Monday, 15 October 2012

Cycling in Lombardy- From Cittiglio in the splendid Varesine Valleys to the majestic Milan how the great champion of cycling Alfredo Binda transmitted people the culture of cycle tourism,enjoying beautiful itineraries,between nature,art and history.

When I went to an edition of BIT in Milan I found in the Stand of the Province of Varese a brochure with the history linking the Varesine Valleys and Cycling Tourism itineraries to a great champion of sport and cycling who won three world championships five Giro d'Italia and wrote memorable pages of the cycling, Alfredo Binda a great cyclist a great man,a great Ambassador of cycling and cycling tourism as well.

Alfredo Binda was from Cittiglio, a beautiful hilly,picturesque small town in Province of Varese, between woods and mountains in the mountain community of Verbano.Verdant forests,a pure air,and so much to see from the historical point of view to unforgettable landscapes.

I decided to visit Cittiglio to discover new places for my Tourism Professional activity, and of course to visit the town,birthplace of Alfredo Binda. Cittiglio and the surrounding area,are simply impressive.I stopped for a coffee in a Bar and I exchanged a  chat with an old man sitting at the nearest table and he asked me if I was a tourist or a cycling lover and I had come to visit the town of Binda and told me that he knew personally Binda telling me something about him and  his history.

Mr. Binda before being a professional cyclist and champion, also did the bricklayer and he went to Milan to work from Cittiglio,63 km from Milan to the Lombardy Capital.You have to cross you some valleys,several villages and small towns  to reach the Milanese City.

Binda did that so many times  and when he came back home,he stopped during his journeys to have a drink and a walking in different places and once he saw beautiful places where he stopped,he talked with friends and people he knew about them.At those times,in the 20y, people of those areas did not move so much but the stories of Binda fascinated and attracted  many decided to take a bicycle and to start to explore the beauty that Binda suggested.
Binda then trained for Varese Valleys,in Switzerland on Lake Lugano,on Sacro Monte of Varese and Varese city,Luino and the Lake Maggiore and continued to tell people ab out those beautiful areas People listened to him and then went to visit the places that the great champion had recommended.

The suggestions of Binda were so many.This area offers you a wide number of places to visit and enjoy by bicycle, Varese with its beautiful villas and majestic gardens,Lake Varese and the Sacro Monte of Varese World Heritage Site,the beautiful valleys Valcuvia Valtravaglia, Val Marchirolo,Arcumeggia the splendid village of the frescoes, Porto Ceresio a picturesque town on Lake Lugano, Switzerland is very close with the beautiful Canton Ticino.

Further morehe Valley Olona,with Castiglione Olona famous for its Collegiata and frescoes by Masolino da Panigale and beautiful monasteries as Torba near the Roman rests of Castelseprio.Follow the road and crossing the Sempione,the Simplon , you are in Legnano town so famous for its Medieval Palio for the historic Battle of Legnano between the towns of Northern Italy and Frederick Barbarossa and then passing through San Vittore (famous for its mills on the River Olona) Parabiago (famous centre for the production of shoes), Nerviano Lainate you enter Milan from Corso Sempione and then to the Historical centre.

I visited all these area preparing Tourist Promo Videos and itineraries,I tried myself with some people some itineraries,an absolute paradise for all and if you have a bicycle,well,simply fantastic.

Binda was an Ambassador of cycling and also of cycling tourism if you want,you can do what Binda did from the magnificent Varesine Valleys with its picturesque hills,lakes and historical monuments to the majestic and great Milan,wonderful places not to be missed and to remember forever.

Francesco Mari