yinzers go to

the Giro d’Italia on Lake Como

may 2019

It’s finally time for our friends in Pittsburgh to see what all the talk is about on Lake Como! Whether you are a cyclist or ready to soak up la dolce vita (or both), your days will be filled with unforgettable activities unique to this special area. From cycling the lakeside roads and scenic climbs, to shopping for that Italian style or appreciating the villa gardens in full bloom, the staff at Hotel Il Perlo and ComoLagoBike will make this a vacation to remember.

The end of May is one of the best times to visit, with warm sunny days and most exciting of all - the Giro d’Italia is coming! On Sunday, May 26, Italy’s three-week Grand Tour will have a stage going right up the road past Hotel Il Perlo. You will be living the television spectacle and able to fully appreciate the passion of Italy for cycling as the tifosi, race caravan, television motorcycles and helicopters, and professional cyclists make history on Lake Como.

For those who have not already made their plans, we have a block of rooms reserved between May 19-28, 2019, so choose the days that work best for your vacation. There is a special 7-Night All-Inclusive package for both cyclists and non-cyclists, or you can stay a shorter length of time on a day-by-day rate as outlined below. I need to have confirmations by January 31, 2019. Due to the high demand at Hotel Il Perlo for the Giro weekend, there is a 30% deposit due by February 28, 2019.

Your bike will be waiting for you each morning with this view right outside the door of ComoLagoBike and Hotel Il Perlo.

Your bike will be waiting for you each morning with this view right outside the door of ComoLagoBike and Hotel Il Perlo.

Cycling Activities

For those who want to explore Lake Como by bike, there are options for the “full gas” cyclists as well as those who want to e-bike or have a more leisurely ride. You will be met first by the ComoLagoBike Cycling Manager, Alberto Elli, a highly decorated former Italian pro cyclist who wore the Tour de France Yellow Jersey in 2000 and is a seven-time veteran of the Giro d’Italia. Alberto and the other guides will determine the routes of the day and show you some of the best rides in the region - routes with long gentle climbs and others that take you spinning past lakeside villas and cafes. Do not worry about fitness or competing with others, the rides are meant for everyone to go at their own pace, enjoy this region, and return with huge smiles.

Many of you will be joining Alberto for his special Giro d’Italia package from May 24-28, 2019. It includes rides along Lake Como, riding the three big climbs of Stage 15 (the Ghisallo, Sormano, and Civiglio) on May 26, watching Stage 15 on the Civiglio, and then climbing the Mortirolo on May 28 to watch Stage 16.

Each ride will end with a scrumptious meal on Hotel Il Perlo’s veranda and the afternoon free to enjoy all that Lake Como has to offer with your friends or family. Add a few dinners at some of Bellagio's best restaurants and you'll realize why visitors plan their next visit before they leave!


The U-23 Il Lombardia leaders at the steepest pitch of the Ghisallo climb in front of Hotel Il Perlo. Carlo and guests taking pics and videos. In the 2018 Il Lombardia race, Vincenzo Nibali almost rolled over Carlo’s shoes. This would be a very special vantage point for the Giro.

The U-23 Il Lombardia leaders at the steepest pitch of the Ghisallo climb in front of Hotel Il Perlo. Carlo and guests taking pics and videos. In the 2018 Il Lombardia race, Vincenzo Nibali almost rolled over Carlo’s shoes. This would be a very special vantage point for the Giro.

If you Google “Il Lombardia” one of the top photo locations is this one on the Ghisallo climb with Hotel Il Perlo (solar panels) always in the background as it has been since the early 1900s. This can be your view of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday, May 26.

If you Google “Il Lombardia” one of the top photo locations is this one on the Ghisallo climb with Hotel Il Perlo (solar panels) always in the background as it has been since the early 1900s. This can be your view of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday, May 26.

Activities for family members

For the non-cyclist in your family, there is no reason to miss out on this trip to northern Italy. Carlo, owner of Hotel Il Perlo, has created a special package for non-cycling partners to enjoy other activities such as guided hamlet walking tours, food and wine tasting, villa hopping by ferry, shopping, woodland hikes, and more. The days are designed with morning to early afternoon activities so that everyone reconvenes after lunch to spend the rest of their day and evening together.

Example Day’s Schedule:

7:30am - 9am: Breakfast buffet at Hotel Il Perlo

9:30am – 1pm: Option A: Guided cycling tour, Option B: Guided walking tour of Bellagio

1pm - 2pm: Lunch at Hotel Il Perlo

Afternoon: Ferry to visit Villa Carlotta

8pm: Dinner at Hotel Il Perlo

We will be in touch before the trip to discuss what activities you may like and if any need a reservation ahead of time. If a group of Yinzers want to do a particular activity together, we can arrange that too. Take a look at my Off-the-Bike Activities page to see what else awaits you on Lake Como.

Just up the hill from Hotel Il Perlo is the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel, home to the Patron Saint of Cyclists.

Just up the hill from Hotel Il Perlo is the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel, home to the Patron Saint of Cyclists.

For the non-cyclist there are plenty of options, even a leisurely e-bike ride will take you to some of the most beautiful spots on the lake.

For the non-cyclist there are plenty of options, even a leisurely e-bike ride will take you to some of the most beautiful spots on the lake.

