There are plenty of lakes all over Italy, but here the phrase refers specifically to an area in the north, where a string of narrow glacial lakes lies interspersed among the Prealpine foothills, straddling the border with Switzerland.
The Road Cycling Area lies among Lombardy (Italy), Piedmont (Italy) and Switzerland. It’s framed by the Alps: you can see Mount Rosa (4.637 metres – 15,213 feet), the second highest mountain of the Alps after Mount Bianco (4.808 metres – 15,774 feet).
The three most important lakes are, from west to east, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como.
Lake Maggiore, Italy’s second-largest lake, is the longest lake of the Italian Lakes measuring 65 kilometres – 40 miles long and has a surface area of 215 square kilometres – 83 square miles. Lake Como and Lake Lugano are smaller.
Between and around these are minor lakes - such as Lake Orta, west of Lake Maggiore, and Lake Varese, midway between Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano, as well as Lake Comabbio, Lake Monate, Lake Ghirla, Lake Ganna around the town of Varese.
Eight lakes of different sizes surround Varese and Como.
The distance between Lake Maggiore and Lake Como doesn’t exceed 70 kilometres – 45 miles as a crow flies.
The southern end of the area is relatively flat (approx 300 metres .a.s.l. – 990 feet .a.s.l.) and more peopled, but the northern end is hilly and mountainous ( the peaks are approx 1.000 metres a.s.l. - 3,280 feet a.s.l. or more) as the lakes reach the foothills of the Alps in Switzerland.
Some climbs are challenging but not very long, from 2 kilometres - 1.2 miles up to 9 kilometres - 5.6 miles.
Our region has a typically hilly and mountainous landscape and therefore the tour profile is characterized by a continuous up and down.
If you love an easier and slow cycling we also planned itineraries where you can avoid any big hills and medium sized hills too.
The region offers classic images of Northern Italy: balconies over blue water, cobblestone villages and stone cottages, secluded gardens and exotic flora, picturesque medieval villages, belle epoque villas.
A unique mix of charms to lovers of cycling and a perfect blend of climbing and descending, of challenge and reward.