To Vigevano: Heading south and leaving the Italian lake area - I suppose I could collect my bags and go back on tour - CycleBlaze

September 26, 2022

To Vigevano: Heading south and leaving the Italian lake area

Today`s ride, although appearing like a fairly direct line on a map, really had a bit of everything. It went from peace and tranquility, to orderly and predictable to adventure and suspense and finished with a straight-line highway ride to Vigevano. As you might expect, the adventure and suspense was the best part.

Breakfast at hotel although simple, was nice. It was not a buffet style but instead a cafe style order system. I quite like these as they seem less wasteful and do not encourage overindulgence. We both requested the scrambled eggs and toast with our usual coffee orders- espresso and cappuccino.

We packed our bags and left Sesto Calende as the large clock tower chimed ten o`clock. The route out of town had us backtrack about one kilometre along the Ticino. On the East bank the sun was still below the tree line so much of the early ride was in the shade. The road followed the river along Via Canottieri for almost 10 kms until the main road went left and we turned right into the Ticino regional park.

A peek a boo view of the clock tower at 10 o`clock.
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Scott`s bike ready for loading.
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Jacquie GaudetI've never noticed that stem before (if that's what the curved white tube is called). Interesting!
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2 months ago
Scott FenwickTo Jacquie GaudetYes it is a goose neck stem custom made by Bike Friday. They are optional. Bike Friday will make one depending on the height and length of riser that you need. Streamlines the bike look. I actually bought this one on ebay.
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2 months ago
Before and after renovations in Sesto Calende.
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All quiet and a perfect day as we leave Sesto Calende.
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The Ticino.
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Peace and tranquility.
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Quiet, open roads.
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Nice place to ride.
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Entering the Ticino Park, the road surface was embedded rock with a narrow flat section of concrete along the edge of the road, the rock area was unrideable. A historic electric power station soon came into view. It was a stunning structure with the morning sun shining through its arches. Riding the canal was the order and predictable part of the day`s ride. We were happy to leave the relatively straight line ride after kms.

¨The Panperduto Dam on the Ticino River and the masterpiece of canal works connected to it were finally opened in 1884. The Villoresi Canal has completely transformed the area by fertilizing (sic) the land that became fundamental to the agriculture in the countryside to the north of Milan. A few years later, at the beginning of the 1900s, the second canal known as the Industrial Canal was also opened thanks to advances in the production and distribution of electricity¨. From the web.
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Panperduto Dam.
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Downstream side of the dam. A refurbishment occurred in 2015.
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This looked like an e boat with a solar paneled roof.
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Couple of coots.
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We let them go first. Must be the Retired Roadies Monday Morning Men`s Club.
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And they're off. Very easy to cycle the canal bike lane.
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You can ride right down the middle between the two canals - in fact this was the planned garmin route but we thought following the lead of the roadies would be a better plan!
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Much worse than cobbles. Heading down to the cyclepath.
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Villoresi Canal. Orderly and predictable.
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Nice place to go for a ride with your grandpa.
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But after 15 km you will be happy with a change of scenery.
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And we found it shortly after leaving the canal
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Nice riding here too.
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Part three of the ride is a bit more difficult to explain. We left the canal and continued on the left bank of the Ticino River. Crossing the river to the south side we continued further downstream. When we climbed a short distance above the river we began to encounter a real mix of surfaces. Rough asphalt roads that would disintegrate to pure gravel and then back to normal backroad surfaces. Our routing took us back down to the Ticino and through flood plains, canals and agricultural plots of land. At this point we were in full adventure mode and just following a track set on Scott`s Garmin. This went on for what seem like a fairly long time and at a snail`s pace. We were never desperate, but we were getting to the point, heading along a single track beside a small canal, of wondering if things would improve or simply peter out to absolutely nothing. ¨Look there is a house ahead.¨ Always a good sign. The house was a broken down old industrial canal building of some type. ¨But look over there.¨  We could not believe our eyes. In the absolute middle of no where and I mean nowhere -a restaurant! An oasis dropped from the heavans and it was open and serving lunch. There must have been 20 people inside eating. We sat down and not understanding a single word the waitress said,  nodded yes to ordering the must delicious bowls of pasta.

The pictures will tell the story from here.

Above the river the road is bouncing us around but not hard to deal with. It is wide open and quiet.
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Gone to gravel. Still riding strong.
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A lovely little track road beside a babbling brook. What's not to like here?
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Hmm. No longer crushed stone. Those are rocks! Just find a route through, it is all good.
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See I told you it would get better.
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We came upon these two fellows fishing at a lake that had private property signs. I was very interested in their poles. They sit in chairs and have extremely long poles that they reach out into the lake. In fact, they are so long they have platforms behind them to rest the poles as they bring them in.
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Oh Oh. We are in the bush now. A little mountain biking with full panniers will not kill ya.
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Still smiling - just head down that path. Everything is under control.
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Now isn`t this fun!?! A narrow, moss covered cement beam above a creek. What could possibly go wrong?
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A bit of single track riding is always fun. And what a pretty spot!
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Looking good. I know where we are.
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See way better. This area is beautiful - really.
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See!
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Oh well, back to the single track, dear.
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And then we stumble on this! Unbelievable.
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ann and steve maher-wearyOmgosh, where is this place! Another one to put as a destination on our Italian tour. Great blog. We are enjoying following along.
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2 months ago
A bowl of delicious pasta. All is good.
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Over lunch we surveyed our options but decided to continue along the river. Still in the bush but with some old asphalt sections. We encountered a number of people who seemed very surprised to see us. We left the river and made our way to the highway. It was a divided highway with a shoulder for the most part, No pictures here as it was the least enjoyable part of the day.

We made our way into Vigevano and into the center of town and their large square. Our mouths dropped open. It was far more spectacular than we had been expecting.

Leaving the canal and the bush.
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Looking the other way,
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Cattedrale di S. Ambrogio. Commisioned in 1532 but built on the remains of a church from the 400`s. The facade was built in 1680.
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The main square is one of the greatest masterpieces in Italian renaissance architecture. Commissioned in 1492 it has almost 5000 square metres of total area.
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Massive square but if you are riding a bike, stay on the granite slabs.
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The painted detail is amazing.
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End of a great ride.
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David MathersCheers 🍻 Nice to see you in the happy hour picture again 👍
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2 months ago
One more look.
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We stayed near the centre at Piccola Torre Maison Great place. Dinner at L`oca Ciuca (The Drunk Goose) was a delicious porcini mushroom risotto finished with a very different tiramisu.  We will finish with a picture of the tiramisu.

Out for dinner in Vigevano.
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This one was described as the grand daddy of all tiramisu.
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Today's ride: 63 km (39 miles)
Total: 517 km (321 miles)

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