Activities off-the-bike

Italian-Swiss Lake District

Look at the tourist map

Activities off-the-bike

...or if you are a non-rider guest

The routes run close to several villas, gardens, places of faith castles, fortresses, tourist places.
So you can stop and visit them if you have... comfortable shoes!
The activities off-the-bike can be an important experience during your cycling tour in Northern Italian Lakes. Not only cycling here.

Collection of contemporary art at Villa Panza in Varese:

It is surrounded by a magnificent Italian-style garden, the 18th century Villa Panza is famous around the world for the contemporary art collection that Giuseppe Panza di Biumo assembled there from the 1950s onwards. Today is owned by FAI, which takes care of the heritage that accommodates it.

You can get there by bus or on foot.

Sacro Monte of Varese and “Via Sacra”:

It is on the list of UNESCO Worldwide Heritage sites, and is one of the most significant examples of “Via Sacra”on the italian peninsula.

The Sacro Monte of Varese is a devotional centre erected on the Velate mountain between 1604 and 1698; this evangelical structure was designed to celebrate the dogma of the Catholic Church in opposition to the spread of the protestant reform. The itinerary for pilgrims consists in a Sacred Way about 2 kilometres long, with 14 chapels designed to illustrate and promote meditation on the mystery of the Holy Rosary that finishes at the Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Monte and which represents the fifteenth chapel.

You can get there by bus and on foot.

Villa Della Porta Bozzolo at Casalzuigno:

Constructed in the 16th century as a country residence, Villa Della Porta Bozzolo was transformed in the 18th century into a prestigious aristocratic Villa. The interiors were embellished by rococo frescos and an impressive terraced garden with a splendid external staircase. The body of the Villa is flanked by interesting rustic out buildings, including stables, stalls, cellars. Today is owned by FAI, which takes care of the heritage that accommodates it.

You can get there by bus or on foot.

Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso
(on shores of Lake Maggiore):

Its position on the lake is extraordinary and particularly spectacular, at the foot of a formidable rock cliff. The hermitage cannot be reach by car or bike, only on foot by descending 268 steps, or by boat. However there is an lift that allows access to everybody.

Borromean Islands and town of Stresa
(on Lake Maggiore):

The Borromean Islands are a group of three small islands (Isola Bella, Isola Madre. Isola Pescatori) and two islets in the Italian part of Lake Maggiore, located in the western arm of the lake, between Verbania to the north and Stresa to the south. The town of Stresa enjoys a splendid location on Lake Maggiore in the Gulf of Borromeo.

Botanical gardens of Villa Taranto in Verbania
(on Lake Maggiore):

You can get there by train (from Varese to Laveno on shores of Lake Maggiore), and after you can go by ferry and by boat.

Rocca Angera in Angera:

It stands on a spur of rock that dominates the southern shores of Lake Maggiore. It a splendid example of medieval fortification.

Borgo di Mustonate:

We can organize a personalized carriage ride at Borgo di Mustonate.

Monastery of Torba:

The place, that would go on to become the Monastery of Torba, started life in the late-Roman era (around the 5th century A.D.) as a military outpost. It subsequently passed into the hands of the Goths and the Longobards, before becoming a monastic seat, a place of prayer and work for Benedictine nuns. In 1453, it was abandoned by the Longobard monks and then converted into a rural farmstead. Today is owned by FAI, which takes care of the heritage that accommodates it.

Village of Castiglione Olona
known as the “Tuscan Island in Lombardy”:

The Village of Castiglione Olona has very ancient origins. It was A Roman fortress. In renaissance times this area lived its period of maximum splendour owning to Cardinal Branda Castiglioni’s presence and its particularly enlightened initiatives. Thereafter, after a lengthy period of decline in the middle of nineteenth century, thanks to the industriousness and talent of Mazzucchelli family, Castiglione Olona becames one of poles industrial of our province.