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Review: Emilia-Romagna

Specialist Holiday - Cycling


Cycling in Emilia Romagna, Italy

  • By SilverTraveller kathrynmcnicoll

    8 reviews

  • May 2011
  • Husband

62 people found this review helpful

We are reasonably experienced cyclists, so perhaps Emilia Romagna was a strange choice as it is one of the easiest cycling holidays offered by Headwater, but I chose it for its proximity to friends we wanted to visit. Flat it certainly was; a railway bridge was a major climb. This holiday includes some fantastic cities and towns, Ravenna, Comacchio, Bologna and particularly Ferrara. If for nothing else, do this trip for Ferrara. We spent a day there and, although it is not a big place, we felt we barely touched the surface. Definitely take your bikes – not for nothing is it called the cycling capital of Italy – and cycle round the huge walls as well as through the centre. Ultimately, though, I am not sure this holiday works. There are some stunning cities but the countryside in between is really quite boring and flat also means exposed, so that you can be sure that you will feel every wind that blows. As any cyclist knows, at least 75% of all winds are headwinds! and, in my view, headwinds are considerably harder than hills. On the first two days, too, we had to cycle along some busy roads. Italian drivers are very courteous towards cyclists and always attempt to give you a wide berth, slow down on dusty roads and so on. However, they are also very fast drivers and the sound of a car or lorry hammering up behind you on a road which only just takes two vehicles is not pleasant. The hotels we stayed in were good, excellent in the case of the exquisite three-roomed Le Occare, but meals are included in the price and usually we were on a set menu. This certainly makes life simpler but it also meant we were not able to sample some of the food for which the region is so famous. I should say that the bikes that Headwater provided were outstanding – I think ours were brand-new – and the staff on the end of the phone courteous and friendly. The staff back here have also followed up on the comments I made on my feedback form. We had a good time, but I would not choose this area again.

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