A cura di Stefano Brambilla
Stage 19 is a geographically uneven stage and, at 251 km, it is also the longest of the Giro d’Italia 2020 – imagine that it touches seven provinces: Sondrio, Como, Varese, Milan, Pavia, Alessandria and Asti. But the landscape is spectacular, especially the first part, as the route follows the SS 340 from Morbegno all along the western shores of Lake Como to the capital. A triumph of land and water, woods that seem to fall into the lake, lush gardens and aristocratic villas, ancient churches and small, romantic harbours loved by foreign visitors. The Como side of the lake has historically been an important transit area: even today one of the aspects that characterize it is the Roman road, the Strada Regina, which connected the plain with the lands beyond the Alps and which in the Middle Ages was home to the artists who spread the Romanesque style throughout Europe. Then, in Como, the landscape changes as the Po valley begins: full of factories, infrastructures and populous towns at first, then becoming increasingly agricultural as we move towards the Ticino and the Pavia area, marked by farms and farmhouses, thanks to centuries of work that reclaimed the land from the swamps through an efficient system of canals and irrigation ditches. This is Lomellina, land of rice, and herons, a “chequered sea” of fields, that, beyond the Po, fades into the rolling hills of the Alessandria area and the first slopes of Monferrato. The straight stretches of road around Alessandria and Asti form the end of a stage that is ideal for sprinters, before the last climbs of the morrow.
We could talk about the borsalino hat that was created here in 1857, by entrepreneur Giuseppe Borsalino (2000 samples can be found in the museum dedicated to the hat). Or the grandiose citadel, with its incredible military architecture that is among the best preserved in Europe. It was only decommissioned in 2007 and is still awaiting adequate redevelopment. But we want to remember Alessandria above all for its passion for cycling: the Piedmontese city was the first in Italy to see a velocipede (in 1867), and at the end of the 19th century it became the cycling capital, thanks to legions of sportsmen and enthusiasts. Rivera, Cuniolo, Gerbi, Maino, Girardengo, Coppi are some of the Alexandrians whose names are linked, in various capacities, to the two wheels. The city also has a dedicated cycling museum since 2017: the AcdB Museum, an acronym for Alessandria City of the Bicycle.Scopri gli altri highlight della tappa sul sito del Touring Club Italiano
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.