Saturday, January 12, 2008

Madonna del Ghisallo Cycling Museum








It's raining, and dreary. I can't remember the last time we had a stretch of 10 days of bad weather like this. Ever since January 1st it's been quite miserable. It's been warm though, 10C, so as soon as the sun pops out again we should be on the roads again.

Here is some background about the best known cycling museum in Italy, the Madonna del Ghisallo in the town of Magreglio:

Madonna del Ghisallo is a hill close to Lake Como. It is named after a legendary Marian apparition. In 1949 a local priest, Father Ermelindo Vigano, proposed to declare Madonna del Ghisallo the patroness of cyclists. This was admitted by Pope Pius XII. The preceeding year, in Rome, the Pope had also lit and blessed the bronze eternal flame that today burns inside the shrine. The chapel is unique to say the least.

This famous hill, with its spectacular views, has also been the decisive or conclusive stage of the most renowned races, from the Giro d' Italia to the Giro di Lombardia.

It's for these reasons that thousands of cyclists ride up to Ghisallo each year.

In 2000 the Foundation of the Ghisallo Cycling Museum organized a relay from Madonna del Ghisallo to the Vatican to deliver a torch of the eternal flame to Holy Father John Paul II. This event inspired the idea of creating a cycling museum in a separate structure that could enhance the heritage of the shrine. The "Museo del Ciclismo, Madoona del Ghisallo" was inaugurated in 2006.

As a museum of cycling, the museum has positioned itself not just of bicycles but also to being devoted to the men and women of the sport, from competitors, journalists, to organizers, etc.

Photos: the chapel, interior photos of the chapel, the new cycling museum
The official website of the museum is www.museodelghisallo.it



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