sarntal penserjoch strasse
sarntal penserjoch strasse


The village of Pennes and then the Pennes Pass: A panoramic road connects the Sarentino Valley with Vipiteno in the Upper Valle Isarco

In the middle of the rugged mountain world of the Sarentino Alps lie the mountain farms of Pennes di Fuori (Ausserpens), Laste (Asten) and Pennes di Dentro (Innerpens), which are usually summarised as Pennes. They cover a large part of the picturesque Val di Pennes valley and are scattered between the mountain streams and alpine meadows which characterise this alpine area below the Passo Pennes mountain pass. The area was already settled in prehistoric times, as proved by finds of hunters' resting places below Mt. Corno Bianco. Around 1250 there was also a court in Pennes. The little village consists today of single houses and farms on the slopes.

Worth seeing is the parish church from 1442 with its beautiful late Gothic frescoes and the St. John in the Woods Church. For a long time the little church was thought to be built in the 16th century, on the basis of new information and publications of the Bolzano Office of Preservation of Historical Monuments, however, it is significantly older - from the end of the 14th century - and dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It is believed that a pagan place of worship, a sun sanctuary, was located here. The Passo Pennes Road is a popular route for mountain bikers and all those who want to combine the trip to Vipiteno with an excursion. Getting off at the top of the pass at more than 2,000 metres to take a short hike to the lake or to the Gänsekragen hill and enjoy the fresh mountain air is definitely recommended, especially on hot summer days.

For motorcyclists and convertible drivers, the section is an alternative to the other passes such as the Passo del Rombo, which leads directly to North Tyrol. In August, the 9 km long road is closed for one day: That's when the "Grand Prix Passo Pennes", a classic among South Tyrol's cycling races, takes place. Until late autumn, it is open to traffic, then Pennes becomes a cross-country skiing destination. Wonderful circular tracks lead to Rio Bianco and Laste.

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