The itinerary starts from Ponte Tresa, 100 mt after the Carabinieri station.
How to get there
From Varese, SS 344 to Ponte Tresa
Main features of the route
Although not long, the route is recommended for expert cyclists only; some parts of the itinerary are quite difficult, and the signposting is not always accurate.
The route goes along a former tram line, then continues on public roads which may have busy traffic, and on cycle tracks.
The cycle track is located near a riding stables and goes uphill along a former tram line. Go through a series of tunnels to reach the State Road (SS) 233.
Cross this busy road to the Argentera Park; from here the climb is harder (slope of 13%) to the dedicated cycle track alongside the main road.
At the end of the track you come to the small town of Marchirolo; go through the town and continue past some picturesque villages until you join the Provincial Road (SP) 30. The cycle track goes as far as Cunardo. A hairpin bend takes you onto another cycle track leading to the watermill that provided the power for the Maglio di Ghirla, a former ironworks. Continue on the track on the left shore of Lake Ghirla.
A short rise takes you past a picnic area; continue on the surfaced road to the Badia di Ganna, an interesting abbey with a cloister, and a chapel reproducing the Sanctuary of Lourdes.
Another gentle rise, with a surface which can be rough and muddy at times, leads first to Lake Ganna and then to a picnic area with the San Gemolo drinking fountain.
Go straight on for around a kilometre to reach an abandoned mine, then your final destination on State road 233, close to the “Baita S. Gemolo” agriturismo.
Bus: Varese - Ghirla - Luino / Ghirla - Ponte Tresa
Refreshment facilities: Ganna, Ghirla, Marchirolo and Ponte Tresa