Our Lady of Ghisallo
The Lion of Flanders
It Was founded and inaugurated in October of 2006 by Fiorenzo Magni, the Lion of Flanders, the third man, as many have defined him: a champion among Coppi and Bartali. An example for his tenacity, for his successes but also for his life dedicated to the Italian sport. Always ready to pull the group, to the end.
The Cycling Museum Our Lady of Ghisallo in Magreglio, located in the province of Como next to the Shrine dedicated to the Madonna, protector of all cyclists in the world,
It Is the only Museum in the world that caters to all the champions and all cycling enthusiasts: the theme that characterizes it is the love for the bicycle.
A long, passionate and enthralling story links together the Ghisallo Pass to cycling, and viceversa.
Laden with memories, this hill, which enjoys beautiful panoramas, is one of the best known places for cyclists of all ages and of all categories, agonistic and not. In fact it is on top of this climb that have decided or ended some of the most famous competitions in the history of cycling: from the Giro d’italia to the Giro di Lombardia, from the Coppa Agostoni to the Bicycle Day.
For this reason, Ghisallo is a goal every year of thousands of sportsmen who go so far as to visit the Sanctuary, which dates back to the Seventeenth century, where a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, called the Madonna del Ghisallo, proclaimed Patroness of Cyclists from 1949 , with a papal Brief of Pius XII. The year before Pope Pacelli Pius XII had blessed and lit in Rome the great torch of bronze, which was placed inside the Sanctuary: since then, many visitors have come here from all over the world. It is testified by the visitors of the Museum coming, in only 2017, from 57 nations.
In 2000, in memory of the event occurred on 1948, the Cycling Museum Madonna del Ghisallo Foundation organized a relay with the participation of some great champions of cycling, from our Lady of Ghisallo to the Vatican for the delivery of the torch to the Holy Father John Paul II, with a meeting that will remain in the memory of all the participants.
It took shape the idea of creating a museum of cycling, alongside the Sanctuary, developing a new collection, taking care of the preservation of memorabilia, scientific research and dissemination of this sport, a historical and social phenomenon of great relevance in Italy, Europe and the world.
On 31 May 2006, then, Pope Benedict XVI gave the Vatican the blessing to the last stone by solemnizing the final Act of building the museum. The Stone, which can be seen in the central hall of the museum structure, bears the message “Omnia Vincit Amor” (Love Conquers Everything).
The Madonna del Ghisallo Cycling Museum is a cycling museum, not just a bicycle museum. Therefore a museum dedicated to the men and women who have used and use the bicycle in everyday life and in sports competitions; but also committed to make known those around the world of the two wheels, and to the agonistic one in particular, they work: the athletes, the producers of the medium, the organizers, the executives of companies, the journalists and other figures perhaps less known but equally Important.
There is no, in fact, a more significant place than this, in a region where there are almost 700 cycling companies, more than 12,000 members and about 1200 races in the year.
Therefore an institution that wants to collaborate with the various museums in Italy and in the world, going beyond the collections centered on the name of an athlete and his exploits, however important.
The Madonna del Ghisallo Cycling Museum mission is to collect, conserve and exploit, starting from spontaneous donations from enthusiasts, sports associations and champions of various eras, the vicissitudes of a technical means, a sport and its actors, the main events that have made the history of cycling, as well as a company that has moved with the bicycle to modernity.
Here, also through the meeting of enthusiasts with the protagonists of the sport and the cycling environment that the museum promotes, we want to introduce and study the past and the present of cycling, reflecting on the values, the problems and the future of the practice Cycling and sports.
The cyclists’ house
«The Sanctuary of Ghisallo has become great for us cyclists because a person like Don Ermelindo Viganò has dedicated his life to him. How many hopes, how many memories, how many victories, how many champions have tied their name to this Sanctuary known not only in our country. Being able to collect all its history allows to transfer to others a patrimony that has its highest values in the moral, spiritual and sporting strength that can facilitate young people, even non-sportsmen.»
Fiorenzo Magni (The Lion of Flanders) made real his dream and dug it into the rock of a Museum, unique in the world, designed on pillars of values. And more than ten years after that inauguration in pomp with many authorities and institutions, with many sponsors, all friends of Fiorenzo Magni, at the head of the group, there is still the same energy.
Fiorenzo Magni wanted to not disperse the seed of that passion and recognition that the sports world had given him, because he was conquered with sweat. Because it made him great.
