• Cycle Tourism

From Pavia to Abbiategrasso

Pavia, a little capital of art and culture, can boast of a long history with regard to the bicycle.

In May 1869, the first national cycling race was held here, organised by cycle racers from Milan forbidden by a decree from organising competitions in their own city. It is nice to think that here, some decades later, along the banks of the river Ticino, a very young Albert Einstein once pedalled.

He was sixteen when, in the spring of 1895, his family moved for a short time to Pavia, where his father opened an electromechanical engineering factory. We know that the future Nobel prize winner at this time enjoyed leaving the Casa Cornazzani, where Ugo Foscolo had also lived, to go swimming in the river and walking in the hills of Oltrepò. We cannot be certain he went on bike trips but, years later, immortalised in the saddle in the famous photograph going around the Californian campus of Pasadena, he is said to have confessed that his best insights came to him while pedalling.

The route starts from the Ponte Coperto di Pavia connecting the historic centre to Borgo Ticino, in the direction of Abbiategrasso. We ride along the crest of the bank, almost suspended between the river and the flood plain, fields and farmhouses. After the wide meanders of the Ticino, amidst irrigation ditches that seem to be miniature rivers and nests from which white and ash-grey herons rise, the road abandons the view of the river and, after the junction at Mulino Limido, reaches Zerbolò.

We stop here and look up: on leaving the town, there is a street lamp that for years has been the home of a large nest, inhabited from March to September by a pair of storks. After Zerbolò, we rich the village of Parasacco before heading once again towards the Ticino. Awaiting us, amidst large, gravel beaches, is the picturesque bridge, the Barche di Bereguardo.

Creaking under the wheels of the bicycle, this is one of the last examples of pontoon bridges in cement, originally in wood, which floated and gave an indication of the water level. Lovers of mountain bikes can cover the stretch up to the bridge along a path of around 20 kilometres, well marked. Beyond the bridge, the only short, limited difference in level of the route is tackled and, after a long straight stretch on a slope, flanked by monumental poplars, Bereguardo is reached.

The Visconti castle is left behind and the ride continues on the towpath of the Naviglio di Bereguardo, 20 mostly straight kilometres alongside a canal built in the 16th century to connect the Naviglio Grande of Milan to the Ticino and the latter to the Po and the sea. A vital commercial waterway for the transport of goods for four centuries, the Naviglio di Bereguardo was reduced to operating as an irrigation channel after the Naviglio Pavese was built. Along the well-maintained cycle track, there are basins with waterfalls, an arched stone bridge and small piers.

Passing the sign for Cascina Perdon, a detour to the left leads to the village of Morimondo, where an Abbey was founded in 1136 by the Cistercians. Back on the towpath, after a little more than 4 kilometres, we come to Castelletto di Abbiategrasso where the Naviglio di Bereguardo draws its waters from the Naviglio Grande.
Abbiategrasso leads us to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Nuova, the entrance of which on the incomplete façade is attributed to Bramante. But it’s also the chance to stock up on sugar: fine pastry shops await in the historic centre.

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One day route
Difficulty: for all
Length: 41 km
Elevation profile: 50 m
Roads: 100% paved
Type of bike: touring bikes with gears and road bikes
When: from March to October
Mood: fluid

Take me here: From Pavia to Abbiategrasso

Places

Ponte Coperto Bridge

  • Art & Culture
Ponte Coperto, Pavia
43 mt

Basilica of San Michele Maggiore

  • Art & Culture
Basilica of San Michele Maggiore
241 mt

Church of Saint Teodoro - Pavia

La Chiesa fu edificata nella seconda metà del XII secolo per accogliere le spoglie di San Teodoro
  • Religious Tourism
Church of Saint Teodoro - Pavia
271 mt

Cathedral of Pavia

The most impressive church in Pavia to whose design Leonardo Da Vinci contributed
  • Religious Tourism
Cathedral of Pavia
346 mt

Following history’s trails. Who is the Sun King?

