Singletrack, strade bianche* and trails: all the best bits of off-road biking in Romagna
Prepare to spin the legs and open your eyes wide! This off-road week is an ode to the diversity of cycling and landscapes here in Romagna.
We’ll go from the easy coastal trails, immersed in the generous natural world of the Po delta, to the strade bianche which trace the hills around Cesenatico, studded with rocks and castles. Finally we’ll push ourselves to the Apennine ridges that we can glimpse in the distance from our beach.
It is really here, in these woods that one can find one of Italy’s real off-road paradises: The National Park of the Casentino Forests. One of the largest forests in Europe, it features a limitless network of trails and forest tracks to satisfy every riding ability and fitness level; with the added benefit of being immersed in rare uninterrupted natural beauty. New discoveries, views and a pinch of adventure are the ingredients of every day on the bike. The intensity increases and leads, with a generous dose of fun, to the conquest of the best conditions Italy has to offer.
- Day 1: From Cesenatico to Ravenna - km 46
Sea, nature and Ravenna, the mosaic capital of Italy. An easy and spectacular route crossing the pine forests and nature reserves of the Po Delta National Park, temple of birdwatching and biodiversity. On reaching Ravenna, we won’t let you miss out on a bike tour of the historic centre’s mosaics and memories of Dante, before returning to Cesenatico by train.
- Day 2: Malatesta castles - km 40
A panoramic tour and a chance to admire the entire Riviera as if from your balcony. Rides that switch between the rocks of the old Malatesta family, distributed at regular intervals throughout the hills of the region which offer ups and downs which are not always gentle… But today’s the day to permit yourself little gastronomic treats in Longiano, with tasting of EVO Oil and a visit to the ancient Turchi olive farm.
- Day 3: Orizzonti Valmarecchia - km 68
Riding along the cycle path of the Marecchia river, in the valley of this ancient link between Romagna and Tuscany. The winding tour goes to the rock of San Leo, which climbs up after passing by the ancient convent on Sant’Igne where San Francesco stopped to pray. On the way back you can put yourself in the shoes of none other than… Piero della Francesca! Adopt the pose in profile on the eponymous balcony, not forgetting to put on the obligatory helmet.
- Day 4: By night! - km 24
After a day dedicated to the beach and relaxation, we’ll allow ourselves a special experience: the Lungomare Bike Hotel bike night. We’ll ride in the dark or with the help of lights, on white chalk country roads and easy tracks in the foothills, lit up by our front lights and by the desire to have fun.
- Day 5: The ridges between Romagna and Tuscany - km 42
The short transfer to The Casentino Forests National Park is time well spent. Today we’ll follow the Sentiero della Libertà (Freedom Trail) a panoramic, demanding hilltop trail with views of the Ridracoli lake, the azure heart of the Park. The day’s goal is the plateau which is home to the rural village of San Paolo in Alpe; here with a bit of luck you can also find herds of wild cattle and deer.
- Day 6: The sacred forests - km 48
Still in the heart of the Casentino Forests National Park, the route partly follows an old ferrovia (railway) used to transport timber, today transformed into a spectacular forest trail.
After a road traverse of the Passo dei Mandroli, we reach the abandoned, atmospheric village of Pietrapazza (Crazy Rock), testament to the centuries-old coexistence of man and nature which has characterised this place.
*white chalk roads