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From the mountains to the city: a Pirelli e-bike adventure

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From the mountains to the city: a Pirelli e-bike adventure 01

Pirelli has long had an affinity with the mountains and the adventures they inspire. In an article published in Pirelli magazine number 5 – in October 1951 – entitled The Stupidity of the Mountain, Dino Buzzati tells the story of Pietro B, an elderly, wise and wealthy widower who tries to convince his nephew Enrico that climbing to the top of Monte Disgrazia in the Italian Alps is a huge waste of time and energy, and that there is little sense in putting in so much effort only to descend again. In the end, however, Enrico's passion prevails: “Hi, Uncle Pietro, I'll say goodbye, I'll take the train and I'll go to my idiotic, stupid, cretinous, wonderful mountains!”

Then, in Pirelli’s first magazine of 1954, there is an account of the Italian expedition to conquer the Himalayan summit of K2 led by Ardito Desio and including Achille Compagnoni, Lino Lacedelli and Walter Bonatti. The article includes a detailed description of equipment featuring Pirelli rubber, which had revolutionised skiing, like many sports, with its accessories and modern devices for transporting skis and luggage on a car roof – such as the Pirelli-Kartell ski rack – along with cable cars and winter tyres designed for snow and ice.

Today – in rather more comfortable conditions – Pirelli continues that tradition with its St Moritz to Milan e-bike adventure, covering around 200km over eight days and leaving the Swiss Alpine town to head off on the road to Italy over mountain passes.

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A grand tour

It’s one of the Pirelli Tours run by FunActive Tours as part of Pirelli’s CYCL-e around premium e-bike rental service, available also to guests of luxury hotels for people who love travel and discovery. Pirelli's love for the bicycle is longstanding, dating back to the first Giro d'Italia in 1909, when 30 out of 49 finalists rode on Pirelli tyres. This passion has continued with new challenges and new technologies, constantly winning over active and curious travellers.

There are seven stages to this cycle itinerary, all with overnight stops in top-class hotels such as the magnificent Badrutt's Palace Hotel in St Moritz, depending on availability. After looking around the town in the morning, you can take a train up to the glacier then head off on the road to Italy over the Alpine passes: 55 tunnels, 196 bridges and gradients of up to 7 per cent. The Bernina Pass is the highest point at 2,335m above sea level, in the midst of the beautiful Alps. The overnight stop is Tirano in the province of Sondrio. The third night is spent in Morbegno on Lake Como, after a cycle ride along the Adda river, crossing the Valtellina and passing through the small towns of Teglio and Sondrio. 

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On the fourth day, in Colico, you take a boat across the lake to Como. On the fifth day, you cycle through small villages towards Lecco and then, the following day, journey through a fairytale landscape of monasteries and enchanting views along with a historic hydroelectric power plant. On the seventh day, after spending the night at Trezzo sull'Adda, you head towards Milan, the final stage of the tour, along the famous Martesana cycle path. You will pass various grand villas, mills, churches, factories and washhouses. The final night is spent in Milan where, depending on availability, one of the recommended hotels is the exclusive Mandarin Oriental on Via Andegari. 

Departures are every Saturday from 24 August to 14 September.

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