Ghisallo: Patron Saint of Tight Pants

If you’ve ever been to a catholic country, you’ll know that there really is a saint for everything, including people who really need some divine intervention from time to time – cyclists. Pope Pius XII designated the Madonna del Ghisallo as the patron saint of cyclists in 1949, coincidentally smack dab in the middle of the era of Italian dominance in cycling with the great rivalry between Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali (they completely dominated the TDF that year and handed us the iconic photo below for posterity).

The chapel is on a short passo that overlooks Lake Como and some stunning mountains to the north. It is jammed packed with historic memorabilia, including bikes and jerseys from great Italian riders, plus a few who Italy has a soft spot for.

Full disclosure: I drove to the chapel. John and I had 6 days of cycling routes to reconn, plus 3 hotels, two handfuls of restaurants and a few bottles of Barolo. It was a hard 3 days. I’ll be back in September to make the pilgrimage on two wheels.

2 thoughts on “Ghisallo: Patron Saint of Tight Pants

  1. Not been to that chapel yet but was back in Barolo a few weeks back. Beautiful countryside around there. You should have a great time. Bring lots of money as that Barolo is fairly dear. Think €50 per bottle!! (But you can find some a bit cheaper if you prefer)

    • We’ve priced that tour accordingly, but it was even more expensive than I had imagined. Luckily this group has decided to pay for their own booze, so at least we’re good there!

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