Cycling in the cities of Love
February is quintessentially the month of lovers and we dedicate thi sarticle to all people who ‘love’. We suggest you give yourself a gift, with the one you love, a weekend in some hotel that will give you unique experiences, be they culinary, wellness, scenic, cultural, but above all cycling! So here are 6 itineraries to do by bike in as many romantic cities, all to be discovered on two wheels.
The Veneto city inextricably linked to the love of Romeo and Juliet is our first choice for the Valentine’s weekend dedicated to lovers. As you know, the story of the two young people is from the pen of William
Shakespeare, who in turn was inspired by a novella. Be that as it may, Verona retains some real historical places that serve as the setting for Shakespeare’s tragedy, because a kernel of truth exists. That is why we recommend a historical and gastronomic itinerary dedicated to love, in the city whose historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You must absolutely pass by the 13th-century building at number 23 Via
Cappello, a few steps from the central Piazza delle Erbe, which is Juliet’s House, where the Cappello family coat of arms stands out on the large arch of the courtyard and on whose exposed brick façade stands the famous balcony where the young woman waited for her beloved. A short distance away, on Via delle Arche Scaligere, stands Romeo’s house, and the tour can end at Juliet’s Tomb, where a former convent of friars once stood just outside the city walls, at Via Pontiere 35. An easy twenty kilometres in the name of love.
We stayed in Veneto for another city that with its atmosphere and its uniqueness is suitable for those who love and are in the mood for romantic days. The historic center of the city is forbidden to two wheels and is entirely pedestrian, although it is possible to drive the bicycle by hand for the short journey between Piazzale Roma and the Venice Santa Lucia train station. But it is possible to cycle, for example the cycle path of the islands of Lido and Pellestrina, the VENTO cycle route from Turin to Venice and the Munich – Venice cycle path. There are
cycle-pedestrian paths in Mestre and in the other towns on the mainland, in the San Giuliano and Albanese parks in Mestre, and there are also cycle routes along the Veneto coast, along the waterways of the hinterland and in the lagoon. To reach the islands of Lido and Pellestrina with your bike in tow, you can use both private boats, bragossi, and public transport lines, the ferry-boat service. Among the most romantic logos of the lagoon city today is the Bridge of Sighs, but at the time of the Serenissima they “sighed” not for love, but because
the prisoners crossing it knew that it would be the last time they saw the outside world.
The church of Dante and Beatrice, a walk through the Giardino dei Semplici, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, or watch the sunset over the Ponte Santa Trinità. The entire area around the city
centre is served by cycle paths, and the pedestrian zones and city parks are connected to the cycle paths via Via Cavour. In the Campo di Marte area, a cycle path runs from Viale Don Minzoni to Via XX Settembre.
While among the itineraries not to be missed are the Parco delle Cascine and the Giro ai Renai. The historical centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are many things to see, but we recommend you explore the most magical places in Florence by bike, such as Piazza Duomo, Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza Signoria and Piazza Santa Croce, the Loggia dei Lanzi, the Uffizi Museum, Ponte Vecchio and the Lungarno. And if there are many artistic treasures in the city, a bike ride in the countryside will hold many surprises in store for you. Don’t miss, for example, the San Miniato Fortress where Michelangelo worked and the church of San Bartolomeo a Monte Oliveto where Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Annunciazione was found.
A walk hand in hand in the park of the Pincio or Giancolo from where you can see the whole city, or at the Trevi Fountain, which on the right side has a rectangular basin with two small spouts: this is the fountain of lovers and it is said that couples who drink at this fountain will remain in love and faithful forever. There are several healthy cycle paths that cross the city, such as the Tiberina, some thirty kilometres that connect the capital from the north to the south side, skirting the banks of the Tiber as far as Ponte Milvio. A cycle path goes from the EUR to Caracalla: from the ancient Aurelian Wall it connects the route to the thermal baths and the centre. A path joins Villa Ada to Villa Borghese, the two municipal parks of the capital, the former housing numerous
neoclassical buildings, the latter including the Italian garden, large English-style areas, fountains and ponds. The Appian Way cycle path, this Roman road connected Rome with Brindisi and was considered by the ancient Romans to be the Regina viarum, the queen of roads.
Lady of the Baroque, the main centre of the Salento also knows how to offer gourmet experiences to those who want to visit it. Baroque art characterises the spires, portals, churches, monuments and dwellings in the historic centre and on a bike tour of the city we recommend passing by the Roman Amphitheatre, which together with the Theatre is the most important evidence of the Roman era. Near Piazza Sant’Oronzo
stands the Castle built by King Charles V in 1539; another must-see is the Cathedral, which is the hub of the city’s religious life. If you also want to get to know the countryside and the centuries-old olive groves of the Salento, you can ride along the ‘tratturi’ (sheep-tracks) to learn about the process of transforming olives in the underground oil mills. We recommend visiting the workshops of local artisans and tasting the delicious wines and typical food. Lecce is a flat and sunny city, perfect for cycling throughout the year.
Let’s stay in Puglia to breathe in the atmosphere of the Itria Valley, to walk or cycle along the Bari seafront or to discover the old town and the Murat district. The historic center is a maze of alleys, courtyards, historic and local buildings, with about thirty churches and architecture to get to know such as that of the Romanesque Basilica of San Gregorio or the Cathedral of San Sabino, not to forget the Norman-Swabian Castle, commissioned by Frederick II. From here, crossing the Arco Basso, Reach the well-known Via delle Orecchiette, where you can learn how to make traditional fresh pasta. Continuing the ride you reach the Museum of Santa Scolastica and the wall that leads to Piazza Ferrarese and the Margherita theater. Here you can cycle along the longest promenade in Italy. And once you leave Bari the old road towards nineteenth century Bari where you can see stately buildings in Art Nouveau style, the Kursaal theater, Santa Lucia, the Petruzzelli theater, the Piccinni theater and e Palazzo Fizzarotti.