Located in Piedmont, the moraine amphitheatre of Ivrea is a spectacular complex of glacial origin unique in its kind. Cycling in this area, which separates the historical-geographical Canavese region with the Biellese, means savouring the essence of a land hardly known by mass tourism, plunging into the nature of a corner of Piedmont that extends from the first alpine peaks to the great plains, where for years a strong industrial culture was developed.
From Ivrea to Lake Viverone, from the countryside to the hills, this is a bike tour suitable for curious cyclists who want to discover old rural villages, farmhouses, and small inns where it is always possible to find good wine.
The ring route stretches over 56 km, and it departs from and arrives in Ivrea.
Once out of the city, cycling along the canal and then through fields heading south, you arrive at the village of Tina. A little further on, cross the climb to Caravino: the route follows the carriage dirt road, which in 22 slight bends leads to Castle Masino. Leaving the village by following the boundary wall, a dirt road leads to Cascina Campore, an ideal stop to savour the local food and wine before
cycling up to the votive chapel of Lusenta, continuing then towards Bocca d’Arbaro. From here take the left up to the hamlet of Francia then, keeping to the right, reach the banks of Lake Viverone by cycling on easy dirt roads that wind between farms and orchards.
After a possible visit to the nearby village of stilt houses, continue circumnavigating the lake from the south, pointing toward Cavaglià, from where the climb back to Ivrea starts.
The trail passes the villages of Roppolo, Pioglio (with a view of Monte Rosa), and the hamlet of Santa Elisabetta with Lake Bertignano. From here the trail goes back to Piverone, famous for its wine production, then the asphalt road returns to Ivrea, crossing Palazzo Canavese, Bollengo, and Cascinette.
The itinerary takes place largely on dirt roads, which are ideal for gravel bicycles.
Immersed in an immense monumental park on a moraine hill, the castle was for many centuries the main residence of the Valperga family, who claimed to be a descendant of Arduin of Ivrea, the first King of Italy. It was built in the 11th century in a strategic position in the Canavese area, and it was defended until the Renaissance by high walls and watchtowers which were then torn down to make room for beautiful gardens typical of aristocratic Italy. Transformed into an elegant holiday residence, the building is now managed by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano and it is part of the Canavese castles circuit. The castle features beautiful interior frescoes and lush gardens typical of 19th-century English art which also include the second largest botanical labyrinth in Italy.
Lake Viverone is the third largest lake in Piedmont and it takes its name from the homonymous municipality to which it belongs. Located inside the Morainic Amphitheatre of Ivrea, the lake is of glacial origin and, as well as being an important fishing and tourist resort in the area, it is also an important archaeological site, with prehistoric findings dating back to the Bronze Age.
The city is considered the capital of the Canavese area, located as it is in the centre of an area formed during the great glaciations that created a sort of natural amphitheatre characterized by a series of moraine reliefs including the Serra (considered the longest, most massive straight hill in Europe) which, with its 25 km, separates the northern Canavese area from the Biella area. Bathed by the River Dora Baltea, Ivrea is divided into two main areas: the old city and the industrial town. The historic centre climbs up a hill with small winding alleys and squares, telling the story of the towns Roman and medieval past through its numerous monuments like the Savoy Castle (1358), which dominates the area, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (10th century), the Bishop's Palace, the Tower of Santo Stefano, the Ponte Vecchio, and the Borghetto, a borough featuring old houses and craft shops. The modern part, on the other hand, extends on flat ground and has its fulcrum in the Industrial City wanted by Olivetti (who founded the first Italian typewriter factory in Ivrea in 1908): an area of about 72,000 hectares in which, between 1930 and 1960, an urban and architectural complex was built nearly all private property characterized by buildings designed by the most famous Italian architects and urban planners of the 20th century, intended not only for production purposes but also as houses and social services for the employees. This economic and social project has allowed Ivrea, the Industrial City of the 20th Century, to become part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
City of departure: Ivrea
City of arrival: Ivrea
Length (Km): 56
Type of Itinerary: Full day
Difference in height (m): 610
Difference in downhill (m): 610
Highest point (m): 0
Lowest point (m): 0
Duration (h.): 5