From the Brennero Pass at the border between Italy and Austria to Lake Garda, and on to Mantua, Bologna, Pistoia and Florence, by bike on a dedicated track. That’s the idea behind the Ciclovia del Sole (literally Cycle Path of the Sun), a 670-km proposed cycling path, part of one of the most important European cycling routes, the Euro Velo 7, which goes from North Cape to Malta for a total of 7,400 km.
The section from the Brenner Pass to Mantua has already been built, with work currently under way for the Bologna stretch, which will connect Lombardy, the region where Mantua is located, to the capital of Emilia-Romagna: a total of 46 km, of which 32 will follow the abandoned route of the Bologna-Verona railway. The cost is estimated at €5M; once this stretch is completed, it will be the turn of Tuscany, tasked with completing the stretch to Florence.
Once completed, the Ciclovia del Sole will measure 670 km (27 in Veneto, 127 in Lombardy, 360 Emilia Romagna and 156 in Tuscany). Tourists will be able to use public transportation, including trains and buses for stretches deemed too difficult, or when they wish to reach places of interest.
There are currently nine more long-distance cycling path projects supported by Italy’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Biking is an environmental-friendly mode of travel that may also bring new economic opportunities to areas that are seeing depopulation and would benefit from an increase in visitors, who in turn would have the chance to experience lesser-known destinations and more easily get in touch with locals.