Although damaged by a road that runs through it, the pass is the site of a stone circle measuring 72 m (236 ft) in diameter. A standing stone once stood in the middle. It has not been precisely dated but from coin finds it has been attributed to the Iron Age, possibly being a ceremonial site of the Tarentaisian culture (c. 725 BC–450 BC). A Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter was later erected nearby along with a Roman mansio serving travellers along the pass and it is thought that Carthaginian general Hannibal used this route.
The stone circle was partly restored in the 19th century.
From Bourg-Saint-Maurice to the south-west, the Col du Petit Saint-Bernard is 26.5 km long. Over this distance, the climb is 1,348 m (4,423 ft) (an average slope of 5.1%), with the steepest sections at 8.1% at the start of the climb. The first 15.5 km (9.6 mi) to La Rossiere forms the Montée d'Hauteville climb.
From Prè-Saint-Didier (in the Aosta Valley region of north-western Italy), the Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo is 23.5 km (14.6 mi) long. Over this distance, the climb is 1,184 m (3,885 ft) (an average slope of 5%).
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