7 Reasons to choose Ciclovia del Sole for your next bike trip
Posted on 06 December 2021 From Bologna Welcome
Accompanying us on this promenade....
Margherita Rugg, Italian writer, travel and nature lover, and co-founder of The Crowded Planet with Australian photographer Nicholas Burns.
More and more people are choosing to travel by bike because it's the ideal way to avoid the crowds and explore unusual destinations while staying active and enjoying nature. The Ciclovia del Sole could be the perfect destination for your next two-wheeled vacation, discover the 7 reasons why you should ride it!
1. Discover the territory slowly
Travelling by bicycle is the perfect way to take a break from hectic city life, embracing slowness into one’s life. You can ride only as fast as your legs allow you to, seeing the landscape transform all around you, noticing even the smallest things.
2. Perfect in all seasons and ideal for everyone (families included)
The Ciclovia del Sole develops entirely in the Po Valley Lowlands. You’re unlikely to encounter snow, and freezing temperatures are rare, but it does get hot in summer.
The Ciclovia can indeed be a year-round destination. Spring and late Summer/early Autumn offer the best conditions in terms of weather and temperature, but you can also ride in Summer provided you avoid the hottest times of the day, and in Winter if you dress up warm!
Plus, it is ideal for the families and beginners. The cycle path is almost 100 per cent dedicated, following minor roads with little motor traffic only briefly. Also, there are no hills, and save for a couple of kilometers here and there it’s paved, meaning it can easily be done with kids in a bike cart.
If you are a beginner or cycling with your family, we recommend ending your journey in Osteria Nuova and catching a train to Bologna for the final stretch
3. A Sustainable way to travel
Are you looking to maintain a moderate carbon footprint on your next holiday? You’ll be pleased to know that alongside walking, cycling is the greenest way to travel.
Along the Ciclovia del Sole, you’ll be staying in family-run accommodation, eating in local restaurants, and visiting sights and attractions owned by locals. With the exception of Bologna, the Ciclovia crosses an offbeat part of Italy, not yet reached by big-name international brands.
4. Signs are easy to follow
Are you afraid you’ll get lost? Fear not, along the Ciclovia del Sole it’s almost impossible to get lost! The itinerary is clearly marked with the symbol of the Ciclovia - a bright yellow sun, painted on the tarmac. Follow the sun, and you’ll be going the right way!
When the cycle path crosses a road, the direction you need to follow is always clearly marked by signs marked with the iconic yellow sun. Trust us, you won’t get lost, even if you try!!
5. Find facilities for cyclists along the way
Most of the Ciclovia del Sole runs on the former Verona-Bologna railway line. You’ll find some old stations along the way, turned into rest stops for cyclists, complete with water fountains and tool kits including a bicycle pump, free to use in case you need to do some quick repairs.
The surrounding area is also very bike friendly. If you are riding an electric bike, you’ll find several locations where you can charge your batteries, and your accommodation should also be able to help with your charging needs.
Locanda del Toro, offers recharge for your e-bike and deposit, and a very good dinner after a pedaling day. If you need to rent a bike, TR Service can also deliver it where you want around Bologna or Mirandola.
6. Diverse attractions and experiences
So, what’s there to see along the Ciclovia del Sole? You’ll be surprised to see how many experiences can be packed into a compact 50 km itinerary, including some unusual attractions! You can start in Mirandola, a place that is still affected by the earthquake that hit this area in 2012. Some of the attractions are still closed because of it, but visiting around Mirandola is a good way to give a contribution to the local businesses.
For instance, in Crevalcore you can visit the world’s smallest puppet museum, with puppets and backdrops painted by a local designer. In Sala Bolognese, you’ll find one of the best-preserved Romanesque churches in Emilia-Romagna, a true gem dating back to the 11th century.
Not far, in Calderara di Reno, you can see the Cippo di Sacerno, a monument with a Roman plaque witnessing the establishment of the Second Triumvirate. If you like street art, you’re in for a treat - in Camposanto, you can see 20 large-scale murals, and in San Giovanni in Persiceto you’ll find a piece by Alice near the train station, as well as famous Piazzetta Betlemme, painted by Hollywood set designer Gino Pellegrini.
But this is not all! You can also get a taste of the famous Motorvalley along the Ciclovia del Sole - the MUDETEC Lamborghini Museum and Factory are only a short distance from the cycle path.
If you’re more into nature, don’t miss visiting La Bora, a nature centre rescuing and rehabilitating endangered swamp turtles. .
7. ... and delicious food!
It’s always good to save the best for last! After all, cycling will make you hungry, so you’ll be pleased to know you’ll find plenty of delicious food along the Ciclovia del Sole!
The region of Emilia-Romagna is one of Italy’s prime food destinations, home to iconic products like prosciutto, mortadella, parmigiano, balsamic vinegar and many more. Fresh pasta is truly to die for - what about a steaming plate of lasagne or tagliatelle al ragu (remember, never ask for spaghetti) to replace those carbs you lost along the way?
A great place to sample local specialties is Trattoria La Piazzetta, surrounded by the wall art of Piazzetta Betlemme in San Giovanni in Persiceto. Another great stop along the way is Azienda Agricola Caretti, just a short ride from San Giovanni – you can sit in the courtyard and enjoy some barbecued meat, and fill your saddlebags with salumi, cheese and other local delicacies!
Vegetarians are also well looked after - grilled vegetables and meat-free pasta dishes always appear on menus.
For a tasty vegetarian lunch, head to Azienda Agricola Valle Torretta near Crevalcore, offering a set menu based on seasonal, locally-growh vegetables. It is also the headquarters of Sementerie Artistiche, a cultural centre organizing theatre shows, workshops and artists residencies.
A not-to-be-missed stop along the Ciclovia del Sole for all those with a sweet tooth is Carpigiani, the world’s only gelato museum and university. You can sign up for a selection of gelato workshops, ranging in duration from a couple of hours to a full day, to learn the secrets behind gelato making
After all, you need energy for a day on two wheels!