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Italian Lakes Weekend

13th - 16th October 2017

Rapha Travel and Cyclist Magazine are pleased to present this special trip to explore the stunning Italian Lakes surrounding Varese.

Join us for four days of riding and relaxing in the heart of Lombardy, testing your legs on the roads raced in the Giro di Lombardia each autumn. Discover some of Italy's finest food, wine and scenery on this late season getaway.

Single occupancy — £1,600 per person
Double occupancy — £1,350 per person

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Please only pay the balance when prompted.

Who is it for

Rapha Ascents are short getaways based around one particular mountain, col or town, which will transport you to the heart of what is special about our sport. One of the great pleasures of road cycling is how close we can get to the professional peloton and share in their experiences by riding the climbs that have become legendary in the world’s great races. Each Ascent stays in accommodation very close to the slopes that have made their mark in cycling history. In just a few days’ riding you will conquer a famous road, and our expert guides will show you the best that each mountain has to offer – the amazing views and the locals-only roads that will increase your appreciation of the area. When you’re not riding, simply relax in beautiful surroundings, enjoy hearty food and local wines, and deepen the friendships forged during your day in the saddle.

How Hard is it?

Ascents showcase some of cycling’s most testing battlegrounds, that are respected even by elite athletes. However, because the trips are based in one location and are shorter in duration, Ascents are suitable for a wide range of riders, including those relatively new to road cycling who are willing to put in the time training beforehand. Whether you want bragging rights over your friends, or to conquer one of the biggest names in the sport, you’ll return home with a major boost to your appreciation of cycling.

All trips include

  • Expert planning and guide support from guides and vehicles
  • Pre-trip discounts on Rapha apparel
  • High guide-to-client ratios
  • Unique routes
  • Top-level mechanics

Flights, bike hire and travel insurance are not included

All Ascents include

  • All meals
  • On-road food

Double occupancy as standard

Day Distance Climbing
Arrival Day Arrival and Lake Varese 37 KM 350 M
Day 1 Lago Lugano 80 KM 1500 M
Day 2 The Queen Stage 151 KM 3600 M
Day 3, Departure Day Leg Spin and Departures 68 KM 800 M

See full itinerary

Arrival Day

Arrival and Lake Varese

Take an early flight to Milan Malpensa and self transfer north to Varese where the Travel team will be ready for you arrival. An afternoon ride to begin the exploration of the Italian Lakes


37 KM


350 M


Art Hotel, Varese

Day 1

Lago Lugano

Starting with a descent to Lago Lugano before heading back towards Varese via the XXX Climb and heading through the Parco Regionale Campo dei Fiore. This day will help prepare the mind for the Queen stage.


80 KM


1500 M


Art Hotel, Varese

Day 2

The Queen Stage

The ultimate ride - take in the key climbs of the Lombardia, with Ghisallo and Sormano on the cards and a ferry journey across Lago di Como. Having conquered the Ascents, enjoy great cuisine and toast the ride.


151 KM


3600 M


Art Hotel, Varese

Major Climbs

Madonna del Ghisallo, Muro di Sormano

Day 3, Departure Day

Leg Spin and Departures

A cruisy spin today ahead of your later flight home from Milan Malpensa


68 KM


800 M

Request a call back

Please only pay the balance when prompted.

Customer Testimonials

The location was stunning and the Hotel was excellent. The rides up both Stelvio and Timmelsjoch were simply jaw dropping. I will take away many memories and photos from the trip, but one in particular that of Mattia pulling a wheelie alongside me going up the Stelvio!

— Stelvio Ascent rider, June 2016

Thank you so much for supporting us so well. The tone of the whole trip was so positive and supportive it made such a huge difference to my mental attitude to the challenge. A truly unforgettable experience.

— Ventoux Ascent rider, August 2016


What kind of assistance can riders expect on the road?

When you’re riding you’ll always have at least one ride guide on the road with the group. There will also be a mechanic with a full tool kit and spare parts not far away – usually in a support car behind the group. Your guides and mechanics will be able to help you out with ride food and drink, as well as local knowledge, first aid, a morale-boosting chat and – if necessary – a hand to push you up the hill if you’ve run out of energy. They’ll do everything they can to keep you and your bike on the road but, if for any reason you can’t make it to the end, they’ll always make sure there’s a seat in a vehicle so you get safely home.

Can I rent a bike?

We have a fleet of top-specification hire bikes available for rent on our European departures. They cost £50 per day. We ask that guests requiring a bike tell us as far as is possible in advance, so we can guarantee the right size is available, and also to send us your fit measurements, so our mechanics can set up the bike for you ready for the start of your trip. If you’re renting a bike you need to remember to bring your helmet, pedals and saddle to your trip start.

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Contact Us



Telephone: +44 (0) 207 482 9175

Hours: 9.30am-6.00pm (BST)



Telephone: 877.907.2742

Hours: 8.30am-5.30pm (PDT)

Asia Pacific


Telephone: +44 (0) 207 482 9175

Hours: 9.30am-6.00pm (BST)