  • Art & Culture
Sun King’s equestrian statue, Monuments Pavia
390 mt

Church of Santa Maria in Betlem

The pilgrims on their journey to the East used to travel across this area, which fell within the Bishop of Bethlehem’s competence
  • Religious Tourism
Church of Santa Maria in Betlem
505 mt

Church Of Saint Giovanni Domnarum

  • Art & Culture
Church Of Saint Giovanni Domnarum
558 mt

University Library of Pavia

  • Art & Culture
Salone Teresiano
600 mt

Church of Saint Francesco

The church of Saint Francesco in Pavia shows a clear separation between the Romanesque architecture and the late Gothic
  • Art & Culture
Church of Saint Francesco
778 mt

Fraschini theatre

  • Art & Culture
Teatro Fraschini Pavia
796 mt

Botanical Gardens Pavia

L’Orto Botanico fu fondato alla fine del Settecento
  • Parks
Botanical Gardens Pavia
847 mt

Botanical gardens university of Pavia

  • Active & Green
Orto Botanico Università di Pavia, Giardini Pavia
895 mt

Visconti Castle

At the start of the 20th century, Visconti Castle(PV) was acquired by the local municipality and has since been home to the civic museums
  • Art & Culture
Pavia Castello Visconteo
1.09 km

Archaeology museum and sala longobarda

  • Art & Culture
Archaeology Museum and Sala Longobarda
1.09 km

Basilica di San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro

  • Religious Tourism
Basilica di San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro
1.1 km

Church Of Saint Salvatore Pavia

San Salvatore was an ancient and powerful monastery of Pavia
  • Art & Culture
Church Of Saint Salvatore Pavia
1.34 km

Naviglio Pavese

The Naviglio Pavese was a dream come true, the dream that had lasted five centuries of a direct link between Pavia and Milan.
  • Active & Green
Naviglio Pavese
1.42 km

Pavia University Campus

An ancient and glorious history. Alessandro Volta, Ugo Foscolo, Carlo Rubbia sat on the professorships of the University of Pavia
  • Art & Culture
Statua di Antonio Bordoni, Università di Pavia.
1.86 km

Church Of San Lanfranco

The church of Saint Lanfranco and its monastery were erected in Pavia, on the north bank of the river Ticino
  • Art & Culture
Church Of San Lanfranco
2.49 km

Church of Saint Lazzaro

The small church rises far away from the city centre of Pavia along the ancient Francigena road
  • Art & Culture
Church of Saint Lazzaro
2.84 km

Where to sleep

LIVING RENT SRL - SIRO COMI

Pavia
LIVING RENT SRL - SIRO COMI
295 mt

LIVING RENT SRL - ENNODIO

Pavia
LIVING RENT SRL - ENNODIO
295 mt

LE STANZE DEL CARDINALE STUDIO

Pavia
LE STANZE DEL CARDINALE STUDIO
308 mt

LE STANZE DEL CARDINALE

Pavia
LE STANZE DEL CARDINALE
317 mt

VILLA GLORI DI LIVING RENT SRL

Pavia
VILLA GLORI DI LIVING RENT SRL
340 mt

ARNABOLDI PALACE

Pavia
ARNABOLDI PALACE
370 mt

VIA TEODOLINDA 34 DI LIVING RENT SRL

Pavia
VIA TEODOLINDA 34 DI LIVING RENT SRL
405 mt

GALLERIA ARNABOLDI STUDIO

Pavia
GALLERIA ARNABOLDI STUDIO
411 mt

GALLERIA ARNABOLDI MAISON D'HOTES

Pavia
GALLERIA ARNABOLDI MAISON D'HOTES
411 mt

CAMERECAFFE' DI FUMAGALLI LORENZA

Pavia
CAMERECAFFE' DI FUMAGALLI LORENZA
444 mt

CASTELLANI

Pavia
CASTELLANI
480 mt

CAVOUR 14 DI LIVING RENT SRL

Pavia
CAVOUR 14 DI LIVING RENT SRL
481 mt

OSTELLO SANTA MARIA IN BETLEM

Pavia
OSTELLO SANTA MARIA IN BETLEM
487 mt

RESIDENZA I MILLE

Pavia
RESIDENZA I MILLE
572 mt

30CAVOUR LUXURY SUITES AMETISTA

Pavia
30CAVOUR LUXURY SUITES AMETISTA
584 mt

30CAVOUR LUXURY SUITES NETTUNO

Pavia
30CAVOUR LUXURY SUITES NETTUNO
584 mt

RESIDENCE PAVIA SNC DI SISTI GIAN ALBERTO E C.

Pavia
RESIDENCE PAVIA SNC DI SISTI GIAN ALBERTO E C.
684 mt

AURORA

Pavia
AURORA
915 mt

AFFITTACAMERE MINERVA FORESTERIA LOMBARDA

Pavia
AFFITTACAMERE MINERVA FORESTERIA LOMBARDA
915 mt

MAURIZIO BARBARO FORESTERIA LOMBARDA

Pavia
MAURIZIO BARBARO FORESTERIA LOMBARDA
935 mt