Today, after many years, along the modern but at the same time ancient halls of the Museum of Ghisallo, you find those values still alive. They bounce from the nearby Sanctuary where still and forever the Madonna protects all cyclists and everyone, as Fiorenzo Magni wanted, to whom the Museum is dedicated.
To crack the breath, to find the step and go ahead: here is another image that the Lion of Flanders used often during the meetings of the Board Foundation, as well as during one-to-one appointments: in his last big business, hat’s never over, the Cycling Museum makes us an example.
One story, many numbers
The Museum is divided into 5 macro sections:
nr. 1: the section “Great Encyclopedia of Cycling”
nr. 2 Mirabilia section;
nr. 3 “Ciak and Champions, 100 films on cycling section;
nr. 4 “24 + 24”: the 48 cyclists of all time, split into two groups of 24 each, within two circular areas;
nr. 5 “The Man and his medium. The Design of the racing bike“.
The Museum is spread over three levels, of which 570 are the square meters of exhibition area at level 3 and 4, 850 the museum space of level 2, while 750 are the square meters of level 1.
pink jersey exhibition
Inside the Museum
B. Ticket Office – Information point
C. Merchandising & Bookshop
D. Temporary exhibitions area
1. Photos archive exhibition
Located along the access ramp, temporary photographic exhibitions take place according to the annual calendar of the great competitions of the year, such as Milan Sanremo, Giro d’italia, Giro di Lombardia, realized thanks to the collaboration with the most important Archives of the world of cycling.
2. Military bicycle section
It Is the section that collects the bicycles of the beginning century used in military field; among these is the first folding bicycle, made by Bianchi.
Cycling on the track. The bicycles of the most significant time records, included the one used by Fausto Coppi at Vigorelli in 1942.
11. The Italian Championship
It is possible to recall the history of the Italian Championship through historical and contemporary jerseys.
12. World Champions
Jerseys and bicycles of great champions such as Merckx, Baldini and Saronni allow you to recall the great cycling world-class achievements.
13. “Encyclopedia of cycling” section
In this section a series of blow-up images, poster panels and touchscreens takes visitors on a chronological tour of the greatest champions of all the time, illustrating their most significant exploits and the bi-cycles on which there were accomplished.
E. Permanent exposition
3. “Giro d’Italia-Pink Jerseys“ section
This section collects some memorabilia of the Giro d’italia and the largest collection of pink jersey ever collect, found thanks to the Giro for Ghisallo project of Gazzetta dello Sport.
4. Mechanical workshop
This section collects the instrumentation of the Giannino Albè’s bottega, a wood artisan specialized in bicycles manufacturer from the beginning of the XX century.
5. Women in cycling
Section dedicated to women’s cycling starting from Alfonsina Strada, the first woman who participated to the Giro d’Italia.
6. “City bicycle evolution” section
The visitor is driven through the evolution of the city bicycle.
7. “Racing bicycle evolution” section
The visitor’s attention is focused on the racing bicycle that, thanks to capable designers and mechanics, become the instrument to which the athlete entrusts his performance. The section shows the mechanical evolution of the vehicle through its components ant significant materials that made in the history of competitive cycling.
8. “Mirabilia” showcases
They group objects with a particular historical and emotional value, which champions donated to the Foundation. They are exposed in a selective way, according to the principle of rotation.
9. Great champions’ “Memorabilia”
Many different kinds of Memorabilia recall the achievements of champions, between them: Gino Bartali’s bikes (Tour de France, 1938 and 1948), Coppi, Magni, Baldini, Albani, Merckx, Ballerini e Pantani.
D. Temporary exhibitions
F. Library / Concerence room
G. Offices / Management office
14. “24 + 24” section
This section showcases the top forty-eight cyclists of all time, split into two groups of twenty-four each, within two circular areas. Here visitors can leaf through a succession of hinged “flags” presenting a profile of each champion, from Girardengo to Guerra, from Coppi to Bartali and Magni, to Gimondi, Moser, Saronni, Hinault and Armstrong. A selection of historical images, a biographical box and a detailed prize record complete this section.
15. “Ciak and champions, 100 films on cycling” section
This is the audiovisual section: it carries the public in a selection of films, documentaries, short films in which sport cycling is told. The relationship between cycling, film, television and costume also highlights the background of the country’s history.
beside the Museum
Many opportunities for refreshment and hospitality to experience a holiday or a weekend of well being.