A year has passed since an agreement protocol for building a series of cycle routes for tourists was launched. Together with the MIT (Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport) and the MIBACT (Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism), eight Italian regions have made the effort to build and maintain their bike routes: Piedmont, Veneto, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Campania, Basilicata e Puglia.
This is the first step towards building cycle paths, which will extend and join together all over the peninsula, including the ones formally recognised at European Union level.
The routes which will be given priority – which are over 1500 km long, and that should be completed by 2018 – are the following: i) From Verona to Florence – “Ciclovia del Sole”; ii) From Venice to Turin – “Ciclovia Ven-To”; iii) from Caposele (AV) to Santa Maria di Leuca (LE) – “Ciclovia dell’acquedotto pugliese” or “dell’Acqua”; iv) Cycling Ring Road – (Ring Road of the City of Rome).
Largely approved by associations who view bikes as a privileged means of transport, this protocol promotes their requests. These requests match the interest of municipalities and authorities to create infrastructure able to link cycle routes in between the various Italian regions.
All together: regions and the municipalities’ technical services, cycling and territorial associations (both cultural and environmental), departments of Universities (specialised in territorial planning) created the above-mentioned itineraries.
By taking a global approach, they should be able to create routes which should help relaunch what is considered to be tourism on a “smaller scale”, alias tourism for cyclists. The latter is more respectful of the environment and social aspects than aimless mass tourism, which is indifferent to protecting cultural and environmental goods.
Fewer bicycles on predominantly “four-wheeled” roads should lead to a considerable reduction of cyclists being injured or killed because of this dangerous combination of cars and bicycles on the road. Therefore, let us seize the opportunity to profit of these bicycle routes, which allow us to enjoy our landscape and environment in a safe manner.