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.
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"!