Introduction to cycling lake como
In 2008 ComoLagoBike, Hotel Il Perlo Panorama, and famed cycling sponsor Mapei teamed up to promote cycling holidays in Lake Como by offering accommodations, bike rental, and professional cycling guides for guests from Hotel Il Perlo's stunning location above Bellagio. Since then, the ComoLagoBike fleet has grown from six to over forty bicycles, including carbon fiber road bikes, mountain bikes, and e-bikes for every level of cyclist.
Hotel Il Perlo has also become the first and only official Italy Bike Hotel in Lake Como and is a favored destination for cyclists from all over the world who fall in love with not only the riding, but with the unique cycling history and generosity of the people who love sharing their home roads with them. Guests are given a professional bike fit of their carbon fiber Bottecchia rental bike by Cycling Manager and former professional racer, Alberto Elli, to ensure the most perfect ride possible. And if you're gripped by amore and want to take that piece of Italy home, they can arrange that as well! (Ooops that might have happened to both me and our guest Vivian! N+1, right?)
In addition to some of the special multi-day guided tours, a unique feature of ComoLagoBike is that you can take a guided ride any day of the week as fits your schedule, whether one day or a whole week. The hotel is a prime location from which to base rides in the area, with access to a variety of options: rambling lakeside routes and climbs into the central Triangolo Lariano mountains, the Tuscan-like landscape of the Brianzola region, or hop on a ferry at the Bellagio waterfront to reach further shorelines for rides to Switzerland or through eastern mountain valleys. The hotel is also a 2-hour drive from the legendary Stelvio and Gavia passes for a summertime day-trip to conquer one of these famous climbs. Regardless of the ride you choose, each will leave you in wonder at the breathtaking alpine lake landscape and winding ribbons of roads that take you through charming villages at the foot of granite cliffs or hidden in the high valleys.
The cycling routes accommodate many skill and fitness abilities, from easy to difficult, for the competitive cyclist and team, or for a family with children. Lake Segrino is one of the small lakes that dot the southern end of Lake Como and provides a safe and quiet bike path perfect for families and kids. There is also a quiet, scenic bike trail along the Adda River leading from Lecco to Milan. Road cyclists can find long gentle climbs taking them to high alpine views of the lake, or steep challenging climbs like the Muro di Sormano, Valcava, and Ghisallo that are used in professional races like the Giro di Lombardia and Giro d’Italia. Mountain bikers can spend days exploring the local trails around Bellagio or taking the ferry to other areas and riding along ridgelines 1500 meters above the lake. If guests are not active cyclists, the hotel has electric bicycles that will make any ride in the area effortless and still allow them to experience the beauty of the region.
The crown jewel for cyclists who live in or visit the area is the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel and cycling museum. The original small chapel was for centuries a holy place for travelers seeking safe passage, and since its incorporation into the Giro di Lombardia race in the early 1900s, cyclists have flocked to pay homage to the Madonna, leaving mementos of dearly departed and to pray for strength and courage. Because of its prominence in the race and devotion from cyclists, in 1949 the Pope declared the Madonna del Ghisallo as the patron saint of cyclists. The chapel soon became so overwhelmed with historical cycling pieces that a separate museum was built and opened in 2000 to showcase these treasures, from late 1800s bikes to One-Hour Record machines and worn woolen Maglia Rosa jerseys. Whether you’re an accomplished cyclist making this pilgrimage or if you’re visiting the area unfamiliar with the story, it is impossible not to be moved when visiting the chapel, museum, and surrounding park where locals and visitors gather for the mountain view and remembrance.