Riding an e-bike from vineyards to SPAs

Julian Hochgesang Jyotlvmv9so Unsplash

You have a free day, the sky is clear and you feel like exercising and discovering the beauties of Mendrisiotto.

Then, you can take one of the Scudo di Stabio's rental e-bikes and reach the fitness trail built in the Bella Cima area, around Monte Asturo, in five minutes. (https://goo.gl/maps/6TeeRiSFFbcZR6cr5)

It develops over a length of 2,180 meters, with an altitude difference of 63 meters. You can try your hand at the exercises offered in 20 stations, 10 of which with fixed equipment (bars, logs, rings, ladders, planks, tubes) and 10 for exercise only. It takes about 45/50 minutes to complete the route, if you do all the exercises, but if you just want to indulge in a bit of jogging in the woods and nature, 10/12 minutes are enough. The georeferenced map of the route is visible at the address: https://www.zurichvitaparcours.ch/Finder/Details/5c94e529-a169-4c6d-9a86-6182a26982bc.

27 kilometer tour

Now that you've warmed up, you can embark on an e-bike tour of around 27 kilometers that will take you through the Mendrisiotto vineyards, to the shores of Lake Lugano and to discover the historic center of Mendrisio.

From the fitness trail, follow the dirt road which, through the chestnut woods, leads to Ligornetto. Here it is possible to visit the museum dedicated to Vincenzo Vela, the greatest Ticino sculptor of the 19th century, whose fame crossed the Swiss borders and who was originally from Mendrisiotto.

Following the road towards Besazio, you then descend towards Rancate, where it is possible to visit the Giovanni Züst art gallery, which collects paintings by the most important artists of the Lombardy and Ticino area from the 17th to the 19th century. From here the route continues towards the shores of the lake, through hills dominated by rows of Merlot grapes. Once in Riva San Vitale, head south in the direction of Mendrisio, where you can visit the historic center, full of medieval buildings, also neoclassical such as Palazzo Turconi or contemporary such as the Teatro dell'architettura by Mario Botta.

The return to Stabio takes place passing through Genestrerio. The overall difference in altitude is about 400 meters and you need to take into account at least a couple of hours of pedaling. Hours that can increase if you want to take a culinary break in one of the grottos along the way. Here you can taste typical Ticino recipes and products in an informal setting.

Further details on the itinerary can be found at https://www.lifeintravel.it/ticino-in-bici-anello-sulle-colline-del-mendrisiotto.html

Well deserved relaxation

Back in Stabio, you can indulge in some well-deserved relaxation at the spa (stabioterme.ch). It is the only spring in Ticino to be recognized by the Federal Health Office for its waters with healing properties. The sulfur present in the thermal waters stimulates the immune defense processes, the bromine has a sedative action, the iodine has an antiseptic action and the sodium chloride acts as a regenerative antiseptic of the mucous membranes.

Their characteristics were already known in antiquity and certainly by the inhabitants of the Roman Stabio, perhaps by Julius Caesar himself. However, it was in the 19th century that their properties were back in vogue and a modern spa was developed which during the Belle Époque was frequented by celebrities (aristocrats, artists, entrepreneurs) from all over Europe.

Today the structure is a modern center that deals with spa treatments but which offers proposals for natural well-being (from massages to acupuncture) and also has a beauty center and a fitness center inside.

"After a bath and an energizing massage, you are ready to return to the Scudo, wondering: "It's a pity we won't have a day off tomorrow too!".