Touring Italy with the Giro d'Italia 2018 (Part Two)

We continue our Giro-inspired tour of Italy by visiting five more towns touched by the legendary cycling race. For Part One, click here.

Osimo-Imola, km 213
On their way from Osimo (Marche) to Imola (Emilia-Romagna), athletes will pass by Pesaro, birthplace of composer Gioacchino Rossini (of The Barber of Seville fame), where concerts and events have been planned throughout 2018 to celebrate 150 years since the composer’s death. Surely the tastiest way to honor him is by trying the ‘maccheroni alla Rossini’, inspired by the composer’s love for good food: the recipe includes parmigiano reggiano, truffle, prosciutto and more, a symphony of flavors perfectly blended.
Ferrara-Nervesa della Battaglia, km 180
Ferrara, with its small town feel, Renaissance history and good food is too often unfairly overlooked. The 13th leg of the Giro d’Italia departs from this town in Emilia-Romagna, where must-see sights include the moated medieval Este Castle, the Renaissance Diamanti Palace, the Romanesque Cathedral and the picture perfect Via delle Volte. Did you know? Ferrara is a Unesco World Heritage site.

Tolmezzo-Sappada, km.178
Close to the border with Austria, 130 km north of Venice, Sappada, the arrival point of the 15th leg of the Giro, is set among the Carnic Alps, as the race starts to get deep into the mountains. Beautiful natural sights to check out include the waterfalls known as Cascatelle di Muhlbach, the  three small Alpine lakes Laghi d’Olbe, the sources of the Piave river. There are several trails to explore the area on foot (or on a bike).

Abbiategrasso – Prato Nevoso, km 196
As it races through northern Italy, the Giro will pass by one of the most important wine landscapes of Italy, the Laghe-Roero and Monferrato, Unesco-inscribed. This stage of the tour will pass by Grinzane Cavour, whose 13th-century castle is the site of the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese, where visitors can taste a selection of Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera labels, as well as Piedmontese grappas, to be accompanied by local delicacies including such sweet treats as sweet truffles, Nocciolato, Brutti e Buoni, Baci di Dama and Giandujotti. The Museo Etnografico is another stop for those wishing to explore the history of truffle and a bit of modern Italian history as this is where Italian statesman Camillo Benso conte di Cavour spent some 20 years.

Susa-Cervinia, km 214
Before heading back south to Rome, where it will end, the Giro will travel by the Alps. Breuil-Cervinia is an Alpine resort in the Valle d’Aosta region, at 2,006 m (6,581 ft) above sea level, known for its snow-capped mountains, and especially the Matterhorn, whose pyramidal shape is unmistakable. Here’s where you can find the highest iced cave in Europe, 15 meters underground, which can be reached via the Klein Matterhorn cable car lift. The Adventure Park ‘Borna dou Djouas’ offers numerous trails in the forest, free climbing, horse riding and paragliding.

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The Curious Traveler
Udine Province
Grinzane Cavour