Highlights and tour details
(SP 173 PIAN DELL'ALPE - COL BASSET + COL BASSET, NOW A MUNICIPAL SECTION - SESTRIERE)
The road starts from Pian dell'Alpe, in the municipality of Usseaux, and winds almost entirely above 2000 m, passing at the foot of Cima Ciantiplagna (2849 m), Punta Vallette (2743 m), Gran Pelà (2692 m) and Punta del Gran Serin (2629 m) to reach Colle dell'Assietta (2474 m). It then continues a little on the Val Chisone side and a little on the Val di Susa side and crosses the following passes in this order: Colle Lauson, Colle Blegier (2381 m.), Colle Costa Piana (2313 m.), Colle Bourget (2299 m.) and Colle Basset (2424 m.). It also passes under the following mounts: Testa dell'Assietta (2566 m.), Testa di Mottas (2547 m.), Monte Gran Costa (2615 m.), Monte Blegier (2585 m.), Monte Genevris (2533 m.), Monte Triplex (2507 m.) and Monte Fraiteve (2701 m.).
Once at Fraiteve, it is possible to descend easily towards Sestrière along the main road and then arrive at the Colle or go back down the Valle di Susa, or reach the village of Sauze d'Oulx and then Oulx through a route of various roads to then connect to the road system of the Alta Valle Susa, towards Bardonecchia or Monginevro. The main route continues to the east in Val Chisone towards Prà Catinat and the Fort of Fenestrelle, in Val di Susa to Meana and Susa via Colle delle Finestre.
Dirt road with restriction to motor vehicles on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in July and August. 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. The winter closure from km. 6+900 to km. 36 is scheduled from 1 November to 30 June each year, except for variations due to road conditions and/or the need to carry out maintenance work. Being in the Parco delle Alpi Cozie (Cottian Alps Park), it is recommended to pay special attention to the environment and non-motorised visitors.
Points of interest
What was already glorified in a tourist guidebook from the 1960s as the " Cavalcata dei Duemila" (Ride of the Two Thousand) is used by thousands of cyclists, bikers, trekkers on foot or on horseback every year from June to October, as well as (on permitted days) by motorists.
It is the most famous military road in the Western Alps and the highest military route in Europe, reaching an altitude of 2,550 metres at Testa dell'Assietta. It has numerous fortresses along its route that date back to different historical periods, and can therefore constitute a veritable open-air museum of the history of mountain fortifications.
The watershed of the ridges between Val di Susa and Chisone was the scene of the historic Battle of the same name on 19 July 1747 in which the clearly outnumbered Savoy troops blocked and defeated the French invaders intent on conquering Piedmont. This Battle is commemorated every year with a historical reenactment and the date is a historic celebration in Piedmont.
Strada dell'Assietta is the former military backbone of the Assietta ridge on the watershed between Valle Susa and Val Chisone, and with its system of 19th-century access and connecting roads and mule tracks (including Strada del Colle Finestre), it is the main tourist attraction for the integrated use of former military roads.
Today's SP 173 dell'Assietta, plus the section acquired from Sestriere, is about 36 km long and was almost entirely built at the end of the 1930s.
The Gran Serin Forts system is connected by the road (today partly inaccessible by motor vehicles due to the prohibition imposed by the Park) that descends towards Frais di Chiomonte. It descends to Sestriere or to Sauze d'Oulx from Fraiteve at its western end, while another road that is not practicable (improperly called Strada dei Cannoni, which is instead a former mule track further east) connects it from Col Blegièr in the middle of the Cottian Alps Park with Salbertrand and the Monfol di Oulx hamlet. It should therefore be more appropriately referred to as the "sistema" delle Strade dell'Assietta (Assietta Road system).