Le acque di Leonardo

The Adda cycle route: 300 km in the heart of Lombardy


The project description:

The aim is to promote the Adda cycle route (Macro-axis V °, among the 10 identified in the regional competition “Promotion of cycling in Lombardy”) towards new targets for cyclists, foreigners and Italians. This through communication activities focused on the historical, naturalistic, artistic and enogastronomic heritage, on the proposals for experiential tourism and on the model of the great European river bike routes.


Related activities:

  • coordinated communication and promotion campaigns
  • system development of the accommodation and cycle-tourism assistance network
  • development of multi-platform apps and reporting systems for territorial resources


The concept:

The brand Le acque di Leonardo (LeALe) promotes the Adda cycle route and the experiences of history, traditions, heritage and nature.

The macro-axis V joins the Adda and its lakes for 300 km, crosses historical and architectural sites with few equals in Europe and will be offered to cyclists on a par with the major European cycling routes. Strategic direct connections with Switzerland, south Tyrol, Austria, the VenTo Turin-Venice, the wide cycling route UE Alpe Adria, the path of the Martesana Canal that leads to Milan, cradle of the genius of Leonardo and heart of the so-called Lombard “infinite city”.

It’s innovative, because:

  • completes the prevailing local cycle use by promoting long-distance experiences with the offer of new high-end packages, both for reception level and for experiential proposals that integrate pedaling
  • introduces multimedia technologies of tourist information
  • hires important testimonials
  • it also favors use by people with disabilities and mobility difficulties
  • introduces the use of e-bikes and bike-boat experience sections

It’s creative because:

  • shows and rides on the contemporary prototype of “Leonardo’s bike”
  • realizes events with the mascots “Leo and Ada” that will accompany in particular the visits of the little ones
  • creates special packages which, by connecting to traditional local events, expand the cycling season and mid-week use

It is inclusive because:

  • involves a vast network of bodies and individuals capable of activating different competences oriented towards the common promotional and territorial enhancement objective

Expected impact

Activate a virtuous circle of partners that from an episodic and local tourism generates an organized tourist flow of a few tens of thousands of cyclists per year to produce and distribute more wealth in the territory, new job opportunities, development of activities already present and launch of start-up in the tourism and bicycle sectors.

Proposal for promotion / marketing of tourist packages

The activities will be implemented with integrated communication.

Market target

Italians and Europeans looking for “sweet” cycling for families and groups, on easy and protected routes, with solid, comfortable and even pedal assisted bicycles. They are people interested in history, nature, architecture and food and wine, attracted more by experiential tourism than by traditional tourism.

The target market for local residents is new, to offer experience packages from 1 to 3 days, enriched by visits to Lombard cities and carried out also by train + bike format due to the many interconnections between the Adda cycle route and the system of regional public transport.

Actions that will take place

  • Participation in major European cycling tourism fairs, in coordination with the Lombardy Region
  • Educational theme diffusion for operators and journalists: bicycles and gastronomy, bicycles and culture, bicycles and history
  • Activation of a press office focused on the different targets: retailers, travel agencies / international tour operators; direct customer: Italian / foreign traveler who wants 3/7 days on a trekking bike (3-4 star hotel); family that asks for 1 to 7 days with safe and protected bike paths and B&B accommodations; formative and cultural excursions with school groups, company cral, groups that seek out landscape-culture-history combinations.

Innovative tools

Use of new descriptive mobile apps of itineraries, places, nature and heritage with services that enable the economic subjects of the territory to be involved in supporting the tourism development project over time.

Specifically, in relation to the analysis of the target audience, the following will be implemented:

  • campaigns on specialized media
  • campaigns for specialized tour operators
  • web and social campaigns with the use of testimonials and gadgets
  • smartphone use; integrated in the package of services: GPS route, tourist info of the sites on the route promotion of packages with “app” and digital device and video shooting with drone
  • Integration of the project with other sectors

Food & Wine

Cantine Valtellinesi; slow-food circuit restaurants; catering of the Lario; refreshments such as the Stallazzo in Cornate or Borromeo island in Cassano; typical products of eastern Brianza (Mezzago pink asparagus, Oreno potato, Cornate blue corn, Usmate V saffron, microbrewery beer and hops, Montevecchia cheeses and wines); Cremonese gastronomy.

Culture, art and valorisation of historical heritage

System of the Leonardesque locks of the Paderno canal; Ecomuseum; Sanctuary of the Rocchetta; scenery Virgin of the Rocks of Leonardo; liberty power plants; spinning mills; villas of Brianza delight; Unesco site of Crespi d’Adda; tourist routes in the Lombard cities.


Craft workshops; use of Leonardesque projects: modern prototype of Leonardo’s bike and Leonardo’s ferry to Imbersago; lake navigation Colico-Lecco; visits to lakeside towns.

Nature and city

Integration of the cycle path with the system of Valtellina hiking trails; connection to cycling routes in Switzerland, Austria and Trentino; in the Lombard hills, itineraries with a logistic base on the Adda cycle route to do “daisy” tours, even with an integrated bike + train system, visiting a city every day with a return or return by bike.


Promotion with the new cycling tourism of the events in the villages on the river that testify to the historic function of the Adda artery in the development of Lombard cities and its link with the genius of Leonardo.

The partnership

The number of members of the partnership is 17: pro loco engaged in territorial promotion; communication and marketing companies and for the technological development of apps; hotels / hotels for reception and catering; managers of refreshment points along the route; bike rental companies; tour operator for the sale of cycling packages; consortia of social cooperatives for the promotion of cycling also among people with disabilities; tourist assistance companies.



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