The Autostrada A26
is a motorway
in the northwestern Italian
regions of Liguria
. It is named the Autostrada dei Trafori
of the Tunnels) after the numerous tunnels through which it passes, both Appenine and Subalpine
. It runs northwards from Genoa
on the Ligurian coast, over the Apennines
, and across the wide plain of the Po valley
to the environs of Lake Maggiore
and the mouth of the Val d’Ossola
. In addition to this ‘main trunk’ of the road, there are three side branches, also of motorway class which function as link roads between the A26 and the A7, the A4 and the A8. The A26, together with these link road, is managed by Autostrade per l'Italia S.p.A.
A26 Genova Voltri – Gravellona Toce
The A26 begins near the Genoese quarter of Voltri, which lies on the coast to the west of the town centre. It crosses the Apennines at the Passo del Turchino (532m) and passes through Ovada. Near Castelferro (frazione of Predosa) an eastern branch, the Autostrada A26/A7, provides links to Novi Ligure and to the Autostrada A7 (Genoa – Milan) which it joins near Spineto Scrivia, to the south of Tortona.
The A26 continues northwards until near Alessandria there is an interchange with the Autostrada A21 (Turin – Brescia). The road crosses the Po River just east of Casale Monferrato. South of Vercelli a western branch, the Autostrada A4/26, provides a connection to the Autostrada A4 (Turin – Trieste) near Santhià, and continues as the Autostrada A4/A5 to the Autostrada A5 (Turin – Aosta – Monte Bianco) which it joins at Pavone Canavese, just south of Ivrea.
Further north, between Greggio and Biandrate Vicolungo to the west of Novara, the A26 intersects with the Autostrada A4 (Turin – Trieste), and at Sesto Calende with the Autostrada A8. The road passes close to Romagnano Sesia and Ghemme where there is an exit for the Valsesia. It proceeds north-east and follows the shore of Lago Maggiore with exits for Arona, [Brovello-Carpugnino]], Baveno - Stresa, Verbania and Gravellona Toce. From here the Strada Statale SS 33 del Sempione continues the route northwards, initially as a superstrada (a form of expressway), to Domodossola and then via the Val Divedro to the Swiss border, affording access to the Simplon Pass.
A7/A26 Bettole – Predosa Link
The Autostrada A7/A26 Diramazione Bettole-Predosa
) is a 17 km motorway which links the A26 near Predosa
with the Autostrada A7
near Bettole (a frazione
of Pozzolo Formigaro
). The entire autostrada is within the Province of Alessandria
. Its sole exit is for Novi Ligure
and it provides a convenient means of access to both the A7 and the A26 from that town.
A4/A26 Stroppiana – Santhià Link
The Autostrada A4/A26 Diramazione Stroppiana-Santhià (A4/A26)
is a 32 km motorway which links the A26 near Stroppiana
with the Autostrada A4
. It forms part of the 1,547 km European route E25
which connects Hoek van Holland
in the Netherlands
. The layout of the road is level with two lanes in each direction.
Before the A26 was extended from Stroppiana to Gravellona Toce, this road was treated as part of the A26 which was then known as the A26 Voltri-Santhià
A8/A26 Gallarate – Gattico Link
The Autostrada A8/A26 Diramazione Gallarate-Gattico (A8/A26)
is a motorway which connects the A26 near Gattico
with the Autostrada A8
. It forms part of the 1,290 km km European route E62
which connects Nantes
in western France
. The road was built to provide a route for traffic from Domodossola
and the Simplon Pass
and thence to the parts of the peninsula to the east of the Apenines. It has two lanes in each direction from Gallarate to Sesto Calende
and three from Sesto Calende to Gattico.