Cycling at Lake Como: La Madonna Del Ghisallo

By Vacanze Lago • on May 23, 2013

Lake Como is a paradise for cyclists. There are many itineraries that cross the green valleys covered by woods and meadows overlooking the mirror blue waters of the lake.

Madonna Del Ghisallo

Old pathways and mule-tracks, where the landscape is uncontaminated and a string of old pathways link the lovely hamlets that make up the territory still holding the old traditions.

Lake Como offers tourists a wide range of bike excursions , daily excursions or ones that can be done in more days. There are plenty of easy low level cycling routes for the whole family but also more challenging ones for the more experienced cyclist.

Most alpine passes care practicable all year round but the spring and autumn are the best times when the weather is not too hot and you can enjoy the annual explosion of autumn colors.

Easier bike routes include the ones in the Pian di Spagna Natural Reserve, in the Northern part of Lake Como and Valtellina where there is a nice cycling route where you can breathe fresh air and enjoy the greenery of the natural landscape.

Overlooking Lake Como and Lecco’s mountains you can find Colle del Ghisallo (754m), a mountain pass road that connects the Valassina road to the upper part of Larian Triangle. Close to the pass is a small church, the sanctuary of the Madonna del Ghisallo .

This hill is an iconic location for cyclists of all ages and categories, both competitive and non-competitive. Its climb has been the decisive or conclusive stage of some of the most renowned races in the history of cycling: from the Giro d’Italia to the Giro di Lombardia and the Coppa Agostini.

The Madonna del Ghisallo has always been appreciated by cyclists and in 1949 it was declared the patroness of cyclists by Pope Pio XII. Since then the walls of this little church began to fill will objects left by cyclists in sign of devotion. For many decades there is between the champions of cycling (mostly Italian, but not limited to) the custom to donate their memorabilia to the Shrine of the Ghisallo: these include for example, bicycles used by Bartali, Coppi and Merckx in their victories in the Tour de France, the special bike used by Moser for the hour record and various mesh pink, yellow and rainbow.

In the nineties these relics were so numerous that wasn’t anymore place in the small church: it was therefore conceived the project of a museum of cycling , to be erected beside the shrine that intended to collect and preserve the biggest and original collection of the world.

Outside there are two statues of two big cyclers Coppi and Bartali and in 2011 the bust of Binda was added.

The museum is devoted to men and women who have used and continue to use the bicycle in everyday life and in sports, but also to all those people whose work involves cycling, competitive racing in particular: athletes, bicycle manufacturers, organizers, sport club directors, journalists and many other people perhaps less known but equally important participants.

To reach the museum there is a series of bends that reminds of the last part of the climb to Ghisallo that gives access to the 5 sections of the permanent exhibition.

The Ghisallo Museum is also creating a library with a collection of the most interesting magazines and volumes regarding cycling.

Events and exhibitions are hosted and promoted by the museum, that also has a store with gadgets and books on cycling.

Opening time:


Saturday and Sunday from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm


Tuesday – Thursday from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

Sunday from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm

Closed on Monday except from June 1st to August 31st.

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