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When looking for delicious food, fascinating history, gorgeous scenery and fabulous weather, Italy should be the first place you think of. However, there is one region of Italy whose food has left a lasting impact on the globe: Emilia Romagna. From Lasagna and Bolognese to Parma ham and balsamic vinegar, there are countless culinary delights, beloved by the world, which have their humble origins in Emilia Romagna, and what better way to explore the cuisine here than on a cycling holiday?
Pedal past ancient cities with unique architecture, and iconic castles that stand proud over vineyards, and enjoy the most delicious food in Europe. Emilia Romagna cycling trips are all about indulging the senses, where every view is a treat for the eyes and every dish is an unforgettable experience. Read on to discover more about Emilia Romagna cycling.
In any other region of Italy, the fascinating history that Emilia Romagna has would make it a top tourist destination. However, thanks to the phenomenal food, the history of the region is often overlooked. On a cycling holiday in Emilia Romagna, travel to the exciting city of Bologna where you’ll learn all about its unique past. Almost a thousand years ago, Bologna was a city of medieval skyscrapers, where 100-metre tall towers dominated the entire city skyline until they began to be demolished in the early 1900s. It wasn’t until New York almost 700 years later that a city would begin to look like this again. Home to the oldest university in the world, this city is a history lover’s dream to explore.
Another stop on our Emilia Romagna cycling trips, Ravenna used to be the capital of the Western Roman Empire. Today, it’s known as a city of mosaics. In almost every building you go into, mosaics and frescos line the walls and ceilings, each telling a story of the city. With strong Byzantine influences, Ravenna has gorgeous architecture not seen elsewhere in Italy.
Not many know this, but the region is connected by some pretty fantastic cycle routes. Well-maintained and featuring incredible scenery, they make Emilia Romagna cycling a dream. As the region is home to countless historical towns and cities, it can be hard to visit just one. This is the beauty of cycling here; by using pedal power, you can easily travel between all of them and enjoy yourself whilst doing so.
One of our favourite bike rides is day two of our Riding Real Romagna cycling tour, between Ravenna and Faenza. As you leave Ravenna, you’re immediately greeted by the gorgeous Italian countryside, with its rolling hills and charming villages. On the way to Faenza, you’ll pass by some vast plains, home to fruit plantations which, depending on the time of year you travel, may either be full of fruit or flowering. The best part of an Italian cycling adventure is the beauty to be found around every corner; a quiet monastery resting in a valley may hide impossibly beautiful Roman ruins.
The real star of the day is the town of Faenza, famous for its market and ceramics. In the town square, you’ll notice many other fellow cyclists who have parked their bikes for the day to enjoy the bustling market, thanks to the fantastic cycling infrastructure. Whilst visiting Faenza, make sure you buy a hand-decorated ceramic as these make gorgeous keepsakes that will remind you of your leisurely adventure for years to come.
Another fantastic route to enjoy in Emilia Romagna is between Modena and Castelvetro. Heading into the foothills of the Apennines, enjoy quiet bicycle lanes and rural roads. The tranquillity on this route is unmatched, as you pedal through the beautiful countryside filled with birdsong and wildflowers. This route features on day three of our A Taste of Italy cycling tour.
Once you reach Castelvetro, you’ll first notice its impressive, fortified centre, filled with history. Another thing the town is filled with is balsamic tasting opportunities. As one of the most famous products of Emilia Romagna, we highly recommend you take the time to learn about how this delicious dressing is made. In Castelvetro, you’ll even be able to taste all sorts of vinegar flavours, including strawberry and orange! In some places in the region, it’s drizzled over vanilla ice cream for an unforgettable dessert.
Another fantastic cycle route is the ride from Parma to the castle of Torrechiara. This famous symbol of Emilia Romagna dominates the Val Parma and is just under 600 years old. Although initially built as a defensible fortification, it soon became clear that the count built it primarily as a home for his lover. When you cycle here, be sure to learn all about the scandals and rumours that circulated the castle all those centuries ago.
For more information on Emilia Romagna cycling, call our cycle experts today. Alternatively, you can view our Emilia Romagna cycling holidays here.
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