The southern ascent to the Gavia is one of the most beautiful climbs in the Alps
due to the magnificent surroundings of mountains and forest
but certainly also due to the road,
which is, in the last ten kilometers, so narrow
that oncoming cars cannot pass each other in many places.
Moreover, the Passo di Gavia is after Passo dello Stelvio
the highest pass in Italy (2618 meters).
Legendary is the ride over the Gavia
during the Giro d'Italia of 1988
when cyclists traversed the pass in snowfall conditions.
The trip begins where the road to the Gavia crosses the Torrente Frigidolfo,
just north of Ponte di Legno.
In the first five kilometers there is a fairly steep section (9%),
but this is still compensated for
by easier parts (often 5-6%).
Just past the last buildings in Pietra Rossa
the real climbing begins.
From here to the pass, the road is steep with an average slope of 8.9%.
The first two kilometers are the hardest
(including the steepest kilometer of the entire route
with a gradient of 11.5%).
The narrow road winds itself up with a dozen hairpin bends
through the forest.
Where the forest is thinning, it is wonderful due to the views and the flowers
while the road gets a bit less steep.
After the turns, a four-kilometer long traverse follows.
At the end of the traverse the road runs
through an unpleasant, unlit tunnel,
in which the road gardually becomes steeper.
After leaving the tunnel you can see
the last two kilometers (8-10%),
in which the road reaches the pass with a few hairpin bends, ahead.
The road surface is miserable here but the mountain world is splendid,
partly due to the view of the Adamello (3539 m),
lying south of Ponte di Legno.
From the pass you should be able to see in northern direction the Ortlergruppe (3905 m)
although I am not sure since this view was hidden to me by clouds.