A Cyclist's Pilgrimage
There are a variety of ways to go from Milan that all cover about 75 miles roundtrip. The cities of Milan, Como, Lecco and Bellagio form a diamond and riders can go in a clockwise loop to Como and up to Bellagio, or do as we did and ride up to Lecco and along the lake. Either way, you're in for a treat.
The route we chose is as follows: From Concorezzo, take the main route east to Vimercate (look for signs). Watch for the signs to Merate and head north on another main artery. These are busy roads, but as I noted, cars give cyclists a wide berth and plenty of respect, so you shouldn't have any problems. Continue on Road No. 3424, following the signs to Lecco. Once in Lecco, look for signs directing you to Bellagio. Take road No. 583 along the interior (west) side of Lecco. This is a gorgeous road. You will pass through several longish tunnels, but fumes are only a minor problem. You will emerge along the lakeshore, passing the towns of Onno, Oliveto Lario and Regatola. In Regatola there is a left turn (before Bellagio) that leads up to the chapel and Magriglio. This is the only left turn between Oliveto Lario and Bellagio, so it should be easy to catch. The"real" climb to the chapel gains some 750 vertical meters before the summit. Backtrace your route to Concorezzo, or if you're feeling adventurous, continue on to Asso and home to Milan from there.
What to Bring
Normal riding gear and bicycle. Bring a helmet - the drivers here are nice, but the roads can be steep and narrow. Sunglasses, sunscreen, a wind vest and arm warmers are all good ideas. Since this is a long ride, bring plenty of water and food, and money to refuel along the way. A small mapbook and/or guide would be a good idea in case you get lost.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication