Pedaling Through Italy: The Adriatic Cycle Route

Cycle tourism can represent a unique way of savoring at a relaxed pace what Italy has to offer in terms of landscapes, towns, and historical sites.

Cycle Tourism Italy
The Ciclovia Adriatica should connect Trieste to Leuca, linking the Adriatic coast of Italy from north to south. Photo: Evertone Vila, Unsplash.

Cycle tourism can represent a unique way of savoring at a relaxed pace what Italy has to offer in terms of landscapes, towns, and historical sites.

Italy can boast a coastline of around 8,000 kilometers: starting from the left-hand side, our peninsula is bordered by the Ligurian Sea, the Sea of Sardinia, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Strait of Sicily, the Ionian Sea, and the Adriatic Sea.

Today we are going to focus on this latter since there’s an interesting project about cycle tourism that includes its name. The project is called Ciclovia Adriatica, that is to say ‘the Adriatic Cycle Route’, and is still under development.

Cycle tourism in Italy and Europe

This cycle path should connect Trieste to Leuca: therefore, it would link the Adriatic coast of Italy from north to south — or vice versa, depending on where you start your journey.

The idea is that of connecting the pre-existing stretches of road (in fact, numerous cycle tracks had autonomously been built by the various municipalities and regions before the project of the Ciclovia was born) so that cyclists don’t have to resort to the main roads every few kilometers.

The Ciclovia Adriatica is thus part of an ambitious project by FIAB Federazione Italiana Ambiente e Bicicletta (the Italian Federation of Urban Cyclists and Bicycle Tourism, which is also the Italian National EuroVelo Coordinator) named Bicitalia. This aims at creating a network of long-distance cycleways linking both different areas of Italy, and Italy to the European cycle route network Eurovelo.

19 routes connecting 42 countries in Europe have already been mapped out, and the names of these trails evoke the history of the places traversed by them: to give just one example, the EuroVelo 3 Pilgrim Route has been designed to pass through 7 countries and 20 UNESCO sites, allowing cyclists to discover famous pilgrim routes and religious buildings, such as the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

The Ciclovia Adriatica

Going back to Italy, there is an abundance of potential and a lot of work to do in order to make Bicitalia a reality. The demand for sustainable tourism is growing: accordingly, with its valuable project, FIAB is trying to promote the discovery of our territory through the use of the bicycle, which is an environment-friendly means of transport combining recreation and physical activity.

Cycle tourism can represent a unique way of savoring at a relaxed pace what Italy has to offer in terms of landscapes, towns, and historical sites. Along the way, hotels and B&Bs equipped with maintenance tools and space to leave one’s bicycle are ready to accommodate travelers: indeed, FIAB has also started a website called Albergabici with the purpose of facilitating the organization of routes and night stops.

These are the regions interested by the Ciclovia Adriatica: Puglia, Molise, Abruzzo, Marche, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, and Friuli Venezia-Giulia. Otranto, Lecce, Vieste, Termoli, Pescara, Ancona, Pesaro, Ravenna, Venezia are, from south to north, just some of the towns of the beautiful Adriatic coast of Italy.

Now, think about how long the ‘East Coast’ of Italy is. Hundreds and hundreds of kilometers correspond to different landscapes: from lagoons and sandy islands in the area close to the Po Delta, the Comacchio Lagoons, and on to the beaches of Romagna, Marche, to the Trabocchi Coast, the Gargano promontory, down to the Tacco dello Stivale (or ‘the Heel of the Boot’).

As I have already mentioned, the Ciclovia Adriatica is a work in progress and, as is the case for the Eurovelo routes, many of the cycle tracks are still under development, so always check the Bicitalia website to plan your route.

However, the completion of this project is very much to be desired: it would mean opening our beautiful country to new ways of tourism and new opportunities in terms of traveling and exploring while taking care of the environment.

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