GPS Varese
Itinerari, percorsi, tracciati
in Provincia di Varese - Lombardia

15/02/2016 - What’s it like here ?
Which Northern Italy’s lakes we are talking about

There are plenty of lakes all over Italy, but here the phrase refers specifically to an area in the north, where a string of narrow glacial lakes lies interspersed among the Prealpine foothills, straddling the border with Switzerland.
The Road Cycling Area lies among Lombardy (Italy), Piedmont (Italy) and Switzerland.

It’s framed by the Alps: you can see Mount Rosa (4.637 metres – 15,213 feet), the Alps’ second highest mountain after Mount Bianco (4.808 metres – 15,774 feet).

The three most important lakes are, from west to east, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como.
Lake Maggiore, Italy’s second-largest lake, is the longest lake of the Italian Lakes measuring 65 kilometres – 40 miles long and has a surface area of 215 square kilometres – 83 square miles. Lake Como and Lake Lugano are smaller.
Between and around these are several minor lakes - such as Lake Orta, west of Maggiore, and Lake Varese, midway between Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano, as well as countless tarns trapped in the high valleys. Eleven lakes of different sizes surround Varese and Como.

The distance between Lake Maggiore and Lake Como doesn’t exceed 70 kilometres – 45 miles as a crow flies.
The southern end of area is relatively flat (approx 300 metres .a.s.l. – 990 feet .a.s.l.) and more peopled, but the northern end is hilly and mountainous ( the peaks are approx 1.000 metres a.s.l. - 3,280 feet a.s.l. or more) as the lakes reach the foothills of the Alps in Switzerland.
Some climbs are challenging but not very long, from 2 kilometres - 1.2 miles up to 9 kilometres - 5.6 miles.
Our region has a typically hilly and mountainous landscape and therefore the tour profile is characterized by a continuous up and down.

If you love an easier and slow cycling we also planned itineraries where you can avoid cycling any big hills and medium sized hills too.
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The region offers classic images of Northern Italy: balconies over blue water, cobblestone villages and stone cottages, secluded gardens and exotic flora, picturesque medieval villages, belle epoque villas.

Lake Orta
Some say village Orta, on the shore of Lake Orta, is one of the best lake villages: largely traffic-free with narrow cobbled streets and medieval buildings.
In the middle of the Lake Orta lies the San Giulio Island.

Lake Maggiore
The main area on this lake is centred around the grand resorts of Stresa and Pallanza (part of the town of Verbania) and the famous three Borromean Islands (Bella, Madre and Superiore) that lie between them. Stresa is surrounded by elegant villas and beautiful gardens.
From Stresa, the main town, a cable car ascends to Mount Mottarone (1.491 metres - 4,892 feet ) – a playground for mountain biking, rock climbing and hiking – or just for drinking in the breathtaking views.
The three Islands can be visited by boat with frequent ferries from Stresa and Pallanza. Perhaps the most visited is the Bella Island renowned for its elegant palazzo and Italianate gardens.

Lake Varese
Lake Varese lies at the foot of the Regional Park of Campo dei Fiori while the Alps, dominated by the majestic profile of Mount Rosa, provide a splendid backdrop.
Lake Varese is 5 kilometres – 3 miles far from the centre city of Varese.

Lake Lugano
Parts of Lake Lugano are in Italy but most of it, including the town of Lugano, is in Switzerland.
You don’t need your own document (ID card or passport) for riding in Switzerland. The policemen don’t ask you your own document if you cross the border by bike only.
At the southern end of the lake lies Capolago station with regular departures up to the top of Mount Generoso (1.704 metres - 5,590 feet ) where on a clear day it is possible to see Milan as well as Lake Maggiore and Lake Como. The train has a carriage for carrying bikes making it possible to enjoy the climb up and the freewheel down the other side towards Lake Como.

Lake Como and Shrine of Madonna del Ghisallo
This is perhaps the most famous lake of all and the best way to see it is either by boat or by bike from the top of one of the viewpoints.
The triangle of land to the south of Bellagio offers one of the most well-known cycling place of the Italian Lakes. Climb up on your bike to the Shrine of Madonna del Ghisallo, the Patroness Saint of cyclists.
Inside the tiny church you will find all sorts of cycling memorabilia including bikes from the classic races neatly pinned to the walls.
And if that wasn’t enough, right beside the church is a modern museum dedicated to cycling.
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Please look at Road Cycling Area:



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