The region is also characterised by the great flat tracts of the Po Valley lowlands, covered by shimmering mirrors of water, a perfect destination for a cycling tour.
Day 1 Arrival:
Peschiera del Garda at the southern end of Lake Garda, a 16C island fortress.
Day 2 Peschiera del Garda – Brescia (53 or 63km):
From Peschiera cycle along the Mincio River to Monzambano, with its landmark castle. Continue through peaceful hills to the medieval walled town of Castellaro Lagusello. Pass a 1,000 year old castle in Pozzolengo and admire ancient worn frescoes in the church of San Zeno in Rivoltella. After Desenzano and Sirmione, a short climb takes us to hilltops overlooking Lake Garda before following an ancient Roman road to Brescia, known for its marble quarried in the nearby hills.
Day 3 Brescia - Sarnico/Lake Iseo (35km):
Before the year 1000AD, the Hungarians raided Franciacorta. Defense was made by constructing “rural” castles. Cycle next to Lake Iseo and through a nature reserve. Reach Sarnico on lovely Lake Iseo.
Day 4 Sarnico/Lake Iseo - Bergamo (35km):
Follow the Oglio River bank where you to enter the Bergamo region. The flat country, with its towers and castles that rise above the emerging hills, brings to mind the real splendour of the feudal ages. Arrive Bergamo, the ‘pearl of northern Italy’. Visit both the elegant lower town to see the ancient structures and bell towers, then take the funicular up to the upper town. Pass over some hilltops and descend towards then cycle along the Adda River.
Day 5 Bergamo - Garlate/Lecco surroundings (45km):
Leave Bergamo, cross the Brembo River and approach Mount Cavo. Pass over some hilltops and descend towards the Adda River. Cross the river on a ferry pulled by a cable. This river course provides particularly beautiful landscape here the waters of which near the lake form caves that reflect the green of flourishing nature, till you reach Garlate.
Day 6 Garlate/Lecco surroundings - Como (40km):
Pass through Brianza, between the lakes of Annone, Pusiano and Alserio. At Oggiono there is a beautiful Romanesque monastery. From the neat shoreline of Lake Alserio ride along an unpaved road in a forest then through a large hilly area studded with noble residences. At last, we descend to beautiful Lake Como. The splendour of Broletto and the cathedral testify to the ancient grandness of this city, made lively by the pedestrian streets.
Day 7 Como - Varese - Ranco(Lake Maggiore) (60km):
Admire the well preserved treasures of Como’s towns such as the Romanesque Oratory of San Martino in Albiolo. Cycle from Varese to Lake Monate to enjoy a panoramic view of Lake Maggiore and the distant alpine peaks. Overnight in Ranco on the shores of Lake Maggiore.
Day 8 Ranco, Lake Maggiore :
Arrangements end after breakfast.
The terrain is mostly flat, on low density country roads and cycle paths. The average distance per day is 60km.