About the Chapel of the Madonna del Ghisallo:
Located at the top of a hill overlooking Lake Como, this shrine is one of the most famous places for cyclists of all ages and of all categories, competitive and not. The shrine dates from the 17th century and is unique among the shrines in Italy, since it is dedicated to bicyclists.
In 1948, Pope Pius XII had blessed and lit a great bronze torch in Rome that was was placed inside the Sanctuary. Formerly known as the patroness of travelers, the Madonna del Ghisallo (a painting of the Virgin Mary) was designated the patroness of cyclists by Pope Pius XII the next year in 1949.
In 2000, in memory of the 1948 event, the Fondazione Museo del Ciclismo-Madonna del Ghisallo organized a relay race with the participation of some great cycling champions, from the Madonna del Ghisallo to the Vatican to deliver the torch to the Holy Father Pope John Paul II.
Inside the small sanctuary, bicycles hang from the ceiling and it is filled with jerseys, and other items related to Italian cycling.
Images courtesy www.lakecomocycling.com
About the Cycling Museum (the Museo del Ciclismo):
The idea of creating a cycling museum took shape, alongside the Sanctuary, developing a new collection, curating the preservation of memorabilia, scientific research and the dissemination of this sport, a historical and social phenomenon of great importance in Italy, in Europe and in the world.
The location is ideal, since there are almost 700 cycling clubs, more than 12,000 members and about 1200 races during the year.
On May 31, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI blessed the last stone of the building, thereby solemnizing the final act of building the museum. The stone, which can be seen in the central hall of the museum structure, carries the message “Omnia Vincit Amor” (love conquers everything).
It should be noted that this museum is dedicated to the sport of cycling, not to bicycles.
Finding the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel:
Located about 40 miles north of Milan, there is bus service from Milan. And if you are going to be in the area, you are about 50 miles away from Bergamo, home of Pope Saint John XXIII. So the two would make an interesting combination.
Address: via Gino Bartali, 22030 Magregio, Italy
Tel: +39 031 965127
We are not aware of any official website for the chapel.
Click here for the official website of the cycling museum