Laghi & Monti logo
Laghi & Monti logo


The project was born from the need to develop a more sustainable tourism, capable of merging traditions, history, culture and innovation in a single path. Cycling tourism, both as a leisure activity and as a sport, favors contact with the territory and its riches in full respect of the environment and local communities. In addition, electric bicycles offer an easy way to get around, reducing your carbon footprint and helping to reduce pollution. Perhaps the greatest benefit of electric bikes is the reduction of carbon emissions. It is clear that the greenhouse gas emissions of e-bikes are much lower than those of normal internal combustion engine cars, but also of electric ones. To be precise, a study commissioned by the European Cyclists Federation states that pedal assisted bikes emit much less carbon dioxide per kilometer than electric cars: about 1.5/3 grams per kilometer against about 90 g/km.
It’s not a recent discovery that the greatest impact that man can have on climate change mitigation is precisely by acting on the reduction of global carbon emissions. With the increase in tourism, e-bikes can significantly limit the negative environmental impacts of tourist transport.


Crucial point of the project is the former barracks of the Guardia di Finanza which has been transformed into an alpine refuge for cyclists and e-bikers. In the last century, when it was still crucial to guard the borders, the building at the San Giacomo pass was a point of reference for the activities of the Fiamme Gialle. Now, in its place, in Alta Val Formazza a “bikes’ grill” will become the reference point for a new and eco-sustainable tourism. The structure, used to welcome all the cyclists who will frequent the «Laghi e monti bike» track, was built by the Alta Ossola Mountain Union with almost one and a half million euros obtained from the Interreg project. The place has been completely redone, given the impossibility of recovering the existing building due to the structural situation of danger.
The structure will be a support point for those who will face the crossing from Italy to Switzerland.

The materials

For the makeover of the “bikes’ grill”, the use of natural building materials with high energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources (photovoltaic panels and vertical wind generators) were envisaged. Since it was not possible to connect to the public sewer, a particularly well-designed waste disposal plant was created to avoid contamination of the nearby peat bog. The production of waste resulting from the construction of the new accommodation facility was managed thanks to the existing carriageway which allowed waste to be transported downstream both in summer and in winter (by snowmobile).

Benefit for the environment

But we are not just talking about air pollution, because the greater diffusion of pedal-assisted bikes, as well as a greater use of electric vehicles, will also contribute to the significant decrease in noise pollution.
Moving around on a bicycle respects the environment, saves money and allows you to exercise at your preferred pace and speed, without the fatigue of the usual bike.
A disadvantage of using an electric bike is certainly the battery that needs to be recharged, which is why the Laghi e Monti Bike project has been placed in a crucial point for travellers.
In this way the journey becomes more important than the final destination and the intermediate stages have the same value as the arrival.
In fact, traveling with an electric bike is a unique experience but within everyone’s reach.