Spring air, desire for novelty, glimpses and panoramas. And our cities offer spectacular ones with their historic centers and picturesque surroundings. This year discover them from a different perspective: riding a bike. Combine sustainability and well-being, because by bike you regenerate body and mind. You feed on culture, move away from traffic and broaden your horizons. With the help of Fiab, the National Environment and Bicycle Federationand cycling tourism experts we have selected some cities, from North to South, which offer artistic beauties but also green areas, nature reserves, outlets on the seafront or along the banks of the river. And also studied some itineraries on the cycle path that wind from the center in the middle of nature. Thinking of everything: we also give you information on where to rent a bike, so you can reach the starting point comfortably by train. From Bolzano to Bari, passing through Turin, Ferrara, Pisa and Pesaro, are you ready to leave with us?
Bolzano: a visit to Ötzi, the mummy, and then off through meadows and woods
The city offers a 58 km long network of cycle paths, so much so that 60% of Bolzano’s inhabitants travel by bike. Also you can take advantage of the Bikemobil Card, a ticket valid for public transport and the rental of a bike, for 1, 3 or 7 days, throughout the province. Here is a route, proposed by Fiab Alto Adige, to discover the city but also the green surroundings, in the presence of the wonderful South Tyrolean mountains.
Starting from the railway station, which is located in the center, you pedal towards Piazza Walter to admire the splendid Duomowhich stands on three superimposed churches, the Fountain of Neptune (1725), Piazza delle Erbe, and the seat of the University. Two turns of the pedal are then the Museionthe Museum of Modern Art, with its spectacular stained glass windows, the Civic Museum and the Archaeological Museum which houses Ötzi, the mummy of the Similaun. It continues towards the Meadows of the Talvera, the green lung of the city, to then go up again, again on the cycle path, towards the north along the stream; after a few km at the point where the valley narrows, you can admire the majestic bulk of Castel Roncolo, to visit for its extraordinary frescoes. Returning back to the Museum of Modern Art, descend along the Talvera stream and enter the Eurovelo 7 of the Isarco river. Pedaling south, you keep to the right bank of the river: here the cycle path follows the flow of the river away from the roads, through the apple orchards to the intersection for Castel Firmiano which houses the Reinhold Messner Mountain Museum.
Info: Tourist and Tourism Company; for rental, near the station, Bici Alto Adige (south-tirol.com), Rent and Go; bike sharing is also available.
Turin: the cycle / pedestrian path along the Po
On the banks of the river, passing by the Valentino Castle, for the Murazzi and up to the Meisino nature reserve: the panoramic track cycle and pedestrian, almost entirely lined with trees, it winds along the Po, away from traffic. An itinerary of about 25 km that can be traveled on both sides. “Crossing the bridges, you can go from one embankment to another, to stop and visit the various points of interest”, explains Albano Marcarini, urban planner and author for Ediclo, a publisher specializing in books and travel guides and for sustainable mobility, who studied the route for us. Along the cycle path you will find the Valentino Castle and it crosses the park, with the reconstructed medieval village; must not miss the stop at the Church of the Gran Madre, one of the most important in Turin, in Neoclassical style, overlooking Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Among the attractions of this itinerary, there Meisino nature reserve, at the point where the Dora Riparia flows into the Po. More than 160 species of birds, mostly aquatic, have found habitats in the protected area, which alternate over the seasons. The long Po also offers an overview of the modern city, such as the Palavela by Gae Aulenti and the Automobile Museum. There is no shortage of refreshment points, especially along the Murazzi, the old fluvial warehouses transformed into trendy clubs in Turin’s nightlife. The train plus bike connection is excellent: from the Porta Nuova station, the long Po is a stone’s throw away; the itinerary can also be covered starting from the Vallere urban park and arriving in San Mauro Torinese.
Info: for more information there is a dedicated site; a few minutes from Porta Nuova Station, you can rent a bike from Turinbike.
