Cycling around Ferrara

Cycling around Ferrara

THE CITY OF BICYCLES

There is an indissoluble bond between Ferrara, capital of the Renaissance near the Po River, and the cycling tradition; in this city cyclists rule the roads. Hotels provide tourists with bicycles free of charge or they can be hired from various points around the city. A bicycle is certainly the best way to visit this city and its surrounding areas: this ecological and quiet means of transport, suitable in all situations, gives tourists a priceless and total sense of freedom. The province of Ferrara features a wonderful network of cycle routes that unfold through towns and countryside, across nature sanctuaries and villages in the plain, accompanied by traditions, landscape and different perfumes all united by the presence of water. Cycling here is made easier by the flat landscape without any hills, interrupted only by battlemented towers, magnificent trees or imposing river banks.

The cycle tourism routes around Ferrara are not just simple itineraries but true journeys into the city and its territory, to learn about its past and present and discover its stories and soul. Cycling in the province of Ferrara is a memorable experience.

Destra Po cycle route: 132 km OF NATURE, HISTORY AND LITERATURE

The Destra Po (FE 20) cycle route is an extraordinary itinerary that follows the Great River on its way to the sea, from Stellata di Bondeno, on the western border of the province of Ferrara to Gorino Ferrarese, in the heart of the Delta. Cars are not allowed along most of the route; it is suitable for both adults and children because it is very flat.  The route starts in Stellata and follows the Po River for about six kilometres, then it follows the Panaro River and among green wooded flood plains it reaches Bondeno. This town is rich in gastronomic traditions, which are promoted by many initiatives; many water works can be found here testifying to the continuous fight against floods.   The route then joins the right river bank of the Po River and reaches Pontelagoscuro, 7 km from Ferrara. After the Oasi dell’Isola Bianca, a sandy bird sanctuary in the bed of the Po River home to a varied colony of birds, the route leads to Francolino, which was once an important trade port, also mentioned by Ludovico Ariosto. Other intermediate towns, like Fossadalbero and Zocca, lead to Ro Ferrarese. After Ro Ferrarese, the cycle route follows once again the Po River bank and crosses the land reclaimed in past centuries by the Grande Bonifica Ferrarese which stretches south of Berra. The landscape with large cultivated areas interrupted only by the perfect geometries of canals and roads is mesmerising.    In Serravalle the route leaves the Venice branch of the Po River and follows the Po River of Goro passing by Mesola, with its magnificent late-Renaissance Castello Estense, and finally reaches Gorino Ferrarese, where the river meets the sea.

BEYOND THE BANK OF THE PO RIVER

From the City Walls of Ferrara to the Destra Po – 17 km.  A route to visit the fascinating City Walls: a magnificent combination of monumental beauty and military functionality.Easy cycle paths run on the top and at the foot of the fortified walls among red stones and local green trees like linden, plane, horse chestnut, oak and acacia interrupted by yew, ivy and box hedges. At the end of the tour the route continues towards the Po River, across the countryside that surrounds Ferrara, and joins the Destra Po cycle route on the right bank of the river. Burana-Destra Po loop – 51 km. It starts from Ferrara and goes towards Vigarano Pieve along the bank of the Canale Burana up to Bondeno. This cycle route runs among rows of poplars in a pleasant and peaceful landscape where pedalling is effortless. The route then follows the Destra Po cycle route up to Pontelagoscuro, and then returns to Ferrara across the Parco Urbano Giorgio Bassani. From the Destra Po to Ro Ferrarese and Copparo – 17 km. This route starts on the Po River and unfolds between Ro Ferrarese and Copparo surrounded by the atmosphere of the rural civilisation praised by the famous writer Riccardo Bacchelli in his book “Il mulino del Po” (The Mill on the Po). In the flood plain of Ro there is a working example of one of the ancient fluvial mills which populated the Great River over a century ago.From the Destra Po to the Abbazia di Pomposa (Abbey of Pomposa) – 34 km. From Gorino Ferrarese, last leg of the Destra Po cycle route, to the famous Benedictine monastery: this itinerary is of great historical, artistic and natural interest. The Abbey of Pomposa, spiritual beacon in the Delta since the 7th century, is an extraordinary testimony to medieval beauty and spirituality: magnificent decorations adorn the Gothic-Byzantine façade; the floor mosaic and cycles of 14th century frescoes by painters from Bologna decorate the inside.

FROM THE ALPS TO THE PLAIN. FROM Bolzano TO Ferrara 313 km

A north-south bicycle journey to discover the richness and variety of the Italian landscape, nature and culture. Bolzano and Ferrara are connected by a long itinerary which includes a part of the Ciclopista del Sole route. This cycle tourism itinerary touches four regions: Trentino Alto Adige, Veneto, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. The route descends from the magic valley of Bolzano surrounded by woods and vineyards in the heart of the Alto Adige Dolomite region, reaches the city of Trento, goes through medieval villages, runs along Lake Garda, follows the Mincio River and after Mantua runs along the Po River down to Ferrara, the city of bicycles. Some parts of this route can be done alternating train and bicycle.

FROM Chioggia TO Ferrara AND Ravenna. 643 KM IN 10 STAGES

This itinerary follows the northern Adriatic coast among the uncontaminated nature of the Parco del Delta del Po and the splendid works of art of Ferrara and Ravenna, passing through delightful towns like Chioggia, Comacchio, Cervia and Mesola. Chioggia – Porto Levante 38 km. Porto Levante – Mesola 74 km. Mesola – Ferrara 77 km. A fascinating itinerary that starts in Mesola and unfolds across the countryside of the Upper Province of Ferrara surrounded by its magnificent and sublime atmospheres: in Jolanda di Savoia there is the Oasi dei Bacini dello Zuccherificio, and straight after there is Tresigallo, small capital of Italian functionalism. The route then follows the Volano branch of the Po river up to the edge of the Estense City. Ferrara – Argenta 50 km This itinerary explores the area south of Ferrara along the Primaro branch of the Po River with a pleasant string of villages like Gaibanella, Sant’Egidio, Monestirolo, Marrara, San Nicolò and Traghetto. The route then reaches the beautiful Argenta and Marmorta Valleys.Argenta – Bagnacavallo 49 km. Bagnacavallo – Riolo Terme 72 km. Riolo Terme – Ravenna 76 km. Ravenna – Cervia – Ravenna 82 km. Ravenna – Comacchio 70 km. This itinerary runs up along the Adriatic coast along the Valli di Comacchio; a journey into the magnificent landscape of the valleys at the discovery of the atmospheres created by nature and of the fascinating lagoon city of Comacchio. Comacchio – Mesola 55 km. From the lagoon city, capital of the Parco del Delta del Po, the route crosses the Lidi di Comacchio, Valle Bertuzzi, and Abbazia di Pomposa up to the Castello Estense of Mesola. Road maps, road books, GPS data and altimetric profiles of all cycle routes can be downloaded from www.ferraraterraeacqua.it/cicloturismo.html. The routes can also be seen on Google Earth. The new free ipod guides can be downloaded from www.ferrarainfo.com to cycle listening to a guided tour of the area and its history.

FERRARA TOURIST INFORMATION: Castello Estense - Tourist board Tel: + 39 0532 299303 Fax: + 39 0532 212266 e-mail: infotur@provincia.fe.itwww.ferrarainfo.com Opening hours: Monday - Saturday 9.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m./ 2.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.; Sundays and holidays: 9.30 a.m.- 1.00 p.m./2.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m.

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