Beginning just outside Brig, this historic road meanders through deep gorges and wide, barren, rock-strewn pastures to offer increasingly beautiful views back toward Brig. At the summit (6,593 feet), the Hotel Kulm-Bellevue Simplon shares the high meadow with the Simplon Hospitz (Simplon Hospice), built 150 years ago at Napoléon's request and now owned by the monks of St. Bernard. Just beyond stands the bell-towered Alt Spital, a lodging built in the 17th century. Beyond the pass, the road continues through Italy, and it's possible to cut across the Italian upthrust and reenter Switzerland in Ticino, near Ascona. From the summit of Simplon Pass you can still see parts of the old road used by traders and Napoléon. Look north toward the Bernese Alps to see a portion of the massive Aletsch Glacier.
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