Climbing 1200 metres over its 18 kilometres, the Via Campocatino has an almost constant gradient of around 6%. Tighter turns out of the town open into a surging road of flowing sections and swooping hairpin bends.
The sparse summer traffic means it's usually just you and the mountain. Occasionally the forest clears, giving way to a flash of bright sky, epic views expanding as you climb. Higher, snow patches appear, the trees diminish, but the road never lets up.
Rising, writhing, but always with just enough road to keep urging you on. It's this intense character that makes the Via Campocatino a perfect match for the agile power of a hot hatch.
After a swooping 180-degree left-hand curve at around 13 kilometres, you'll pass the Osservatorio Astronomico di Campo Catino. A state-of-the-art astronomical observatory, sited to take advantage of the clear, dark skies, undisturbed by light pollution.
For a few evenings every summer, visitors are invited in, to gaze at the galaxies. But for now, it's all eyes on the road.
Emerging at the ski resort of Campocatino, perched just above the tree line at 1800 meters, you're rewarded with magnificent views. Mountains to the north and east, and on clear days, as far as the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west.
There's also a handful of good mountain restaurants, ideal for enjoying the view along with some excellent local cuisine.