Since ancient times, the Great St Bernard Pass has played a fundamental role in linking the north and the south of Europe. It has been crossed by Roman legions, barbarian tribes, Saracens, Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, Popes, crusaders and Napoleon Bonaparte’s forces.
Nowadays, modern connections to Europe are guaranteed by the Great St Bernard Tunnel.
Construction work began on the Italian side in spring 1958, and soon after on the Swiss side. In less than six years the Italian concessionary firm SITRASB S.p.A. and the Swiss TGSB SA, to whom construction and subsequent administration were awarded, built the tunnel itself, the approach roads from either side, the toll stations at the tunnel entrances where infrastructure facilities are located, including the customs offices and police stations.
When inaugurated on 19th March 1964, it was the first road traffic tunnel to be opened through the Alps.