The Ticino cycleway

Published on:  | Last updated: 17 March 2018

Ciclovia del Ticino (Naviglio Grande)

Ciclovia del Ticino (Naviglio Grande) - click to enlarge

One of my favourite river rides and quite possibly one of the nicest in Italy. If you’re riding south-to north you’ll gradually start to see the mountains appearing on the skyline.

The route is mainly traffic free and on asphalt - although there are a few sections on the first half of the route (if you’re starting from Pavia) where the tarmac has deteri­orated and is a bit rough.

As well as being a great ride in its own right the route provides a useful connection between the Po and the lakes - as well as an option if you are riding to or from the Milano Malpensa airport.

Map and altitude profile

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tips for using the map

Map screen grab

Run your cursor over the graph to show the elevation, and distance from the start, for any given point on the route. (Note: the altitude graph is not shown where the route is flat).

map detail

Click the little icon in the right-hand corner to see the map fullscreen

The Ticino cycleway follows the course of the Ticino river between the city of Pavia on the Po and the town of Sesto Calende on the Lago Maggiore. While it’s named after the Ticino, for most of its length the cycleway runs along the banks of the Naviglio Bereguardo and the Naviglio Grande.

The first section of the route is on quiet roads before the route picks up the Naviglio di Bereguardo at, you guessed it, Bereguardo. This takes us to Abbiategrasso where there’s a junction with the Naviglio Grande. The Naviglio Grande goes east towards Milano and north towards the Lago Maggiore.

The section from here is the most beautiful. The Naviglio takes almost all of the way into Sesto Calende, with a short but very scenic section by the river into the town itself.


At Pavia the route connects with the Ciclovia Francigena (until recently called the Ciclovia dei Pellegrini) part of the eurovelo 5 - the cycling version of the Via Francigena. At Sesto Calende you can pick up my Tour of the Western Lakes or the Lakes of Lombardia and Piemonte tour. 


Maps to print out or view offline

About the maps

The maps are in two versions: A4 portrait format - for printing and maybe also for viewing on an iPad, and A5 for smaller tablets and smart­phones. (A4 and A5 are inter­na­tional paper sizes).

 sample map page.

Links open in new windows unless you ‘save as’ etc.

GPS files

  •  Ticino Cycleway gps files
    (.zip file containing 1 gpx track file)
  • Italy Points of Interest

    About POIs

    POIs are like waypoints, but while you can usually only store a limited number of waypoints on a device, you can store thousands of POIs. These files include inform­ation about campsites and hostels, bike shops, train stations, drinking water sources as well as warnings for tunnels and roads where bikes are banned. Please check the ReadMe file for instruc­tions. Updated April 2018. The file format is only compatible with Garmin GPSes .

More information

Places to stay

There is a hostel in Pavia (the Ostello Santa Maria in Betlem as well as a number of hotels - although some of the hotels claiming to be in Pavia are in fact a few kilometres out of town.

There’s a campsite in Pavia, the Camping Ticino. However, when I went there in 2012 it was closed for refur­bishment and due to reopen in 2013. The website is up and running with a 2013 price list so it looks like it is indeed due to reopen, but it might just be worth a phone call in advance. There are a number of campsites in the area around Sesto Calende. I stayed and can recommend the Camping Italia Lido.

Transport and services

There are train stations at Sesto Calende and at Pavia. The route also passes close to the Milano Malpensa airport - Google Street provides a handy way to check your approach route 

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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