“Via Romagna”, the first permanent regional route in Italy dedicated to cycling through art, nature and historical villages
The first permanent regional route in Italy is dedicated to cycling on secondary roads and stunning off-road tracks with ‘white’ pathways. “Via Romagna” is renowned as one of the most interesting cycle routes in Europe with its 463 km route that crosses Romagna from north to south. The route connects the provinces of Ferrara, Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena and Rimini, crossing about 30 municipalities, 20 fortresses and historic villages with numerous B&B’s, farmhouses, churches, cathedrals, museums and historical monuments mapped on the route. The route is designed to explore the beauty of the region from hill to sea by bike safely, with over 100 bike-friendly structures in place, so it’s suitable for everyone.
Comacchio is not only the northernmost point but also the “ideal” starting point along the fascinating white roads of the Po Delta, going up the “Bassa Romagna” to the first hills of Faenza, and then Forlì-Cesena, cycling through the Park delle Foreste Casentinesi, then heading south towards Valmarecchia and Valconca, in the Rimini area, and finishing on the border with the Marche, in San Giovanni in Marignano.
“Via Romagna” will benefit from secondary arterial roads connecting with Ferrara, and further south, joining the important coastal towns of Ravenna, Cervia, Cesenatico, Rimini, Riccione and Cattolica, which will also use the existing cycle paths, paths along the river banks and the historical-environmental routes. In addition to the main points of interest marked on the map, there will also be other key areas highlighted including, geo-referenced water and refreshment point’s as-well as bike-friendly operators located on the path (bike shop for technical assistance, etc.)
Last year on Thursday 17 June 2021, marked a key calendar date for cycle enthusiasts; The Adriatico-Ionica Race, which started in Trieste organized by the former world champion Moreno Argentin, passed right through the “Via Romagna” track in the final Ferrara-Comacchio stage of 157km. On Friday 18 June 2021, ten top tier Italian journalists representing the main specialized cycling and cycle tourism magazines participated in a group Press Trip organized by Apt Servizi Consorzio Terrabici in Riolo Terme (Ra). The program included three days of bike tours, exploring the “Via Romagna” route and area, food and wine tastings and entry to the Italian Professional Cycling Championships in Faenza and Imola on the UCI World Championship route.
The President of Apt Servizi Emilia Romagna, Davide Cassani commented: “The declared objective of this ambitious project is to create a cycling product to be promoted and marketed on the Italian and foreign market thanks to the marketing and communication activities launched by Apt Servizi in collaboration with Visit Romagna and the Consortium of specialized Terrabici Bike Hotels. Passion for cycling, love for the territory, protection of dirt roads, respect for the environment, Via Romagna will soon become the main territorial promotional route dedicated to bicycles to welcome cycle tourists throughout the year in Emilia Romagna. This new cycle path allows us to tell our territory by cycling through its history, culture and food and wine. This is how we are involving local operators and institutions in a project that will see them as protagonists and ambassadors of the distinctive culture of our destination. Via Romagna will also allow us to become the first Region in Italy to transform minor roads with ordinary traffic into roads with cycling priority. The path will allow you to create experiences for each “stage”, giving the operators involved the opportunity to customize their offer “.
The President of Visit Romagna, Andrea Gnassi said; “Romagna is becoming more and more suitable for cyclists. The new route, which intersects with the other existing cycle paths in the area linked to the Romagna Bike products, creates a network of routes as few companies in Europe can boast. More and more people are discovering cycling holidays and with “Via Romagna” we offer a unique opportunity, a highly immersive, authentic approach to our excellence and dedication to wellness and active holidays. On this track, we will be able to build a tourist product with a strong appeal for international markets linked to bike tourism, which will involve cycle guides, bike hotels, assistance centres, rental and service sites and everything that revolves around the holiday in the saddle”.
The mapped and signposted route will have its own personalized “Via Romagna” signage with over 1,500 signs and 50 information boards and signs positioned on the itinerary. A specific information section will be dedicated to the route on the website www.romagnabike.com. In addition, the route crosses and intersects with routes of other existing cycle paths such as the Po Delta cycle path (the Ravenna-Venice), the Pinewood cycle path of Ravenna, the Strade Bianche di Romagna, the Dante cycle route, the San Vicinio cycle route and the river cycle paths of Ronco, Savio, Montone, Marecchia and Conca. The promoters of Via Romagna are Apt Servizi Emilia Romagna, Visit Romagna, the regional Terrabici Consortium and the Romagna Chamber of Commerce.