Varenna - Bellagio - Lecco
As one local pointed out to us when asking for directions, it is pronounced “Geezallo“. The Tour of Lombardy has always been one of my favorite races, with a name that just adds to the romance: “The Race of the Falling Leaves“. In all of the trips to Europe over the years we have managed to miss this region, so this time a whole 9 days was dedicated to Lake Como and then up into Bormio. You don’t have to spend long on the roads around the lake to realize that you are at the heart of Italian cycling. Riders of every size and age were out clocking miles on some of the best roads you will ever ride. The Ghisallo itself has played the role of decider many times, from the Giro to the Tour of Lombardia, and in the lesser known Coppa Agostini and Giornata della Bicicletta. They live and breathe riding here. Lombardia has over 700 registered cycling clubs with over 12,000 members. If you are wondering what they do all year, they have a choice of over 1200 races to to choose from in any given season. And of coarse the climb leads to the church at the top, maybe the most sacred and respected monument to cycling and those we have lost.