Angera – Gavirate - Varese – Castiglione Olona – Gazzada – Corgeno
This hilly yet easy route for road cyclists (94 km / 58.4 miles) features an elevation gain of about 790 m (2,592 ft) and links five of the seven bike hotels. It has no really demanding climbs and crosses the central part of the Province of Varese from Lake Maggiore to the town of Castiglione Olona, which was once referred to as a "pocket of Tuscany in Lombardy", and to Castelseprio Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The tarmacked roads are mainly secondary roads with a series of gentle climbs and descents offering many different views and changes of scenery.
The route passes through two town centres which have some stretches of busy roads.
The only notable climbs on the Borromeo Castle and UNESCO World Heritage Site Side Tour are:
- If you are riding the route clockwise: the road from Gavirate to Varese by Lake Varese provides a gentle 5.4 km / 3.4 mile climb with a maximum gradient of 6% and a few flat sections. The climb is known locally as the “Sasso di Gavirate”; the road is occasionally busy in parts, but offers panoramic views over Lake Varese with the Alps impressively lined up in the background;
- If you are riding the route anticlockwise: there are several climbs along the way with maximum gradients of 10% but they are no longer than a few hundred yards.
The route is hilly and on average climbs about 100 m (328 ft) every 10 km (6.2 miles). There are several drinking fountains along the way to help quench your thirst! The ride takes you around five lakes: Lake Maggiore, Lake Monate, Lake Comabbio, Lake Biandronno and Lake Varese.