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The setting is almost magical, and the view over Lake Garda is breathtaking. It is tranquil on the roads in Tremosine sul Garda, and that’s a good thing. The narrow winding roads offer hardly any space for passing traffic. Oncoming traffic probably scares me more than the famous horror terrace I’m driving up to. And yet, the Tremosine sul Garda mountain route is one you should not miss.

The 18 hamlets of Tremosine

Tremosine sul Garda is on the western side of Lake Garda. Tremosine consists of 18 hamlets hidden between the rocks, the meadows, and the forests. In alphabetical order, Arias, Bazzanega, Cadignano, Campione del Garda, Castone, Mezzema, Musio, Pieve, Pregasio, Priezzo, Secastello, Sermerio, Sompriezzo, Ustecchio, Vesio, Villa, Voiandes and Voltino make up Tremosine sul Garda. There is little to do in most hamlets, so the Tremosine area is ideal for a car trip with a few stops.

The tire tracks of James Bond: Strada della Forra

The route in Tremosine, Strada della Forra, is known as one of the most beautiful and most challenging in the world. Winston Churchill even called the road the eighth Wonder of the World, and James Bond drove a few cars off the road in the opening scene of Quantum of Solace. But, unlike James Bond, I want to cover the Strada della Forra in slow motion. Obviously, because the hairpin bends and the oncoming traffic are dangerous, but mainly because the setting is gorgeous. The rock walls, the waterfalls, the vegetation: I can’t get enough of it.

I’m staying in Salò and drive via the coastal road towards Tremosine. This road already treats me to beautiful vistas over Lake Garda. I entered some of the hamlets on Google Maps, resulting in a route of about 1.5 hours without stops. I decide on the spot whether or not to stop. For picture-taking, this ride would actually have been easier with a scooter.

The most spectacular part of the drive is the Brasa gorge. The road is less than two meters wide here. Therefore, you can only drive through it one car at a time. It is tranquil at the end of May, but I understand from other travelers that it is challenging to drive in Tremosine in the high season because of a good deal of oncoming traffic.

Pieve’s horror terrace

The hamlets of Pieve and Campione are the largest of the bunch. Because the Terraza del Brivido is in Pieve, you should definitely make a stop here. This terrace offers a fantastic view over Lake Garda, but also demands some perseverance. The balcony protrudes over the rock wall at an altitude of about 350 to 400 meters. I find it challenging to enter with my fear of heights and hardly dare to walk on it. I anxiously hold on to the railing and forget to enjoy the view. Proud to have stood on this famous horror terrace, I’m happy to safely sit down for a drink a few meters from the balcony.

Google Maps location

Are heights not an issue for you? Then you can go down the Sentiero del Porto along the rock wall and catch the bus back to Pieve. Please don’t wear flip-flops. There are warnings everywhere that the descent is not easy.

The village of Pieve is lovely for a short walk. Explore some narrow alleys, admire the flowery balconies and visit the church of Pieve (San Giovanni Battista). Then continue to the other hamlets of Tremosine sul Garda.

Slightly non-atmospheric Campione

I end the Strada della Forra drive in Campione, a surf town. Surfers and sailors gather here to conquer Lake Garda by water. Out of season, it is a sleepy town. I was hoping for a cozy waterside beach club to end my Strada della Forra ride, but it’s incredibly windy, so never mind. I don’t find it very attractive here, to be honest. Construction is in full swing, and the cheap white plastic chairs are not screaming my name.

Map for the Tremosine and Strada della Forra car route

On this map in Google Maps, I have marked several hamlets in Tremosine. Without stops, it takes you about 1.5 hours. You end up in Campione – which is hopefully more fun on a sunny day. Let me know if it is!

More travel inspiration for Italy

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First published: July 2020. The article has been updated since.

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