Then you can’t miss out on our selection of Italy's 7 most beautiful “ciclostoriche”. Jump on your bike!
There was a time when cycling roads were unpaved. A time when there were no supplements and amino acids: in their place “ribollita”, “tortelli”, salami and red wine. Don't call them races, everybody wins! Those who participate, participate for the sake of saying “I was there”. Without however forgetting the effort, the essence of a sport that is also a metaphor for life.
In 1997 the Eroica was born, which over the years has become a major cultural phenomenon, inspiring many other vintage-style events.
We mention just a few of the approximately 100 events taking place near our hotel. The intent is not to provide a ranking, but to give you some initial insights based on which you can find more information online.
Known as the Woodstock of cycling, “L’Eroica di Gaiole” in Chianti is a sweaty, dusty and solidary way - timeless and without boundaries - of pedalling and togetherness, among vineyards, “ribollita” and wine, vintage bicycles, leather saddles, curved handlebars and belle époque style wool jumpers, in this land between the Chianti and the Orcia, which is every cyclist's paradise.
Since its first edition 18 years ago, “L’eroica” has transformed a simple ride with friends into a viral phenomenon, so much so that today it is an international brand exported around the world: England, Spain, California, South Africa, Japan, Limburg, Punta del Este and Italy with “L’Eroica Primavera” (spring). The hallmark of the event, however, is always constant: rediscovering the beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest.
If you don't feel “Heroic” enough to take on the challenge of 209 km with over 3,700 meters in altitude difference on hilly, unpaved roads, do not fear, “L’Eroica” is divided into various routes: a 46 km itinerary to soak up the “heroic” atmosphere; the 75 km “gateway” to the “L’Eroica” myth; or the Chianti Classico and the Medium distance route, respectively 130 and 135 km. The choice is yours!
Site of the battle that retraced Tuscany’s boundaries, the medieval village of Anghiari looks like one of those small enchanted hamlets right out of a painting: perched on the hillside, stone houses, the bell tower that serves as a lookout over the valley, up and down roads and vineyards all around. This is the setting of the “L’Intrepida” along three different routes: the 42 km classic, the 85 km long route and the 120 km intrepid route. “L’Intrepida” is quite extraordinary not only due to the number of participants and the big names in cycling history who take part in it, but also thanks to the beauty of its landscapes, the quality of refreshments and the historical significance of the places crossed: from the plain where on June 29, 1440 the famous battle of Anghiari was fought, to villages that have been the birthplace of Michelangelo (Caprese) and Piero della Francesca (Sansepolcro).
And, as the organisers emphasise, “grab your old bike, dressed in timeless garb and ride into history”.
If we mention “tortelli”, salami and “lambrusco” what comes to mind? To us, the sweet and welcoming city of Parma, the heart of the Po Valley. And “La Polverosa” takes place just a few kilometres away, in Montechiarugolo. The route, which every year is renewed in certain sections, winds between castles, fortified walls, frescoed churches and domes, and noble palaces: 45 km for the short itinerary, 81 km for the Medium distance route and 108 km for the long route, along farm roads, many of which have survived the use of asphalt, making their way deep into the most evocative corners of Parma’s countryside, until reaching the first rolling hills from where expansive views over the valleys can be enjoyed.
In honour of Francesco Moser and his family, who wrote the history of cycling from the ‘50s to the present day, the international “La Moserissima” ciclostorica strives to promote cycling and the beauty offered by the city of Trento and its territory. The routes have been designed together with Francesco Moser and run through the valley crossed by the Adige river, along whose banks a dense network of bike paths and scenic gravel roads wind through, where cyclists will have the opportunity to discover picturesque villages and stretches immersed in the lush nature of the Trentino. There is no shortage of refreshment points, with “vintage” drinks and typical products set up along in the route. Take it easy and drop by the Museum of Cycling in Gardolo di Mezzo and why not, make a toast with the “Sheriff” at the refreshment point in the same small town.
In the universal language of cycling, the magic words “Fausto Coppi” are enough to awaken in the collective imagination of the many fans of two wheels an entire cycling era and the famous rivalry with Gino Bartali. This is your opportunity to ride into history along the streets of the Coppi Brothers, through the vineyards of Barbera and Cortese. The route in fact includes a more relaxed first half, passing by the Cycling Museum in Novi Ligure, the town of Costante Girardengo, and then Tortona, followed by a sequence of ascents at Berzano, Sarezzano and Rampina-Passo Coppi, dirt road climb that has become the symbol of this ciclostorica, offering a taste of cycling of the yesteryears. It is impossible not to admire the beautiful scenery with terraced hills overlooking the plain cultivated as an ancient garden, vineyards and orchards, but also churches and towers, farmhouses and villas.
In an extraordinary town where time seems to stop, bicycles from different eras parade along the streets, timeless examples that have shaped the history of the sport and much more. Charm, tradition and modernity in fact characterise “L’imperiale”. An event of rare beauty in the ancient city of Rome, rich in art, history, centre of Christianity and capital of Italy: departing from the Roman Forum cyclists make their way along the Appian Way, once a hunting ground for champions in the Giro del Lazio, a classic in cycling books, and then Porta San Sebastiano and the Caffarella Park. Cycling of the yesteryears, at times on equally ancient roads.
La Emilio De Marchi
The heart of D.O.C.G. Prosecco wine, the hills of the Alta Marca Trevigiana (Treviso) combine places of art with wine culture and good living. Here, the scent of wine accompanies tourists and lovers of the two wheels, between vineyards, small villages and medieval remains. The route is set in beautiful hilly landscapes, through a multitude of Prosecco vineyards and vineyards producing quality reds, in the municipalities of Refrontolo and San Pietro di Feletto. Of course, there’s no shortage of a number of cult cycling landmarks, including Colle Umberto where Ottavio Bottecchia was born or villages of rare beauty like Cison del Valmarino, considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. Free your bike!
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