set your feet on the ground on the way up and to be able to say that you have done it, the famously difficult Punta Veleno!

This ascent was declared “one of the most ferocious climbs in Italy” in the ’70s by Giro d’Italia legend Vincenzo Torriani. On the 19th April 2012, Punta Veleno was included in the professional circuit as the third stage of the Giro del Trentino. Racers such as Basso, Cunnego, Kreuziger, Di Luca, Pozzovivo, Scarponi, Rujano, Rolland and Gadret have defined Punta Veleno as “really hard”, “poisonous”,”the hardest climb I have ever attempted” putting it on a par with Zoncolan.

Punta Veleno description

From Assenza di Brenzone, at the roundabout you go uphill on the tarmac road until you get to Castello. At the start of the village you take the first road on your left uphill where the Punta Veleno starts – 20 hairpin bends all on tarmac road that will eventually bring you to Prada.

From the 2nd to the 8th kilometre, the ascent has an average gradient of 14.6% with some parts being steeper than 20%.

Punta Veleno altimetria

When you get to the top of Punta Veleno, carry on to Prada and come down by way of San Zeno di Montagna towards Castelletto di Brenzone. The descent is fun and has beautiful views over Lake Garda.

Along the descent you will also pass through some classic old villages from the Brenzone region. When you get to the Gardesana Road at Castelletto di Brenzone, carry on towards north and you will get to Assenza di Brenzone where the climb starts. It is not recommended to try this ascent in the summer or in the hottest hours of the day.

Extreme Race Punta Veleno

Brenzone Town Council organise the Extreme Race Punta Veleno every September. This race is open to road bikes and mountain bikes and even amateurs are welcome to challenge themsleves with this climb. Keep your eyes on the website and the Facebook page for Punta Veleno to keep updated on the next race. See you there!

Variant

There is no variant

Our suggestions

  • It is not recommended to try this ascent in the summer or in the hottest hours of the day.
  • Even if you are exhausted, you must keep an eye on the breath taking views over Lake Garda.

The tour during the winter

This route can be done all year round including winter as long as it hasn’t snowed. Be careful in very cold weather as it gets icy. The Maximum height is 100 m.a.s.l.

Shelters, huts or bivouacs along the trail

None

Partner

Arco mountain guide 360gardalife 3
Hotel Maximilian 360gardalife
Hotel Villa Edera 360gardalife en

How to reach the starting point of the trail

Assenza is a village to the south of Malcesine, between Cassone and Brenzone

Parking

In Sommavilla

Public transport

  • From Torbole or Riva del Garda take a bus travelling south in the direction of Peschiera/Verona.
  • From Peschiera or Verona take a bus travelling north in the direction of Riva del Garda.

Safety information

It is better not to descend directly from Punta Veleno. When you get to Prada, we suggest that you come back via San Zeno di Montagna and do the descent that brings you out at Castelletto di Brenzone.

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