Ferrara: from the historic center up to the Po, for a picnic in the countryside
Unesco heritage, Ferrara boasts the greater number of cycling kilometers per inhabitants and excels in sustainable mobility, services and tourist attractions suitable for two wheels. The itinerary, proposed by Fiab Ferrara, runs through the historic center on cycle paths and urban roads in the ZTL, starting from the station. You cycle for a total of 4 kmalong the ancient walls towns up to Gate of the Angelscontinue along the Renaissance via Ercole I d’Este “the most modern way in Europe” and reach it Palace of the Diamonds (1493, seat of temporary exhibitions). It then crosses the Estense Castle (1385), continue up to the magnificent Cathedral with, on the right, Ducal Palace and up to the municipal square with the 1500 staircase. The ride continues to visit the Ghetto and to Synagogue and to admire Palazzo Paradiso dating back to 1391, the ancient seat of the University of Ferrara (where Savonarola, Pico della Mirandola and Descartes studied) and now the Civic Library Ariostea (it houses the tomb of Ludovico Ariosto and the eighteenth-century anatomical theater). Then you reach the medieval Via delle Volte and from there you go back to the station. From here it is possible to continue on the cycle path that runs along the sub-wall: you pass the Baluardo del Barco to the entrance of the “Giorgio Bassani” urban park. The green area of the city begins, with large lawn areas, a beautiful pond, areas equipped for families and paths for bicycles. You then continue pedaling through the park and skirting the golf courses to take the cycle path for Francolino-Destra Po. The itinerary continues for 8 km in the green countryside of Ferrara up to the river bank.
Info: routes, bike rental or bike sharing
Pisa: the cycle path of the trammino murals and nature
An open-air museum between pop art, ancient walls and the Romanesque basilica, with detours in the Tuscan countryside. Here is an itinerary to discover the lesser known environmental and artistic beauties of the city, suggested by Fiab Pisa. Starting from Piazza Sant’Antonio (5 minutes from the train station) you can admire All world, a large mural by Keith Haring, the last public work of the late street artist. From there, moving to Largo Uliano Martini, one intercepts the Trammino cycle path (final stretch of the Arno cycle route). The path, on a protected site towards the sea, runs along the ancient walls up to Door to the sea; crossing the district of the same name, you will encounter a series of murals, some monumental, the work of internationally renowned artists, which form a sort of open-air museum. The cycle path then continues into the Tuscan countryside; along this stretch, with a short detour, you get to San Piero a Grado to admire the Basilica, a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. Returning to the cycle path, you cross the land of the Agri-food Research Center ofUniversity of Pisa. From here, on dirt roads but in good condition, it is possible ride for 15 km (circular route) in the area dedicated to sustainable agriculture, a route enriched by very interesting explanatory panels. Resuming the cycle path you will reach Marina di Pisa, with its buildings and villas in Art Nouveau style, for a stop at the tourist port or continue, parallel to the sea, to the Trammino di Marina station.
Info: bicitalia.org; bikes also electric with the Ridemovi app (present in Largo Uliano Martini).
Bari: from the alleys of the old town to the waterfront
A restricted traffic area, the historic village is easily accessible by bicycle, in its recently paved alleys. The itinerary suggested by Fiab Bari leads to the lively heart of the city and continues along the seafront. Starting from the Central Station it develops along Via Sparàno from Bariclosed to traffic and the heart of shopping, and on the C.so V. Emanuele II cycle path until you reach P.za del Ferrarese, gateway to the center. From here, along the Wallwhat remains of the fortifications towards the sea that protected the city, one reaches the most important monuments: the Archaeological Museum, S. Maria del Buon Consiglio and the Basilica of S. Nicola (11th-12th century), a significant example of the Apulian Romanesque style, where the relics of the saint are kept. Do not miss the Cathedral of S. Sabino and the Civic Museum; if desired, from the Arc Vasce (the lower arch), one enters the characteristic “street of orecchiette”, where the women of Bari prepare the typical fresh pasta. Then taking Strada de ‘Girondareturn to the C.so Vittorio Emanuele II cycle path to reach the Swabian Castle, the imposing fortress dating back to the 13th century; then continue along the panoramic seafront to go in succession to the Fiera del Levante, the Pineta di S. Francesco and the Waterfront S. Girolamo-Fesca.
Info: tourist point of Piazza Moro; for bike rental
Pesaro: the city that is told by pedaling along the Bicip Metropolitana
The Bicipolitan is a network of interconnected routes that form a sort of surface subway for two wheels. Today it has over a dozen “lines”, numbered and identified by color, just like the urban subway. The tour that best describes the artistic and naturalistic beauties of the city starts from the railway station taking the orange, line 1 of the Bicip Metropolitana: you cycle alongside the old city walls and cross the center with the historic Rossini Theaterthe city living room of Piazza del Popolo, up to the birthplace of the composer from Pesaro. The orange also leads to Rocca Costanza, the imposing fortification of the city dating back to the end of the 1400s. For a total of …