By bike to Sanctuary of the Madonna del Ghisallo

If you are a cycling enthusiast, you must have been to the Santuario Della Madonna del Ghisallo. Named after a Marian apparition, this small church in the territory of Magreglio is famous as a cycling pilgrimage site in Italy.
Cycling to Sanctuary of the Madonna del Ghisallo… Superstitious or not, Madonna del Ghisallo is the attraction for every cycling enthusiast. The church is considered the place of pilgrimage for cycling in Italy.According to legend, Count Ghisallo was ambushed by highwaymen in the Middle Ages. He takes a few hard shots until he suddenly sees a Marian apparition. Ghisallo runs there and the robbers choose the hare path. This is how Madonna del Ghisallo became the patron saint of travelers. In 1949, Madonna makes a career change and from now on she will concern herself with cyclists.
Santuario della Madonna del Ghisallo
Santuario della Madonna del Ghisallo dateert van 1632
Santuario della Madonna del Ghisallo
De fiets waarop Eddy Merckx zijn hoogdagen beleefde

From Bellagio we climb the hill Ghisallo (754 meters) by bike. Doable with an average gradient of 5.1 percent. There are some twists and turns that run up to 11 percent… Just when we reach the top, the flood gates of heaven open completely. We shelter from the cloudburst in the small church.

Santuario della Madonna del Ghisallo
Twee kampioenen van weleer: Fausto Coppi en Gino Bartali

An eternal flame burns in the church that watches over all deceased cyclists. But it’s not the flame that impresses. Hanging on the walls and ceiling we notice Eddy Merckx’s winning bicycle and Fabio Casartelli’s twisted bicycle, among other things. You know, the unfortunate Italian rider who died in 1995 after a fall during the Tour de France. Casartelli, by the way, was born in Como. Furthermore, countless cycling jerseys, photos, commemorative plaques and other silent trophies that testify to highs and lows in cycling. Happiness from winning and sadness from losing are close to each other. A place that inspires and demands respect for well-known and lesser-known champions.

A bus of elderly Germans squeezes into the small church like elephants in a porcelain shop. Respektieren? Was ist das? “Just start calling Madonna del Ghisallo because some heads will crack…” we think to ourselves. We don’t let it get that far. In the meantime, the weather has cleared up and we can continue our way.

Next to the Santuario della Madonna del Ghisallo you will find another museum that illustrates the evolution of cycling. The broad view of cycling is appreciated by the thousands of visitors who climb the Ghisallo every year. Funny, you can even borrow crocs so you don’t have to visit the museum on your cycling shoes. As you can see, the Ghisallo focuses on the cyclist!

Picture of Liselotte en Paul

Liselotte en Paul

Enthousiaste schouders onder onze blog Amiamo Lago di Como. Onze passie voor het Comomeer uitschrijven, dat is wat we graag doen!
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