Not only funny, precious and delicious, but also sustainable and contemporary: Emilia Romagna holds the record for the widest dissemination of cycling routes in Italy.
The dedicated paths to “go for a walk” on two wheels among the culture, gastronomy and archaeology of this area stretch from the coast to the Apennines and Montefeltro, crossing the cities of art, the UNESCO sites. The first piece of advice, if you are in a town centre, it is to take advantage of two services of bike renting & sharing which are active in the entire region: the most common is called “C'entro in bici” and offers, with a small deposit, the delivery of a special key with personal code that allows you to use the bikes available. Alternatively, the “Mi muovo in Bici” service uses a system with electronic card and, in addition, offers the possibility to verify in real time the availability of bikes through a special APP, rental infos and spots around Ferrara are available too.
Then, once sat astride the bike, just choose your route! For those who want to pedal while breathing the history of Emilia Romagna, the suggestion is to choose paths immersed in the old town centres of Emilia Romagna’s eleven cities of art which offer profitable and “smart” package holidays for bike lovers* and also provide road maps and useful information on active services in the area. Among the many routes, some cannot be missed at all, such as the 20-km bike path that connects history and nature between the coast and the hinterland: it starts from Rimini and, through the great architectural remains of the Roman times, following the course of Marecchia river, you get to Villa Verucchio, in the heart of Romagna.
Even Ravenna combines physical activity and culture on two wheels with its 10-km cycling lane that connects the old town centre to the pinewood of Classe, skirting the archaeological area which includes the UNESCO site of the Basilica of St. Apollinare in Classe, while in Ferrara you can run along the 9-km city walls (northern side), departing from the Este Castle (www.ferrarabike.com).
Weather permitting, for mountain bikes’ lovers the destination is, instead, the Apennines of Emilia Romagna: proceeding from north to south there are two “necessary” stops, the super-tried and tested Bike Park on Mount Cimone and the new Bike Park Valmarecchia (opened in late 2013), up to Maiolo in the area of Montefeltro, which includes tracks for enduro and Downhill (over 1,500 metres of route!) which you can run even at night. Hospitality also travels on two wheels in Emilia Romagna: from Cattolica to Lidi di Comacchio there are a hundred of hotels that offer services dedicated to those who love cycling and organise bike tours with maps and GPS to be downloaded on your Smartphone.
* (valid until May 2014)