Published on: 12 March 2013 | Last updated: 4 March 2017
Routes and cycle-touring resources
Movimento Lento (‘slow movement’) are an independent organisation working in collaboration with the Regione Lombardia. Their site Lombardia in Bicicletta is an essential resource for route planning in the area.
At the moment at least, it only seems to be available in Italian, but even if you don't speak Italian there's a lot of useful information. Go to the map page, tick the bici checkboxes on the left and the network of routes should appear. Click on the little bike pictograms and you can draw up a shortlist of the routes that interest you and then go to the individual pages for those routes plus gps downloads etc.
One of the most useful pages on the Lombardia in Bicicletta site is the Le vie d'acqua page which gives a really useful overview of the cycleways along the rivers and waterways of Lombardia.
Many of these routes are also available on the cicloturismo (cycle touring) section of the Regione Lombardia website. Unfortunately, they are only on the Italian-language section. There’s a fuller description of the routes and you can download traditional-style roadbooks (but no gps files).
The rivers and waterways of the Po
There are a number of websites devoted to tourism along the Po.
First up is Visit Po River (it/en). This is a collaboration between the Regions of Piemonte, Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna and the Veneto, so for the long-distance traveller it’s an extremely useful first port of call.
For the sections of the Po cycleways in Lombardia there’s Movimento Lento's Le Ciclovie del Po (Po Cycleways) site - a collaboration between Movimento Lento and the Lombard province of Pavia, Lodi, Cremona and Mantova.
The Po Cycleways site includes 50 or so route descriptions in English, but for the best selection of routes you need to go to the Italian version of the site or to the Lombardia in Bicicletta site.
If you want to continue on beyond Mantova (either going east to the Adriatic or north to the Lago di Garda) the Provincia di Mantova in collaboration with the neighbouring Provincia di Ferrara have produced the guide Dal Garda all’Adriatico - in bici attraverso i territori di Mantova e Ferrara (it/en/de). There’s an excellent pdf map and guide available: From Lake Garda to the Adriatic by Bike (alternate link) on the turismo.mantova.it site - a paper version is available from tourist offices.
If you’re heading north there are two extremely useful maps/guides produced by the Provincia di Mantova: a map of the Mincio river cycleway and Mantova in Bici (also available in English). These are available form tourist offices but you can also download them from the provincia’s website (see the Mantova section below).
Northern Lombardia and the lakes
Northern Lombardia includes most of the major Italian lakes as well as the Alta Resia area around Bormio and Livorno.There are a couple of very useful websites for those looking to explore this part of the region.
The first is the Laghi di Lombardia . This is a joint venture between the Federazione Italiana Amici della Bicicletta (FIAB - Italian Friends of the Bicycle) and the provinces of Lecco, Brescia, Bergamo, and Como. The routes links the 14 lakes between the Lago di Garda and the Lago di Como. The site includes maps and brief route descriptions in English and German of routes, but the more detailed instructions are in Italian. Useful maps but no gps files. Note: these pages seem to have gone missing in the revamp of the bicitalia.org website; please drop me a line if you would like me to send you a copy of the maps and route description (in Italian) - alternatively, see my Lakes of Lombardia and Piemonte guide.
The website Ciclovia dei Laghi (it/en) is a collaboration between the Lecco, Como and Varese provinces. Unfortunately the Brescia and Bergamo provinces aren't involved, so rather than presenting a route through the lakes, it actually presents a number of separate routes. That said, the site is a useful resource if you want to plan a route - maps, guides and gps files are available to download.
The Provincia di Varese is the area that lies between the Lago Maggiore and the Lago di Lugano, probably the most helpful site is gpsvarese.it which has lots of information about itineraries with Google maps and downloadable gps tracks. It provides information about road routes, cycleways and mountainbike itineraries. This page provides a quick overview of the road bike routes. The site has obviously been put together by people who are cyclists themselves - if you're a gps user you can even download a gps file showing all the water fountains in the area.
bresciainbici.it is a useful site with lots of routes, but there's no overview so it's not easy to find what you want. It's aimed more at people staying in one place rather than cycle tourists.
The Provincia di Bergamo's website (available in four languages) has been recently revamped. Unfortunately they seem to have taken a site that wasn’t very useful to start with and made it even less useful. There is some information available on the cycleways in the area in the Sport section - look at the bottom of the page in the ‘related articles’ section.
The provincia di Milano website (visitmilano.it (it/en) has a small section with cycling itineraries. There are only six routes in the section but these include a description of the route along the Canale Villoresi which might be a useful option if you’re looking for a way to skirt the north of Milano, and there’s also a description of the route along the Naviglio Grande which connects central Milano with the route along the Ticino river between Pavia on the Po and the Lago Maggiore.
The provincia di Mantova is the easternmost of the Lombardia province - bounded to the south by the river Po and to the east by the Mincio river. The turismo.mantova.it website isn’t brilliant but the provincia produces some useful paper guides that are also available for download.
There's also a map of the Peschiera-Mantova cycle path along the Mincio river:
The website for the Provincia di Lodi has a page of *Itinerari in bicicletta* including a pdf guide to download.
Sondrio is the provincia that lies to the north and east of the Lago di Como on the border with Switzerland. It includes within it Bormio and Livorno as well as some of Italy’s most famous climbs such as the climb to the Passo di Stelvio. The road cycling routes section of valtellina.it (valtellina.it: road cycling routes) (it/en/de) includes altitude profiles for all the major climbs in the area.
The website also has a cycle tourism section (valtellina.it: cycle tourism) includes a page with information about the Sentiero Valtellina, a cycleway which links the Lago di Como with Bormio, and the ciclabile al Chiavenna, a branch that goes to Chiavenna and the border with Switzerland.
There’s also the Tre Mitiche initiative, aimed at sports road cyclists, which offers guided rides with vehicle support for ten euros a ride. (Some hotels offer this as part of package deals). The basic programme offers the Passo di Stelvio on a Thursday, the Passo di Gavia on a Friday, and the Passo di Mortirolo on a Saturday. And if you still have the energy there are a number of of other climbs you can do.
The Alta Rezia
The Alta Rezia is the name for the area that includes Bormio and Livigno as well as the Italian-speaking Valposchiavo in Switzerland. This valley links Tirano with St Moritz and Livigno via the Passo di Bernardina and the Forcola di Livigno. The website (www.altarezia.eu - it/en/de) includes information about Bike Hotels as well as a lot of information about mountainbiking routes
Information for mountain-bikers
Many Italian ski resorts are now offering routes for mountain-biking - as well as bike parks. The two biggest resorts in the area are Livigno and Bormio:
In addition the Adamello Ski area around Ponte di Legno has a network of trails: The adamellobike.com has not been working for some months but there is some information on the . Adamello Ski website.
General tourist information
- the 'places' section of the Turismo Lombardia site provides general tourism information on things to see, but for information about places to stay etc you need to head to the provincial websites.
- Milano: : visitamilano.it
- Lecco and Como:: lakecomo.it (joint site provincia di Como and provincia di Lecco)
- Sondrio (Valtellina): valtellina.it and Livigno
- Brescia: bresciatourism.it and turismobrescia.it (Brescia city).
- Bergamo: turismo.bergamo.it and comune.bergamo.it) (Bergamo city).
- Cremona: turismo.comune.cremona.it
- Lodi: turismo.provincia.lodi.it
- Pavia: Provincia di Pavia - Turismo and Comune di Pavia - Turismo
- Varese: vareselandoftourism.it
Get in touch
Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.
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