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Stelvio or Alpe d’huez?

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Stelvio or Alpe d’huez?

Old 12-30-22, 12:02 PM
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Jno
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Stelvio or Alpe d’huez?

I have an opportunity to add one or the other of these climbs onto a short trip and want to make sure I donít pick the one that makes more demands on my wifeís good will so my question is about the comparative safety of the two climbs. Is there consensus about which offers more safety:
  1. from cars (road provides adequate room for drivers and cyclists, and the drivers tend to have the inclination to give cyclists room)?
  2. and from the road surfaces ie. maintained such that they donít unduly complicate the descents, especially through switchbacks.

Thanks in advance for any insights/information.
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Old 12-30-22, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jno View Post
I have an opportunity to add one or the other of these climbs onto a short trip and want to make sure I donít pick the one that makes more demands on my wifeís good will so my question is about the comparative safety of the two climbs. Is there consensus about which offers more safety:
  1. from cars (road provides adequate room for drivers and cyclists, and the drivers tend to have the inclination to give cyclists room)?
  2. and from the road surfaces ie. maintained such that they donít unduly complicate the descents, especially through switchbacks.

Thanks in advance for any insights/information.
Having done both, Stelvio is by far the more epic ride especially when done from the Prato side. Alpe is substantially easier with only 21 switchbacks compared to 48 and 700 meters less elevation climb. I found the two times I did Stelvio it was much busier with more cars motorcycles and busses. Felt safe as there was many other cyclists however much like the rest of the dolomites it is way busier than the Alps. Doing the Alpe and making it a loop by adding in the Col de Sarenne is an amazing never to be missed experience.

Last edited by Atlas Shrugged; 12-30-22 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 12-30-22, 04:15 PM
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The food, people, culture and scenery in Italy is SO much better. I spent over 6 weeks in France in my entire life and many years in Italy. The only good meals in France were either at the homes of Italians living there or at Middle Eastern type places. The French have a double standard to locals and tourists much worse than anywhere else that you normally don't see in Italy charging WAY more and feeding you lesser quality food. But even visiting different parts of France with locals the food was at best mediocre to decent.

You can eat lousy in Italy too these days as many of the larger cities especially the touristy places have seen the quality drop in favor of this "cuisine nouveau" like many people like to eat here in the states. You know with all the sauces and sweet syrups to drown out low quality (read CHEAP and PROFIT BOOSTING) ingredients. But if you eat in places where the menu is only in one language, Italian, usually in small towns you can do quite well. I would say it's almost impossible to have a good meal in France outside of what I mentioned isn't just bread and cheese while in Italy it's almost impossible to eat badly outside big cities and touristy places.

Both French and Italian roads, are terrifying if you're used to United States wideness and behavior. You can tell when you crossed the border on those tiny mountain roads in the Pyrenees from Spain to France (no more checkpoints any more) when the road becomes narrow, disconnected and the curves become blind. Spain has amazing roads but French and Italian ones are kind of lousy in their own ways. At least the mountains tend not to have bike lanes which make everything worse for everyone involved, riders, cars and pedestrians.

Go to Italy it craps all over France. Enjoy the scenery, stuff your face, don't worry about the awful roads you'll get used to them.
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Old 12-30-22, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Having done both, Stelvio is by far the more epic ride especially when done from the Prato sideÖDoing the Alpe and making it a loop by adding in the Col de Sarenne is an amazing never to be missed experience.
thanks for those tips - exactly what I was hoping for when I posted the question!
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Old 12-30-22, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Jno View Post
thanks for those tips - exactly what I was hoping for when I posted the question!
Another poster mentioned food and although I donít agree with the premise that the food in France is crap even though I have traveled extensively in both countries. I must admit the sausage stand at the top of the Stelvio is world renowned.


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Old 12-30-22, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Another poster mentioned food and although I donít agree with the premise that the food in France is crap even though I have traveled extensively in both countries. I must admit the sausage stand at the top of the Stelvio is world renowned.


I don't know I heard it was the WŁrst...

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Old 12-30-22, 11:50 PM
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Just throwing this out there. The Sella Ronda bike day.
It is a world renowned bike ride, it is closed to vehicle traffic. I've never done it, but have been in the area during the event and it is quite the gathering and as for views it cannot be beat
https://www.sellarondabikeday.com/index_en.html
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Old 12-31-22, 01:22 AM
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Although riding with a large group of bike nerds is as about as inviting as a toothache, the Sella Bike Bike day is certainly the best time to ride the passes. No cars, exhaust fumes, car horns, and no distracted cagers!
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Old 12-31-22, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Another poster mentioned food and although I don’t agree with the premise that the food in France is crap even though I have traveled extensively in both countries. I must admit the sausage stand at the top of the Stelvio is world renowned.


