The Brenner Pass is one of the most important passageways across the Alps, on the Italo - Austrian frontier, located at an elevation of 4495 ft (1370 m). The Pass resembles a wide, flat, saddle across the main range of the Eastern Alps and it forms the watershed between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea.
In 1772, a highway was built across the Brenner Pass, and it was the first modern road to traverse the Alps. In 1867, the first Trans-Alpine railroad was opened, providing a major artery linking southern Germany and western Austria with the Italian ports of Venice and Trieste.
The Brenner Pass route has been used for centuries. In Roman times it was called Via Claudia Augusta. Later, the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire travelled south via the Pass route, when they wanted to visit their Italian domains.
The pass was also used several times, during the early years of World War II, as a meeting place between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Nowaday, it is one of the mosty heavily travelled Autobahns in the region and the route is often protested by environmentalists and nearby inhabitants.