Emilia Romagna: culture, historic cities and nature
Ferrara – Voghenza – Pomposa – Comacchio – Marina Romea – Ravenna
A fantastic cycling tour to discover Emilia Romagna: excellent food & wine, culture, interesting historic cities, stunning nature, the sea, and last but not least majestic Byzantine mosaics! A mix of experiences will make this cycling holiday memorable for all participants. FERRARA, the starting point, was during the period of the house of Este an important political, artistic and cultural center and it became the capital of the Grand Duchy of Ferrara. Today the town embraces with its well-preserved town walls numerous churches, museums, and enchanting streets inviting you for shopping, taste a good glass of wine in the many wine bars, or enjoy the typical and delicious Cappellacci di Zucca.
Once you leave Ferrara, you pedal amongst the cultivated fields of the Emilia Romagna countryside. In Voghenza there is the Tomb of San Leo or the Roman Necropolis. The city of Comacchio is without doubt a highlight. This town of Etruscan origin, throughout the Middle Ages, suffered numerous attacks by the Republic of Venice until it passed under Papal dominion in 1598. Famous is the Trepponti Bridge that will offer you exciting views… and of course, you can’t leave the city without tasting the local specialty ‘Anguilla di Comacchio‘ (eel) in one of the many fish restaurants. On the last day, you enter beautiful Ravenna, the city of mosaics. Ravenna is full of history and art. People from all over the world visit its colourful byzantine mosaics.
The daily program of the 7-day tour
Arrival in Ferrara and at approximately 6 pm you will meet our local contact person for the delivery of bikes, route notes and information about the tour. If you arrive early, you could visit the town of Ferrara that is positioned on the shores of the Po di Volano, a stream of the Po River. The town and the Po delta are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage. Many monuments are worth a visit, like the Estense Castle and the cathedral of Saint George, and during the year, the town offers many cultural initiatives.
Overnight with breakfast in Ferrara
Breakfast and last chance to visit the medieval – renaissance city centre with the narrow streets, the gardens of many historic buildings and houses. Once in the saddle, we recommend that you visit the Basilica of San Giorgio Fuori le Mura, the oldest church in the city. A cycle path starting near the Ducal Baths will bring you to Gambulaga. The itinerary will wind through the cultivated countryside up to Voghenza that, since the Este era, was an important center on the bank of the Po River. Here you can make an interesting break to visit the Tomb of San Leo inside the Church, the Modelling Museum, the Necropolis of Voghenza, the Delizia del Belriguardo, the summer residence of the Este Family, and have a glimpse of the remains of the Roman Necropolis. Outside Gambulaga, it will be possible to see another Delizia not far from the two lakes of Verginese.
Overnight with breakfast and dinner in Gambulaga / Medelana
Distance: 28 km / 17,4 miles
Back in the saddle, you reach the town of San Vito, where we suggest visiting the church of San Vito, which is together with the church of Argenta, one of the oldest in the Ferrara area. Continuing to Migliarino, the town of seven towers, you cycle among cultivated fields following the ancient riverbed of the Po di Volano all the way up to Codigoro. We suggest having a look at the Bishop’s Palace, then the cycle path passes the Benedictine Abbey of Pomposa with the 11th-century bell tower, and of particular interest is the Romanesque church. Few people know that the monk Guido d’Arezzo, during his stay in Pomposa, was the inventor—or by some, developer—of the modern staff notation. The tasting of Bosco Eliceo wines and other typical products near the Abbey is optional but highly recommended.
Overnight with breakfast and dinner in Codigoro / Pomposa / Volano
Distance: 39 or 47 km / 24,2 or 29,2 miles
The route, picked up at Abbey of Pomposa, continues along the cycle path on the bank of the Po di Volano or through the reclaimed areas of the Giralda Valley, admiring the Canneviè Oasis and observing the birds that populate it. It goes from the northernmost part of the Lidi di Comacchio to the mouth of the Po di Volano in the Sacca di Goro, then you take the cycle path in the Pineta di Volano Nature Reserve to go to the Lido delle Nazioni. On the way, you will enjoy a stretch of wild coast. From Lido delle Nazioni along the lake bearing the same name, you will travel along the shores to Porto Garibaldi, one of the ports in the North Adriatic with the most important fleet fishing Blue fish. It is an excellent place to taste it fresh. With the help of the ferry for pedestrians and bicycles (for a fee) in the port-canal, you will reach Lido degli Estensi and head towards the Comacchio Valleys along a road section and then joining a cycle path. You cannot miss the panoramic view from the turret on the Logonovo canal and, along the way, surrounded by the water of Valle Fattibello and the saltpans, you can admire the splendid spectacle of numerous flamingos and other birds until you reach the lagoon city of Comacchio.
Overnight with breakfast and dinner in Comacchio
Distance: 37 or 47 km / 23 or 29,2 miles
Today you heading to Marina Romea, you leave the historic center of the lagoon city behind. You skirt the alle Fattibello, until reaching Foce Station, the nerve center of the entire valley ecosystem, which can be observed from above by climbing on the turret. The marshes of the Po Delta are one of the largest lagoon systems in Italy. From here, pedaling on the embankment, you will first arrive at Casone Donnabona and then on the embankment ‘Argine Agosta’. From Sant’Alberto you have two possibilities to reach Marina Romea:
- Continue along the embankment without taking the ferry, keeping the valley on your left, until you reach the Romea state road, after which you will continue to Casal Borsetti; from there you will reach Marina Romea.
- Take the ferry and after crossing Sant’Alberto, join the cycle path that runs along the Lamone River until you reach the Romea state road, after which you continue to Casal Borsetti and from there you will reach Marina Romea.
Overnight with breakfast in Marina Romea
Distance: 46 km / 28,6 miles
The last stage of this tour brings you to Ravenna. From Marina Romea you will continue first to Porto Corsini, where you will take a small ferry (for a fee) to get to Marina di Ravenna. You will then cycle to the oasis of Ortazzo and the Pineta di Classe to reach Sant’Apollinare in Classe, built to house the remains of the patron St. Apollinaris. Inside the church are magnificent polychrome mosaics to see. After the ancient port of Classe, you arrive at the city center of Ravenna. Upon request and booking in advance, it will be possible to organize a guided visit to the famous sites of the city.
Overnight with breakfast in Ravenna
Distance: 31 km / 19,2 miles
Breakfast, visit of Ravenna and transfer to Ferrara
Impressions of a cycling tour in Emilia Romagna
Medium-easy tour. You cycle along country lanes, dirt roads and where possible you use cycle paths. Attention is asked entering and leaving the cities of Ravenna and Ferrara, where roads are busier. A minimum of pedaling experience and a good physical condition is required. Children need to have a good cycle experience.
The daily distances are between 28 km / 17,4 mi and 47 km / 29,2 mi
Total distance: from 181 km / 112,4 to 199 km / 123,6 mi
Every day from 15 March until 30 November
2 or more people.
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