Staggering nature and two elegant towns
Northern Italy by bike, a cycling tour through a staggering nature that allows you to experience two of the most important regions and two astonishing capitals of Northern Italy: Piedmont and Lombardy.
You will depart from Turin, elegant and regal main city of Piedmont and first capital of Italy, very green thanks to the hills and the four rivers, and reach Milan, the glamorous capital of business and fashion in Lombardy, with its appeal of a great European city and known for its quality food and great events.
An exciting journey into the green heart of Piedmont and then, past the river Ticino, into Lombardy, the richest region in Italy. You will be immersed in the nature of both regions, while admiring for example the deep blue of the Viverone, Orta and Maggiore lakes and the many lovely rivers and canals along the way. Then you will enjoy a nice stop in Gattinara, a village famous for its wine bars, and you will have a chance to taste excellent wines.
You will stay in Pavia, in Lombardy, the ancient medieval capital and refined university city and you will discover the Certosa, a splendid monumental complex of the fourteenth century.
A legend tells that, in August 1946 the illegally exhumed body of Benito Mussolini was discovered in the Certosa and two Franciscan friars were charged with assisting in the concealment of the body. Your entrance into MILAN will be along the historic canal of the Naviglio Pavese, where goods were once transported on barges. Finally, you will reach the Darsena, where inhabitants from Milan love to hang out and spend time. They gather here especially in the evening when you can enjoy the aperitif, a lovely ritual which comes right before delicious dinner in one of the many excellent restaurants you can choose from. Five subway lines allow you to reach any area of the city in a few minutes. This is the ideal journey for nature lovers but also for those who like lively cities, fun, and entertainment: you will experience some of the best Northern Italy has to offer.
The daily program of the 8-day tour
Turin, the first capital of Italy, is a really beautiful city that will surprise you. In the past it was well known to host the industrial city seat of Fiat while today it is an important tourist city, full of noble residences, parks, interesting museums, etc. It is a modern, refined and well-kept city, with large spaces and lots of green, perfect for a bicycle tour. Turin also boasts lots of nice restaurants and places where to taste excellent cuisine and wines.
Overnight with breakfast in Turin.
Your exciting cycling tour begins today: you cycle along the largest river in Italy, the Po, up to Chivasso, then continue among green hills passing Mazzè, with its castle from which you can enjoy a beautiful view and Maglione, the town of murals. Today’s destination is the quiet Viverone Lake, the third lake of Piemonte. In the south and western parts, the lake has rich vegetation and the lake is an important archaeological site with finds of Bronze Age stilt houses.
Overnight with breakfast in the Viverone Lake area.
Distance: 67 km / 42 miles
Today is maybe your most demanding day: you will cross the “Serra” of Ivrea, an extensive morainic hill, then a deserved descent towards Candelo awaits you, with its extraordinary “Ricetto”. The Ricetto di Candelo is medieval architecture, a fortified and protected structure where goods (fodder, wines, etc.) of the local lord or the population were accumulated and where, occasionally, the population itself withdrew in case of attacks. The one in Candelo is one of the best-preserved examples of this type of medieval structure.
Cycling continues with ups and downs between vineyards and green hills until you reach Gattinara, famous for its excellent wines.
Overnight with breakfast in Gattinara.
Distance: 65 km / 40 miles
Today you will cross the Sesia river, then you have some ups and downs until you reach a small jewel of Piedmont: Lake Orta. The lake has been so named since the 16th century but was previously called the Lago di San Giulio, after Saint Julius (4th century), the patron saint of the area.
After a very pleasant ride along the western shore, you reach Pella, where you can take the ferry; passing near the island of San Giulio with its monastery, you arrive in Orta.
Overnight with breakfast in Orta.
Distance: 38 km / 24 miles
After leaving the delightful village of Orta, you follow a beautiful path through the hills that leads you to Arona, a beautiful village that is worth a visit, with its cycle path along Lake Maggiore.
Worldwide known for having been the birthplace of St. Charles Borromeo, Arona boasts
Renaissance masterpieces inside its churches and an ancient fortress, the Rocca, whose ruins remind of past battles and sieges.
In Sesto Calende you cross the iron bridge over the Ticino river and continue along the splendid embankment.
Overnight with breakfast in Oleggio.
Distance: 58 km / 36 miles
Today you cycle through the amazing Ticino Park on dirt roads in good condition. The natural environment is beautiful, the green of the trees is reflected in the river from which numerous canals branch off. Along with one of these, you reach Pavia, the former capital of the Lombard Kingdom, an elegant university city famous for its Certosa.
The historic centre is perfectly preserved and full of lovely shops.
Overnight with breakfast in Pavia.
Distance: 68 km / 42 miles
You leave Pavia along the Naviglio Grande and you will soon reach the Certosa, a medieval jewel which we recommend to visit. It really is a really unique complex with a magnificent cathedral dating back to the 14th century. A few kilometers by bike and you reach Milan, a vibrant city in constant evolution. Milan is the real economic engine of Italy but also a very interesting city from a tourist point of view, rich in museums, churches, theatres and lively streets with shops and excellent places where to eat and drink.
It is possible to book an extra night to explore this fascinating town.
Overnight with breakfast in Milan.
Distance: 34 km / 21 miles
After breakfast ends this tour through two important Italian regions and past two astonishing towns of Northern Italy
Impressions of Northern Italy by bike
The difficulty is medium overall, although the route in Piedmont up to Gattinara is not easy and involves training on the climbs. The last part from Oleggio to Milan is easy and includes cycle paths. Low traffic roads; some dirt roads are in good condition.
In spite of the cycling, you will have enough time to visit cities and places and enjoy experiences like wine tasting. Experience in cycling and good physical condition is required.
Average daily distances: between 34 km / 21 mi and 68 km / 42 miles
Total km/miles: 330 km / 205 mi
Every Saturday from March 26 to September 24. Daily departures with a minimum of 4 people or with a supplement of 50 euro per person (if less than 4).
2 or more people.
START / FINISH:
Turin / Milan