 

7-night package Rate

For both Cyclists and Non-Cyclists

The 7-Night All-Inclusive package rate is €1,280/person (double-occupancy). Single-occupancy is available for an extra €30/night, so €1,490 for the 7 nights. These both include the Giro d’Italia package (there will be an additional small fee for transportation to/from the Mortirolo climb if you choose to go there). This includes both cycling and non-cycling activities. This is a great option to mix and match what you would like to do, or for your family member to participate in their own fun while you ride.

Included with Cycling Activities

  • Giro d’Italia package with Alberto Elli

  • Daily Guided Bike Tour

  • Daily Bike Rental

  • Bike Insurance

  • Bike Maintenance and Wash

  • Snacks for the Ride

  • ComoLagoBike Cycling Kit

  • Route Map

  • Ferry Tickets

Included with Hotel

  • Room with Private Bath

  • Daily Buffet Breakfast

  • Daily Post-Ride Lunch

  • One Sport Massage

  • Daily Cycling Kit Laundry

  • All dinners with Half Board rate, including 2 out at local restaurant

 

What Is Not Included

  • Airfare

  • Transportation to/from the airport

  • Personal insurance

  • Hotel restaurant drinks such as coffee, alcohol

  • Single-occupancy fee €30/night

Included with Non-Cycling Activities

  • Ghisallo Cycling Museum Visit

  • Guided walking tour of Bellagio hamlets

  • Guided walking tour of central Bellagio and Villa Melzi

  • Cooking lesson and tasting in Bellagio

  • Guided hike to Monte Nuvolone

  • Guided hike to San Martino church

  • Ferry to Como for shopping and self-guided activities (note full day required)

shorter stay Rates

If you are staying for a shorter length of time, the rate will be adjusted more as an “ala carte” rate, with a base hotel and meals rate, then activities added on as you like.

Hotel Accommodation with Half-Board (all meals): €77/person, double-occupancy. Single-occupancy at €105/person

Bike Rental: €35/day

Group Bike Tour: €35/day

Non-Cycling Activities: €40/event (details forthcoming)

 
The Bodnar clan returns!

The Bodnar clan returns!

It will be Giro d’Italia fever in May. Here, the Maglia Rosa collection at the Ghisallo Cycling Museum.

It will be Giro d’Italia fever in May. Here, the Maglia Rosa collection at the Ghisallo Cycling Museum.

 

Giro d’Italia Schedule

Below is the “core” Giro d’Italia weekend plan for the “full gas” cyclists. There will be options each day for the leisure cyclists and non-cyclists as well. Note that the non-cycling activities are just an example and will be finalized as we get closer. For the race days, the time-tables have not been released yet so we will eventually know better when the race will pass by Hotel Il Perlo and other locations closer to May.

Saturday May 25, 2019

  • Full Gas Cyclists: Stage 15 recon on the Ghisallo, Sormano, and Civiglio climbs. Note this ride will return later mid-day.

  • Leisure and Non-Cyclists: Easy morning ride, guided walking tour of Bellagio.

Sunday May 26, 2019, Giro d’Italia Stage 15

  • Full Gas Cyclists: Ride to the Civiglio climb and watch Stage 15 before its finish in Como. Note full day required.

  • Leisure and Non-Cyclists: Easy morning ride, food and wine tasting. Option to watch the race spectacle as they ride past Hotel Il Perlo.

Monday May 27, 2019

  • Full Gas Cyclists: Group Ride to Lake Lugano, should return early afternoon.

  • Leisure and Non-Cyclists: Easy morning ride, ferry to see Villa del Balbianello (scene of Star Wars and James Bond movies)

Tuesday May 28, 2019, Giro d’Italia Stage 16

  • Full Gas Cyclists: Ferry and private van to the Valtellina valley northeast of Lake Como, then ride to and climb the Mortirolo and watch Stage 16. Note full day required.

  • Leisure and Non-Cyclists: Easy morning ride, ferry to Como for walking tour and shopping

 

how to sign up

  • Email Jill (jillita@gmail.com) by January 31, 2019 with:

    • Your interest and how many spots and any additional names

  • Jill will send a reservation information form to fill out and include you on email to Carlo, owner of Hotel Il Perlo, and Enrica, the Booking Manager of ComoLagoBike.

  • There will be a 30% deposit due to Hotel Il Perlo either via Paypal or email. The balance will be due to Hotel Il Perlo at the end of your stay.

    • Deposit deadline for May group is February 28, 2019


great What's next?!

Jill will be in contact with you regularly up to the trip to ensure you are ready as possible, from airline logistics to packing to the latest weather updates, and if you need suggestions for other travels in Italy we can help with that too. Getting antsy and want to start prepping now? Watch my friend Peter’s video below on one of his special experiences riding with Alberto last September. Check out Jill's Packing & Traveling Tips for Cycling in Lake Como.


Social Media and News

Want a semi-steady stream of social media inspiration and news?

Hotel Il Perlo on Facebook

ComoLagoBike on Facebook

ComoLagoBike on Instagram, tag @a.s.d.comolagobike or #comolagobike

If you are on Strava, follow Alberto Elli to see where he rides! There is also a ComoLagoBike Strava club.

Sign up for our Newsletter (link at bottom)

In the meantime feel free to contact me with any questions. Hotel Il Perlo and ComoLagoBike can't wait to have you riding in Lake Como with us!