Published on: 12 March 2013 | Last updated: 30 June 2014
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The Po provides the west-east connection as it flows along the northern border of the region. Heading east it goes Pavia via Piacenza and Cremona and on towards Ferrara and the sea north of Ravenna. Heading west it takes you to Torino and beyond. There are two Po cycleways: the Destra Po cycleway follows the south bank through Emilia- Romagna while the Sinistra Po follows the north bank through Lombardia and the Veneto. The Po cycleways form part of the transnational Eurovelo 8 Mediterranean route.
Two other major international cycleways cross the region provide routes between the Po over the Apennines to Toscana or Liguria.
The Ciclopista del Sole (EuroVelo7) goes from Mantova via Bologna towards Pistoia and then Firenze. You could also opt to continue along the Po and then head for Bologna via Ferrara. Heading north it takes you via Mantova and Verona, towards Trento, the Südtirol and the border with Austria.
The Ciclovia Francigena (until recently called the Ciclovia dei Pellegrini) (Pilgrims’ Cycleway), which forms part of Eurovelo 5, is ‘inspired by’ the pilgrim routes especially the via Francigena. It links Piacenza with Pontremoli in Toscana - going via Fidenza.
The Ciclovia Tirrenica is a bicitalia route that goes from Verona and Mantova via Parma before joining with the Ciclovia Francigena (until recently called the Ciclovia dei Pellegrini) near the border with Toscana.
If you are heading towards the Adriatic coast you can simply stick with the Po and then turn north towards Venezia or south towards Ravenna. As well as being a destination that’s well worth a visit (and a good campsite) Ferrara provides a useful crossroads with routes heading to Venezia and Ravenna.
If you plan on following the coast take care to avoid the SS 309 Romeo which is one of the busiest roads in Italy used by hundreds of lorries heading to and from central Europe.
Emilia-Romagna is of course home to four UNESCO-listed cities (Ravenna, Ferrara, Modena and Parma) with Mantova-Sabbioneta, Venezia and Urbino not far away, not to mention cities like Bologna, Cremona and Piacenza, it makes a worthwhile touring destination in its own right - not just a place to pass through on your way to Firenze and Roma.
There are routes linking Ferrara with Bologna and Ravenna, and Bologna with Modena. Unfortunately there are no official routes connecting Modena with Reggio Emilia and Parma, but going via the Po ( eg Parma-Sabbioneta-Mantova then Mantova-Bologna or Mantova-Ferrara) would be quite a reasonable itinerary to follow.
Cycleways and cycle routes in neighbouring regions
National and international routes
- Ciclopista del Sole (eurovelo7)
- Ciclovia Tirrenica
- Ciclovia Destra Po (eurovelo8)
- Ciclovia Francigena (until recently called the Ciclovia dei Pellegrini) (eurovelo5)