Like I said anywhere touristy in Italy the food is going to be lousy these days. But the difference is unlike France where best case scenario the food is always mediocre and overpriced, it's possible to eat extremely well in the former country if you wander even a little from the beaten path. It is also much more culturally, architecturally, historically diverse so traveling a very short distance you can see a huge swath of different art, churches, castles and buildings from different eras more than any other country on earth except perhaps China which is far larger so it's not really a fair comparison.

It's not necessarily a bad place to visit France, just not as interesting culturally, but the biggest problem with France is it’s filled with French people. Have friends and family in both countries and am wont to go to the frogs because Italy is so much better, especially the more "Italy for Italians" Italy I have opportunities to see thus avoiding the usual touristy Venice, Florence, Rome and Amalfi Coast mobs.

Both countries strength is the tiny little hilltop towns mingling with the old people who run the bar, restaurant or corner market stuffing your face accordingly. Visiting the graveyard seeing when people died, what they looked like, talking to the locals. Italy >>>>>>>>>> France in that case. Spain also deserves honorable mention closer to Italy also because their roads are tops in Europe but the food and culture not as interesting for the most part. Allhambra and traces of Moorish colonization in the South is incredible though.

Last edited by StanSeven; 12-31-22 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 12-31-22, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Attilio View Post
The food, people, culture and scenery in Italy is SO much better. I spent over 6 weeks in France in my entire life and many years in Italy. The only good meals in France were either at the homes of Italians living there or at Middle Eastern type places. The French have a double standard to locals and tourists much worse than anywhere else that you normally don't see in Italy charging WAY more and feeding you lesser quality food. But even visiting different parts of France with locals the food was at best mediocre to decent.

You can eat lousy in Italy too these days as many of the larger cities especially the touristy places have seen the quality drop in favor of this "cuisine nouveau" like many people like to eat here in the states. You know with all the sauces and sweet syrups to drown out low quality (read CHEAP and PROFIT BOOSTING) ingredients. But if you eat in places where the menu is only in one language, Italian, usually in small towns you can do quite well. I would say it's almost impossible to have a good meal in France outside of what I mentioned isn't just bread and cheese while in Italy it's almost impossible to eat badly outside big cities and touristy places.

Both French and Italian roads, are terrifying if you're used to United States wideness and behavior. You can tell when you crossed the border on those tiny mountain roads in the Pyrenees from Spain to France (no more checkpoints any more) when the road becomes narrow, disconnected and the curves become blind. Spain has amazing roads but French and Italian ones are kind of lousy in their own ways. At least the mountains tend not to have bike lanes which make everything worse for everyone involved, riders, cars and pedestrians.

Go to Italy it craps all over France. Enjoy the scenery, stuff your face, don't worry about the awful roads you'll get used to them.
Some dubious stereotyping here. While I would generally favour Italy for food and ambience, I wouldn't say France was that much different, especially in the high profile tourist spots where the OP is heading. I had a very nice lasagne in Alpe d'Huez last summer!
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Old 12-31-22, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Attilio View Post

It's not necessarily a bad place to visit France, just not as interesting culturally, but the biggest problem with France is its filled with French people. Have friends and family in both countries and am wont to go to the frogs because Italy is so much better, especially the more "Italy for Italians" Italy I have opportunities to see thus avoiding the usual touristy Venice, Florence, Rome and Amalfi Coast mobs.
Are you of Italian origin by any chance? Or do you just hate the French?

Last edited by StanSeven; 12-31-22 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 12-31-22, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Are you of Italian origin by any chance? Or do you just hate the French?
Both.


Have family and friends in both countries and studied French for 9 years, still fluent in it due to school and work. I travelled a lot more in Italy but I did spend over 6 weeks (not all at once) in France in various places and despite having seen it from the locals point of view was never able to eat as well or enjoy it as much. I developed this "postjudice" (not prejudice as it happened after experiencing France) following repeated trips. Would still go but if I could only do one Italy is by far the more charming. But like I said the touristy places in both reek of mediocrity and are to be avoided. Being objective Italy is just more interesting and has more to offer and once I got used to that France pales in comparison.

Last edited by StanSeven; 12-31-22 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 12-31-22, 08:59 AM
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Old 12-31-22, 11:40 AM
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Thread is reopened after cleanup of some posts. Let’s stick with the original subject of this thread about safety from vehicles and road conditions of the two climbs too.
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