Highlights and tour details
The former Meana-Colle Finestre-Dépot military road built in 1890 to connect Valle di Susa and Val Chisone, with the connection to Strada dell'Assietta, is the main attractor for motorised and non-motorised tourist flows in the area and a global attraction for cycling.
The road, heir to the section on the Valle Susa side of the 19th-century military road connecting Susa, through Meana di Susa to Colle delle Finestre and then to Depot di Fenestrelle, today the SP172, starts from the junction with the SS.24 of Montgenèvre, crosses the entire village of Meana di Susa and then climbs first into the woods and then into the valley of Colle delle Finestre. It is 18.7 km long, with an elevation gain of 1692 metres and an average gradient of 9% with a total of 33 hairpin bends. The final 8 kilometres from Colletto di Meana (1452 m) to the Colle (2178 m) are still a dirt road.
When the dirt road begins at Colletto di Meana at an altitude of 1455 m., you enter the Parco delle Alpi Cozie (Cottian Alps Park), so it is recommended to pay extra attention and respect to the environment and non-motorised visitors when travelling along it.
Maximum speed limit is 30 km/h; transit is prohibited for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes laden mass and vehicles over 2 metres wide; overtaking and parking are prohibited outside the car parks; winter closure along the S.P. no. 173 del Colle dell'Assietta from the Pian dell'Alpe junction is cheduled from 1st November to 30th June each year.
Seasonal opening of the road on dedicated days. Total closure to motorised traffic from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Points of interest
The Meana-Colle Finestre-Dépot was built by the Military Commands of the Kingdom of Italy in 1890 to allow a fast displacement of troops between the Chisone and Susa Valleys. The project, realised in 1889, was designed by the Engineer Corps. The greatest difficulty was to tackle the steep slope which from the villages of Meana led to the Colletto, a compulsory crossing point.
In the section of Val Chisone the road is paved in the Dépot-Prà Catinat section, for about 6.5 km, which goes along the east of the great wall of the Alps, monumental Fort of Fenestrelle. From the former Agnelli Sanatorium in “Fontanone” – a little further on the dirt road branches off to the east which reaches the Alpine pasture and the Selleries Refuge 102 in the territory of Roure, for approx. 8 km. 103
From Prà Catinat, at an altitude of approx. 1700 m, SP 172 continues west on a steady slope for about 10 km of dirt road – crossing the Ridotta Belvedere of the Fort of Fenestrelle, the Fort Serre Marie and the Falouel Barracks (the “Dice” and above the Puy and Pequerel villages with its masonry wedge avalanche barriers – to reach the 1900 of Pian dell’Alpe in Usseaux where it rejoins the paved sections: one is the part of SP 173 dell' Assietta which crosses it and the other always on SP 173 which climbs to Colle delle Finestre.
It has always been a land of motorised tours (in the 1980s it was also used as a special rally trial), being also the most spectacular access point to the Strada dell’Assietta.