Passo Tonale is a key location in Val di Sole as both a summer and winter resort with numerous hotels, apartment complexes, amenities and lift facilities, that due to the high elevation and modern snow making systems, guarantee a long ski season that starts in late autumn and continues until late spring. There are more than 100 slopes that are part of the ski area called Adamello Ski Pontedilegno Tonale which offer guests the chance to enjoy a wide range of slopes and landscapes, guaranteeing fun for all.
Passo del Tonale is the oldest place name in all of Val di Sole: the first document with this name dates back to the year 774, in which Carlo Magno describes Val Camonica as the area extending all the way to the “vocatur Thonale”. This place name probably originates from Giove Tonante (Jupiter the god of thunder), due to the fact that strong storms often strike the area, especially during the summer months. At Passo Tonale, there’s an ancient hospice with a small church beside it dedicated to Saint Bartholomew which is mentioned for the first time in documents dating back to 1127. For many centuries the pastures surrounding the Tonale area were used by shepherds coming both from Val di Sole and from Val Camonica as summer mountain pastures for their livestock. Since ancient times, it has always been a well-known passageway and it was also the battlefield where General McDonald’s French troops were defeated by the imperial army and the Tyrolean volunteers on Christmas night of the year 1800.
The Tonale area is a great starting point for numerous hikes and walks, where it’s also possible to take the lifts. At the arrival of the Paradiso gondola lift, you can visit the “Galleria Paradiso”, a long tunnel that was dug by soldiers during the war and used as a shelter from the freezing cold temperatures and enemy attacks. This tunnel has now been become a multimedia museum called “Sounds and Voices of the Great War”. Outside of the museum, as you walk towards the glacier, you’ll find the war monument created in memory of all the fallen soldiers that was requested by Emilio Serra.
It is now also possible to easily reach a height of 3000 meters thanks to the brand new lift (opened during winter 2015/16) that goes to Passo Paradiso (2.552 m) and then right up to the Presena Glacier (2.992 m).
On the opposite side of this mountain pass, there are numerous itineraries , all rather challenging, that wind their way through the Albiolo mountain peaks where harsh battles were fought and where it is still possible to see the remains of barracks and trenches.
It is also worth mentioning the War Memorial (ossuary) at Passo Tonale, that was built in 1924 right on the border between Trentino and the Lombardy region, which was once the state border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy; the remains of 831 soldiers, that fought in the Tonale area during the Great War, have been placed here.
Passo Tonale Information Office
Tel +39 0364 903838 - Fax +39 0364 903895