The marble route – the route that the marble followed through natural and artificial waterways to the Duomo of Milano.
The marble, after being quarried in the Veneranda Fabbrica quarry, located upstream of the hamlet of Candoglia in the municipality of Mergozzo, was transported through watercourses such as the Toce to the entrance of the large canal.
The blocks were pulled by oxen from the quarry to the loading dock on the river Toce and transported by waterways to Milano.
We want to offer you this tour, to invite you also to visit in your final stage the Duomo of Milano, the final result of human work on the marble of this area.
Day 1: Individual arrival by train in Domodossola.
Welcome and visit of the “Borgo della Cultura”: Piazza del Mercato, the Church Santi Gervasio e Protasio, the medieval tower closing then with a small walk to the Sacro Monte Calvario (UNESCO heritage). Overnight stay in Domodossola
Day 2: Domodossola – Verbania 48 Km
Leaving the hotel, direction Verbania following the cycling route along the Toce river. (Ciclovia del Toce) Passing through the village of Villadossola and its marvellous small Romanic church of S.Bartolomeo, stop in the village of Vogogna (among the “Borghi più belli d’Italia) where you can visit the Visconti Castel and the neo-gothic church Sacro Cuore di Gesù. With a small deviation you can see only from outside the Marble Caves (Cava Madre del Duomo di Milano – Candoglia).
On the route you can also see the sign of the old “Linea Cadorna” built during the First World War and admiring the mountanis of the ValGrande National Park (the biggest wilderness area in the Alps). Arrival in Verbania; overnight stay in Verbania.
Extra Day at Lake Maggiore (optional)
Two different activities: we would give you all the details/indicators/prices to make you make the best choice for you.
Borromean Island and Stresa (Borromeo Cultural/Botanical Experience)
Visit of the Borromean Island by hop on – hop off boat. You will have the possibility to visit: Isola Bella (Borromeo Palace and Gardens), Isola Pescatori (Fishermen Village) and Isola Madre (Botanic Garden), moreover you can stop in Stresa where you can admire the beautiful liberty style hotels and the holiday spots of aristocrats and writers at the beginning of the century. Back to Verbania, overnight stay
Mottarone and Stresa (Mottarone Fun Experience)
Possibility of an “adrenaline” day on the Mottarone Mountain. Boat to Stresa/Carciano and cableway to Mottarone Summit. Live the thrill of a breathtaking descent on the extraordinary bobsled roller coaster Alpyland surrounded by the marvellous panorama on Lago Maggiore. Rent a Mountain- Bike and cycle downhill (trails for every public from easy to difficult) to the Mottarone Adventure park (with 4 different trails for every level)
Down to Stresa on the trails of Mottarone. Back to Verbania, overnight stay
Day 3: Verbania – Sesto Calende 41 Km
Ferry from Verbania to Laveno. On the Lombardy side of Lago Maggiore you will cycle till when the start of the Ticino river in Sesto Calende. Passing from the village of Gemonio with the medieval church dedicated to San Pietro and following in direction Gavirate where you can visit the old Chiostro di Voltorre now used for temporary exhibition and cultural activities related to its long history. You will then reach the cycling path that runs around the Lago di Varese and you can then stop to the Isolino Virginia, a very important archaeological site heritage of UNESCO and the first Alpine prehistoric pile-dwelling site. After the visit you can go southwards to have a glimpse of the Palude Brebbia (Swamp) and arrive to the small Comabbio lake to the village of Varano Borghi. This village is the headquarter of a big textile industry of beginning ‘800, and you can see a workers’village with frescoed facades and an architectural style similar to northern Europe. You will then descend to the lake banks following Villa Borghi and then you will follow the path till the city of Sesto Calende along the Ticino river. Overnight stay in Sesto Calende
Day 4: Sesto Calende – Abbiategrasso 53 Km
You are now directed to the Natural Park of the Ticino River Valley a greenway that will lead you, without even noticing till the city of Milano. Along the way you can stop to admire the impressive hydraulic works, created in the past to allow people to use the power of the river, transforming the landscape and the territory.
Towards the end of the tour you will see the river transforming into small waterways that were used to transport the marble block till the “Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo”: the Navigli. Along the Navigli you can admire luxurious villas, summer houses of the noble Milanese families. These rivers allowed, in the past centuries, the fast transportation of people and materials when roads where not there yet. Once you reach Abbiategrasso, you can visit the Visconti Castle. Dinner and Overnight stay in Abbiategrasso
Day 5: Abbiategrasso – Pavia 45 km
Following the Naviglio di Bereguardo you reach Morimondo and its marvellous Abbey, then you follow till the “Boat Bridge” in Bereguardo that will bring you into the Ticino Park till you reach Pavia. You can admire the city of Pavia thanks to its medieval streets, the impressive Duomo and the Visconti Castle: Pavia is a city on a human scale to be discovered slowly. Overnight stay in Pavia.
Day 6: Pavia – Milano 35 km
Few km after Pavia you can visit the Certosa di Pavia, where you will find a shrine and a monastery of uncommon beauty. and then the last part of the itinerary leads you along the Navigli between old farmhouses to the Darsena (old port of Milan) that now has been turned into a beautiful urban park with an intense night life and events for every age. Arrival in hotel, accommodation and then small visit of Milan with the help of our App. Overnight stay in Milan
Day 7: Milan
Breakfast and end of the biketour.
Possibility to add an additional one day visit to Milan