The Lakes & Great Climbs of Italy


We’ve been really busy “researching” in Northern Italy with Eros Poli, riding the best climbs, and getting our palates acquainted with the region’s food and plethora of fine wines. It’s been a daunting task, but we’re now ready to share these experiences with you.

This area has some of the most stunning of mountain vistas in Italy, many of which run straight up against the crystal clear waters of Lake Como. We’ll take on all the famous ascents, like the Madonna del Ghisallo, the Stelvio, and the Mortirolo. But we’ll also treat you to some hidden gems, including one of our favorites of all time, the Passo del Vivione. So have no doubts about it: if you love to climb, you will love this trip.

For more inspiration, check out the highlights of the 2015 edition of Il Lombardia, the last monument of the cycling season. It’s always a highlight of the calendar, and you’ll get to know the best of it with us and our team of professional mechanics, soigneurs and support vehicles – just like the pros!

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Dogma F10 bike rental with SRAM RED eTap 11-speed WiFLi components and daily bike wash
  • One Giordana FRc custom inGamba cycling kit and one additional Giordana FRc Inline cycling kit
  • Laundry service for cycling clothing

*Pre/post-trip lodging is not included

**Beverages ordered by guests beyond normal amounts and away from group activities will incur additional charges

Trip at a Glance

Start Location:


Finish Location:


Days Riding:


Group Size:


Total Distance:


Total Elevation:


Longest Day:

Day 5. Passo Stelvio Loop. 95km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 5. Passo Stelvio Loop. 3,100m


Day by Day Breakdown


Test ride

Welcome to Italy! A short drive brings us to the shores of Lake Como and our hotel for the first two days of our trip. After a light lunch, the fun begins with a brief warm up ride, skirting around one of Europe's most beautiful lakes. This is the time to make adjustments to your bike fit. If something isn’t quite right, please have the mechanic make the adjustments.

The Giro di Lombardia

Today our ride departs from the hotel, and follows the shoreline for the first 20km to the charming town of Bellagio. Turning away from the lake, we begin the climb of the Ghisallo, which ends at the famous Santuario. The Church of Madonna del Ghisallo is a pilgrimage for cyclists from all over the world, who come to be blessed by the patron saint of cyclists. After visiting the church, and enjoying a gradual descent, we climb again, but this time to the base of the Muro di Sormano – a classic feature of the Giro di Lombardia and one of the most feared climbs in professional cycling.

Passo Vivione

Today, we'll begin with a one-hour transfer away from Lake Como to Ponte Nossa and the beginning of our ride. Unlike the famous climbs of yesterday, our big objective of the day is very ‘inGamba’. The Passo del Vivione is one of those wonderful small roads that connect the middle of nowhere to nowhere else, so it's very seldom used by anyone. It switchbacks like the Stelvio, but is nearly devoid of any traffic. The road is barely wide enough for one car to drive, let alone two cars to pass each other. This is one of our favorite climbs anywhere because of its solitude. We'll have a light lunch at the summit, and if it is chilly, perhaps some soup or some hot chocolate. Our descent of the north side of the pass brings us to our hotel for the evening.

Passo Gavia

Today is a big day, and another chance to climb one of the legendary peaks in cycling. The famous photo of Andy Hampsten riding in ski goggles en route to his Giro d’Italia win in 1988 is a testament to the ruggedness required to tackle such a formidable climb. The entire ascent is 20km – not including the lead up to the base along the valley floor, which gains 700m before the ‘real climb’ starts – and gains 1,350m bringing us to an elevation of 2,620m at the summit and a well-earned panino. The descent of the north side of Passo di Gavia is fast and fun. Our hotel for the next three nights is the bike hotel, Funvia, which is designed for the rest and relaxation for cyclists from around the world.

Lago di Cancano

After yesterday’s ascent of Passo di Gavia, you deserve a bit of a rest. Unfortunately, here in the heart of the Italian Alps it is hard to come by flat roads for an easy spin of the legs. So, we'll do a short ride, but take a long time to do it because it is so beautiful you are obliged to stop at nearly every switchback to take another selfie. We'll climb at an easy pace to Lago di Cancano on grades that never get too steep. This one's all about the views and fine tuning your legs for the double ascent of Passo dello Stelvio that awaits tomorrow.

Passo Stelvio

Today we have our Queen Stage – less than 100 kilometers long but with 3,500 meters of climbing means that most of the day will be spent out of the saddle. We have a 2km warm up through the center of Bormio, before beginning the climb of the Stelvio. On our first ascent from the west we actually don’t quite reach the summit, but take a left turn to Switzerland and the descent of Passo dell'Umbrail. The ascent of Passo dello Stelvio from the east is 24km long and climbs 1,800m, and the summit is the highest paved road in Italy. After our second crossing of the pass, we'll cruise back down the western face and back to Hotel Funvia for a beer and some war stories.

Passo Mortirolo

This is our last day, but we have time to tackle one last mythic climb. We'll depart early and have an hour warm up along the valley at a quick pace because it is mostly downhill on the way to the Passo di Mortirolo, one of the most infamous climbs in cycling because of its mercilessly steep gradients that top out at 18% and average over 10% for the duration from the base to the summit. After our descent, there'll be some quick showers and after lunch we'll whisk you away in the afternoon to Malpensa airport or downtown Milan.



Pinarello Dogma F10


ZIPP Service Course SL


SRAM RED eTap 11-speed WiFLi


Speedplay Zero or your own


fi’zi:k Arione, Antares, Aliante, Donna, Vesta or your own


Zipp alloy 30


Vittoria Corsa CX


Elite Custom Race


Elite Corsa Team


Garmin Edge 820