The cycle route of Adda | Discover Italy with Selle Italia
The cycle route of Adda


The cycle route of Adda




Cassano d'Adda (MI)


30 km



From Milan to Adda and back again – 60 km entirely along a cycle path. A (trained) family trail, completely flat but never monotonous which leads us along the ancient Martesana canal to a fascinating river area full of interesting sights in terms of history and natural beauty.


It starts from one of the most bustling areas in Milan in via Melchiorre Gioia number 4 where the Cassina de’ Pomm gardens and the Naviglio della Martesana are situated – the latter is a navigable waterway designed by Leonardo da Vinci and inaugurated at the end of the 15th century. It links the Adda river (and therefore Lake Como) to the city.

From Milan to Cassano d’Adda (30 km) it is plain sailing: the cycle path which skirts the Martesana canal is all in tarmac and can be easily tackled by a trained family with children in tow.

The only drawback could be the heavy “traffic” of cyclists and pedestrians, especially at the weekend.

One technical note: along this stretch you don’t need a particularly “racy” bike seeing as you have to take it pretty easy.

Once you get to Adda near Cassano, you can decide whether to turn back (which you will have to if you have kids with you…) or carry on along the banks in a northern direction towards Lecco, passing by Trezzo, Paderno and Brivio with the option of reaching Lake Como. This would mean another 70 km all on a dirt track, so it is best done on a mountain, hybrid or gravel bike. In any case, you need a vehicle that is suitable for the first lazier stretch but also able to cope with the increased mileage.

The ideal saddle for this kind of mixed but “laid-back” route must not interfere with the pleasure of the ride, so it is best to opt for an extremely comfortable one which is able to absorb the vibrations of the dirt track, but still outperform.

The gel versions with a central cutout for pressure relief are highly recommended, such as the Sport Gel Flow. It also offers extraordinary value for money which is an important consideration for these “less demanding” outings.


So, to get back to our route, if you don’t feel like cycling back once you get to Lecco, there are plenty of Ferrovie Nord trains with bike transportation facilities to take you back to Milan.

Generally speaking, the whole trail is strikingly picturesque. It is a marvellous blend of natural beauty and historical heritage. For instance, the river banks are inhabited by a wealth of waterfowl which have long adapted to this historically built-up environment and live harmoniously alongside man.

Hydraulic engineering structures, weirs, canals, dams and power plants are all industrial and architectural monuments which delight the eye as do the Borromeo castle, the factory town of Crespi d’Adda or the Imbersago ferryboat straight out of Da Vinci’s sketchbook. Almost as heart-wrenchingly beautiful as two mute swans bobbing elegantly on the water surface.





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