Legendary climb on the Il Lombardia (and Giro d’Italia) about 9km uphill from Lake Como. At the top is the town of Magreglio with its museum and church dedicated to the world of cycling.
The Sanctuary is located in the town of Magreglio. Its Madonna is recognised as the Patron Saint of Cycling. The original church, some 1000 years old, contained an icon that was venerated by locals as a protector of travellers and passers by. The name Madonna del Ghisallo was derived from Count Ghisallo who was supposedly saved from brigands while hunting in the local area.
The present church was built in 1623. After the hill climb began to be a regular feature of both the tour of Lombardy and The Giro d’Italia, the local priest Father Ermelindo Vigano applied to Rome to have the madonna declared the Patron Saint of Cyclists in Italy. After that professionals and fans alike filled the church with the cycling relics that it now contains
Outside the church, to the side, is located the Monument to The Cyclist (1973) and in front, the statues of Gino Bartali, Alfredo Binda and Fausto Coppi.
The Museo was completed in 2006 and its mission is to collect, preserve and celebrate to world of cycling. Lombardy boasts almost 700 cycling cubs with some 12,000 members and hosts around 1200 races each year.
Official Museo Site (in Italian) – http://museodelghisallo.it
Coppi won the Giro d’Italia five times (1940, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953), the Tour de France twice (1949 and 1952), and the World Championship in 1953. He won the Giro di Lombardiafive times, the Milan–San Remo three times, as well as wins at Paris–Roubaix and La Flèche Wallonne and Coppi set the hour record 45.798 km in the 1940’s. He was also a pioneer of doping which, at the time, was not against the rules.