We visited this point as part of the IBRG AT20 trip. The Pfitscherjoch (Italian: Passo di Vizze) is a mountain pass in the Zillertal Alps on the border between Tyrol, Austria, and South Tyrol, Italy. It is not possible to drive to the pass from the Austrian side, there were Italian vehicles at the Alpine Lodge but access is restricted. The only way to get there is therefore by foot or Mountain Bike. We initially had planned to hike to an alternative Alpine Lodge, the Europa-Hütte which is located directly on the border between North Tirol (Austria) and South Tirol (Italy) but the changeable weather meant we opted for this alternative.
We travelled from Stein to the last car park and hiked up to the pass. The path was well marked and we gained altitude quickly. The border at this point is well marked with a variety of different types of border markers and signs which all added to the interest of the visit.
The route to the pass
We took AVS route 4 up to the pass and travelled by the road and AVS route 3 to return to the car.
Border marker e-147
Other border markers & signs
An additional point of interest is the Pfitscherjochhaus a refuge which has been run as a family business since 1888. The house has an interesting history, being built by the grandparents or the current owners. Between 1945-1996 it was a customs and border station. In the 1960’s there was unrest in the South Tyrol leading to the Italian military occupying the building between 1963-1970. In May 1966 there was a bomb attack in which the wooden part of the house was completely destroyed and an officer of the border guard, Bruno Bolognesi, was killed. A memorial is situated near the border at the top of the pass.
It is a welcoming place serving hearty regional food. Outside the refuge there are is a chapel and some sculptures.
The journey down
The hike back gave another opportunity to observe the wonderful alpine scenery. We passed a ruined building which previously was used by the Italian military.
Date of Visit: 5 September 2020