Monday, 17 September 2012

One Day One Photo - 16

Sunday 16th September

Lake Como is the place that I have been to the most frequently since I have lived in Milan. It is a local train-ride away, and the station from where I catch the train is just 15mins from my flat.
As well as the beautiful views of the lake and the stylish architecture of the various villages, this area is great for cycling.

One of the best loops you could do there is to start in Como, ride up to Bellagio via a rolling lakeside road (on the eastern shore of the western arm), then head south and ride up the twisting climb to Madonna del Ghisallo and the cyclists' chapel. Then do the long descent to Canzo and take the road back to Como, passing through Ponte Lambro, Erba, Albavilla and Taverenio. That's what Higg and I did.

We had beautiful weather on this day. It was a perfectly clear day, and the temperature was just right. There wasn't much traffic either. The Madonna del Ghisallo climb is not so long - about 8km. However, the first couple of kilometers are quite steep. A sign on the road says 14%, and it definitely felt as steep as that in places. Thankfully it isn't that steep all the way up. There is even a short section of downhill. About a third of the way up there is a great view of Bellagio below. It is a quite a nice spot because Bellagio is where the two arms of Lake Como meet, so you see both sides of the upturned Y. That was where I stopped to take a photo. It was also a good excuse to take a breather!

This is a really pleasant loop to do if you get the chance. In terms of climbing, the main uphill section is the Madonna del Ghisallo. Once you are over that, it is practically all downhill and you are back on the shores of Lake Como before you can say "George Clooney"! 
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