Ride distance: 65 km
Elevation gain: 500 m
This is a wonderful introduction to riding on Lake Como. The ride begins in Bellagio and heads south on the lakeside road to Como. This winding road has continuous rolling hills and stunning views of the lake at nearly every turn. When not gazing at the beauty in front of you, your bike is spinning through ancient villages impossibly perched on the hillside between the lake and mountain. One important stop is at the village of Nesso, which is nestled into the hillside surrounded by nature and greenery thriving from the mountain torrents and waterfall that carve the Orrido di Nesso, a gorge that bisects the village center. At the bottom of Nesso is the Ponte della Civera, a stone bridge that was filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in his film The Pleasure Garden in 1925. At our halfway point in Como, you can stop for a coffee, snack, or lunch and see the Duomo di Como, a gothic cathedral that began construction in 1396 but did not complete until nearly 400 years later.
Wrapping around the far western branch of Lake Como, the road is much flatter and you will enjoy riding past the elegant villas, such as Villa Olmo, Villa d'Este, and Villa Carlotta, which take advantage of the sunnier location on the lake to cultivate their gorgeous gardens. It will definitely give you ideas for returning to one of the villas another time for a longer tour of their buildings and gardens. The ride finishes in Cadenabbia, where we take the ferry to Bellagio.
This ride is perfect for: Recreational cyclists, those who would like an easier ride without big climbs, and e-bikes.
Note: A ferry is required upon the return so allow for extra time and money for the crossing.