10. Bellinzona – Como – To Italy

After a restless night in Bellinzona; “a city that never sleeps” I set out early towards Como. It’s already warm when I leave Bellinzona. Fortunately I am quickly out of town and a bike path is indicated that cuts through farmlands and keeps me away from motorized traffic. I do cover more miles because of this, but the peace and quiet is great.

After a good hour of cycling, the only climb of today looms up for me: “Monte Ceneri”. It is a tough climb with several hairpin bends. Many vehicles want to avoid the toll road over this rock wall and opt for the old route, which means it is certainly busy with trucks. After an hour I am past it and I am led to a narrow road that leads me past green meadows, dilapidated houses but also small villages.

I hear busy conversations and find a small, sober terrace with the locals discussing extensively in Italian and I decide to take a seat on the terrace as well. The cappuccino served is excellent and I immediately order another one. People don’t pay attention to me and that’s wonderful. Everyday life goes on and I am no more than a temporary spectator. With the checkout I want to give a tip, but the owner does not want that. I thank her kindly for the delicious coffee and disappear from the terrace again without anyone paying attention to me.

Today the route mainly follows the water. First I cycle 30 kilometers along a river that flows endlessly next to me and gives me inner peace. After yesterday’s dusty and filthy day, this day is a breath of fresh air.

Concrete Art wall

Near the village of Torricella-Taverne there is a concrete wall separating the industrial area from the river. On this 570-meter wall, children from the local nursery and primary school have created their version of well-known paintings, creating a long museum. I think it is very beautiful but also a shame that it was placed somewhere in the back and not in a place where it is more accessible to the village and passers-by.

Lake Lugano

To drive to Como I have to pass Lake Lugano. It is a beautiful area where houses have been built right up to the lake. The lake is surrounded by high hills. Because of this I have to drive 15 kilometers. After this detour I can finally drive on to Como. Before I arrive there, a border post has to be passed at Chiasso between Switzerland and Italy and, unlike previous border passages, there is strict control here by uniformed customs officers. This makes it clear that Switzerland does not belong to the European Union.

Border post Switzerland – Italy

Como is at the foot of the lake and after a lovely ride downhill I am in town. Before I can get to my apartment, huge barriers go down in front of me. There is just a train running through the city here! It takes another 2 minutes for the train to pass. Apparently they have all the time here…..

Train in the city

I take another tour of the city center and look for the person Como has become famous for: the scientist Alessandro Volta. A temple was built especially for him in 1927 at the foot of the lake. His scientific merit is the discovery and definition of electric current, after which the unit of electric voltage (volts) was named after him.

Monument A. Volta

Como makes me feel restless because motorized traffic is dominant, it drives fast and there is hardly any room for bicycle traffic. Tomorrow I’m going to Milan and I’m really curious what kind of experiences I will have there.