Emilia-Romagna is the food capital region of Italy and this large area has a mixture of terrain to suit all cycling abilities; flat, rolling and medium mountain climbs, quiet roads and stunning villages.
And that variety is a key part of its appeal - travelling by bike means you get to see the mountains of the Apennines and the plains of the River Po, not forgetting the Adriatic coast and cities of art and culture.
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Chris has lived and breathed cycling all his life, growing up in Australia before moving to the UK in 2009 where he founded Bespoke Velo, using his vast experience to create tailor-made, cost-effective cycling trips.
He's raced and toured on mountain, BMX and road bikes, rounding off his career by being crowned the Australian Veteran Road Cycling Champion in 2007.
He's also produced...
Home to several Gran Fondo events, Romagna has produced many famous cyclists - like the late Marco Pantani - but also many local homegrown enthusiasts. Indeed it's the destination of many cycling clubs who choose it for their spring or autumn training, while triathletes also find it an ideal environment.
In May each year cyclists discover the birthplace of Pantani in the Nove Colli (Nine Hills), Italy’s oldest and biggest Gran Fondo which sees over 13,000 cyclists ride the same roads on which he trained, climbing nearly 3,000m in the process.
The well-paved and almost traffic-free roads are widespread, and are ideally suited to cycling, with the curves of the descents and the gradients of the climbs sublime.
The hinterland offers interesting and rarely visited villages, gentle terrain and stunning views - if you are looking for places with particular natural charm and rich historical heritage, then this region has it in abundance - see the top five experiences below for more details.
Apart from the Nove Colli Gran Fondo, we've put together five suggested rides to try out which showcase the very best of the region. And there are more, many more. Other not-so-famous but very challenging climbs are the Barbotto and Monte Aqualone, where you get magnificent views of the Savio, dell'Alferello, the Tiber and Marecchia.
Visit the ancient Republic [pictured, right]; it is a beacon that extends its shadow over the entire coast, with the enchanting vision of Valmarecchia on one side and Conca Valley the other. This is a must do ride for any stay and the ancient walled city - untouched by the ravages of time or war - is testament to the people of San Marino. On any clear day the vistas from the number 1 tower extend to the horizon and beyond.
Amazing historical heritage
Sogliano, Roncofreddo, Longiano, Perticara and Santarcangelo are just some of the destinations that should not be missed during a cycling trip. These places can be found mostly in the foothills of the Apennines; they are around 300 metres in height and let you enjoy the magnificent panorama of Romagna.
This is a charming medieval village which will blow your mind. It appears untouched by time and you'll pass through it on the Sant'Agata Feltria ride above.
Italian Tipicità restaurant in Verucchio
This makes a great lunch stop on the Verucchio ride. Maripia, owner of this amazing eatery, is renowned in this region as having the specialities that make Emilia-Romagna the food region it is.
Time off the bike
Relaxation, enjoyment and fun can be found in many villages of the region, with wine and cheese tasting taking place in small wineries or farmhouses, while in the spring and summer there are endless village festivities.
Best times to go:
April, May, June and September are the ideal time to explore by bike - the weather's usually excellent, but not too hot, and it's also relatively quiet.
Peak times in times of the heat and tourism are late July and all of August, while it can get very cold over Winter.
To filter by month, click on the blue filters.
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