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On foot, by bike, in water: the lake sets no limits on fun

The arrival of the Giro d’Italia in Pallanza is the cherry on top of a season to experience the outdoors with charming scenery and thousands of possibilities to practice sports for all levels whilst respecting nature

Lago Maggiore, and all its surroundings, is not just one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is also the perfect playground to experience sport in the most complete way. A proactive spirit unites with the area’s natural beauty and organisational capabilities, which border perfection. The opportunity to experience the union between sport and nature, which totally engages and transports you is pure reality.

When describing all the sports to try between the banks of the lake and the surrounding valleys, you must start with cycling. The 98th Giro d’Italia will arrive on 28th May in Pallanza and take off again the day after from Gravellona Toce. This is not the first time the race most beloved by Italians has passed through this area. In 1952, cyclist Coppi was in championship mode wearing a pink jersey, whilst the leg of the race that had arrived in Verbania was won by the Swiss Fritz Schaer, ahead of the unforgettable Alfredo Martini. In 1992 this leg smiled upon Chioccioli ahead of Chiappucci and Lelli even if the Giro was already solidly in the hands of the great Miguel Indurain. At the time, director Candido Cannavò of the newspaper La Gazzetta described the arrival with a touch of poetry, “The straight road of Verbania was etched in a piece of Heaven”.

To celebrate the arrival and departure of the Giro, the committees of Verbania and Pallanza are organising the ‘1st climb in company to Monterosso’ for Sunday 3rd May in collaboration with the Monterosso agri-tourism company. It includes a path of about thirty kilometres open to all: all you need is a bit of leg strength to take on the final six kilometres uphill with a series of twists and turns that offer breathtaking views of Verbania and Lago Maggiore.

For anyone wishing to check out the itinerary on the road, on mountain bike, or on foot can visit the BICICO website. This organization has been offering daily, weekend and full week itineraries for the entire area around the lake, including the mountains, since 1990. Families, groups, teams, lone visitors, serene excursionists and super athletes area all invited. The BICICO experience is for everyone, no exclusions. Don’t forget that the lake’s surroundings offer many bike paths that allow you to explore in absolute tranquillity and enjoy the very best of nature.
Fascinating cycling routes, and much more, can be found on the Lombard side of Lago Maggiore, as well as the Giro del Lago d’Orta and the renowned Mottarone path. Those who wish to take a tour of the Sette Laghi (Seven Lakes), the Tre Valli Varesine (Three Valleys of Varese), the Rocca di Angera castle and UNESCO Heritage Sites can easily organise their itineraries to start directly from the Grand Hotel Majestic by bike, or by accessing points of departure by car. Downhill lovers should directly look for Mottarone, the ideal launch pad for daring downhill adventures.

In addition to cycling in all of its formats, the lake is also ideal for those who love to run. It is not a coincidence that the Mezza Maratona (Half Marathon) and the Maratona del Lago Maggiore, otherwise known as the competitive race through one of Italy’s most panoramic paths, take place here. For the more athletic, there is the sky race: thirty kilometres on the peaks between the sky and the lake starting on 8th August from Cannobio, as well as the Valle Intrasca Marathon which takes place on 7th June departing from Verbania: 42 kilometres of exertion through enchanting landscapes.
For those who love mountain excursions and trekking, the possibilities are endless. On the website illagomaggiore.com under ‘Itineraries’ you can find all the necessary information to discover the unhurried leisure of walking along paths with appealing signposts indicating all of the most simple excursions to the most adventurous.

And then there’s the water: canoe sailing, swimming, water skiing, rafting and canyoning are all sports that you can try at any skill level and with absolute satisfaction. Let’s not forget paragliding for the most fearless and fishing for the most tranquil.
With the arrival of warm weather, which lasts well into October, Lago Maggiore offers its very best, fully lending itself to anyone who wishes to live in contact with nature and practice sports in complete freedom.
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Grand Hotel Majestic, Editor