Motorcycle tour between the Big Lakes and Alps of Italy

Motorcycle tour in Piedmont between Angera and its Rocca, the Hermitage of Santa Caterina, the Valle Antrona, the Alpe Cheggio and the Alpe Russi.

Lake Maggiore by motorbike passing by: Angera and its Rocca, the Hermitage of Santa Caterina, the Antrona Valley, Alpe Cheggio and Russi.

1Rocca di Angera

moto Angera rocca museo giocattoli bambole lago maggiore
La Rocca di Angera

The lake has its charm but honestly the roads are not always the best of fun. For this reason we decide to stop at Angera for a quick coffee and a visit to the famous Rocca di Angera. This rises majestically on a spur of rock that dominates the southern shore of Lake Maggiore. Still today owned by the Borromeo, inside, an enthralling path leads to the discovery of the imposing Historical Halls and the Doll and Toy Museum, the largest in Europe. The setting is the sought after Medieval Garden, rich in symbolic meanings, created following careful studies of codes, period documents and images on manuscripts. Foto di WikimediaImages da Pixabay

2Santa Caterina del Sasso

moto lago maggiore eremo sanata caterina sasso
Eremo di Santa Caterina del Sasso

Leaving Angera we resume the trip towards Laveno with another brief cultural and panoramic stop at the splendid Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, perched on a cliff overlooking the lake and one of the most evocative sceneries of Lake Maggiore. It can be reached from the square above, going down a panoramic staircase of 240 steps, or simply taking advantage of the convenient and modern lift (€ 1.00 for the ride). The Hermitage was founded in the 13th century by the merchant Alberto Besozzi di Arolo (Leggiuno), who, during a shipwreck, made a vow to S. Caterina to take refuge here in a cave. In 1195 he built a small church in S. Caterina d’Alessandria as a sign of public thanks for the grace received. Di Mattana – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0, Collegamento

3Laveno and Mergozzo lake

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Lago di Mergozzo

After so many shots and a visit to the various structures of the Hermitage, we arrive in Laveno, where we take the fast but always fascinating ferry that takes us to the opposite shore. The navigation is pleasant and a nice variation to our leather saddles. We skirt the right bank of Lake Mergozzo, a small favor in the mountains that begin to frame the Val D’Ossola. The village is small and its small square by the lake is a delight, both for a quick stop and a lunch.

4Valle Antrona

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Valle Antrona

Leaving Mergozzo the road is not very funny, for this reason we recommend taking a quick stretch on the SS33 state road, to arrive first at Villadossola, where the road that leads us to the Natural Park of the Antrona Valley begins. It is a high mountain park, with 4 artificial basins at high altitude and the lake of Antrona, originated from a landslide in 1642. The road starts to make us have fun again and curve after curve we breathe the mountain scents. Climbing higher and higher, the curves narrow and the pace slows down, for safety and to enjoy the picture-perfect landscape between woods, meadows and pastures. By Alessandro Vecchi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Once in Antronapiana you can chose or visit both:

  • the Alpe Cheggio where you can walk around the Lake of the Horses or stop and take a rest at the Città di Novara Refuge for excellent local dishes of game, polenta and cheese.
  • the Alpe Russi and the Lago di Antrona, equally impressive and fascinating. However, in one day we do not think you would be able to walk around both basins.


For the tour we picked a 2016 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic, very comfortable for short and medium distances, with a good abs system for the critical descents and a 103ci (1.690cc) engine with its excellent recovery at lower revs. The driving position sometimes tires the legs and forces you to “stretch” by putting your feet on the passenger footboards or engine guard. Good large back for daily use or a weekend.


Foto laghi: Di Alessandro Vecchi – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0, Collegamento – Di Enrico Robetto – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 4.0, Collegamento