The Col de la Traversette (Italian: Colle delle Traversette) is a bridle pass with an altitude of 2,947 m in the
Cottian Alps The Cottian Alps (; french: Alpes Cottiennes ; it, Alpi Cozie ) are a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps. They form the border between France (Hautes-Alpes and Savoie) and Italy (Piedmont). The Fréjus Road Tunnel and Fréjus Rai ...
. Located between
Crissolo Crissolo (Vivaro-Alpine dialect, Vivaro-Alpine: ''Criçòl'', French: Crusol) is a ''comune'' (municipality) in the Province of Cuneo in the Italy, Italian region Piedmont, located about southwest of Turin and about northwest of Cuneo, on the bor ...
and Abriès, it lies on the border between Italy and France and separates the
Monviso Monte Viso or Monviso (; oc, Vísol; Piedmontese Piedmontese (autonym: or , in it, piemontese) is a language spoken by some 700,000 people mostly in Piedmont it, Piemontese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , p ...

(3,841 m) from the Monte Granero (3,171 m). The Blue Trail of the
Via Alpina The Via Alpina is a network of five long-distance hiking trails across the alpine Alpine may refer to: Places * Alps, a European mountain range * Alpine states, associated with the mountain range, or relating to any lofty mountain areas * Mountain ...
and the Giro di Viso cross the pass. The 75 m long Monte Viso Tunnel (French: Tunnel de la Traversette, Italian: Buco di Viso) is a pedestrian tunnel constructed between 1478 and 1480 to bypass the Col.

Possible site of Hannibal's Alpine crossing

In the 1950s, Gavin de Beer was the first to propose the pass as the likely site at which Hannibal's crossing of the Alps, Hannibal had crossed the Alps. However, the eminent Polybius, Polybian scholar F. W. Walbank rejected de Beer's theory in 1956. However, de Beer's thesis received renewed support in 2016 when geologist William Mahaney et al. reported that sediments had been identified near the pass that had been churned up by "the constant movement of thousands of animals and humans" and dated them to approximately 218 BC, the time of Hannibal's invasion. However, since the radiocarbon dating method that processed the Mahaney expedition samples had a standard deviation of plus or minus 60 years, Mahaney's findings were not definitive despite widespread speculation at the time. In particular, no Carthaginian artifacts or elephant bones attributable to the numerous fatalities suffered by the army have been found.


External links

{{coord, 44.7105, N, 7.0664, E, source:wikidata, display=title Mountain passes of the Alps