Family Cycling Vacation: Discovering the Charms of Emilia-Romagna

By We Love Cycling

Emilia-Romagna, the culinary heart of Italy, offers not only delectable food and wine but also breathtaking landscapes and historical sites. For families that enjoy cycling, it’s a haven, presenting diverse routes from flat terrains to gentle hills, all amidst the backdrop of rich Italian culture and history. Here’s a guide for your pedal-powered journey.

Bologna to Modena (40 km)

The path of the 18 bridges, Emilia Romagna. © Profimedia

Suitable for: Children aged 10 and above

This scenic route begins in Bologna, known for its medieval architecture, and leads you to Modena, famous for its balsamic vinegar. As you cycle, expect to traverse through picturesque countryside, offering views of vineyards and ancient castles. En route, consider a stopover at an agriturismo for a taste of traditional Emilian dishes. With a distance of 40 km, it’s ideal for children 10 and older.

Parma to Reggio Emilia (30 km)

An aerial view of the town of Parma. © Profimedia

Suitable for: Children aged 8 and above

Starting from Parma, the birthplace of Parmesan cheese, this relatively flat route takes you to Reggio Emilia, home to the tricolore, the Italian national flag. Along the 30 km journey, you’ll pedal past lush fields, historic farmhouses, and cheese dairies where you can learn about the cheese-making process. Suitable for children aged 8 and above, this route blends education with enjoyment.

Ferrara’s Historic Center Loop (15 km)

Stroll around Ferrara’s historic center. © Profimedia

Suitable for: Children aged 6 and above

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Ferrara’s historic center is a pleasure to explore by bike. This 15 km loop takes you through medieval streets, alongside ancient walls, and past majestic palaces. With its flat terrain and numerous attractions like the Estense Castle, it’s perfect for families with younger kids.

Ravenna to Cesenatico (40 km)

Visit the harbour of Cesenatico and enjoy the local seafood. © Profimedia

Suitable for: Children aged 10 and above

From Ravenna, known for its Byzantine mosaics, this coastal route leads you to Cesenatico, a charming maritime town with a canal designed by Leonardo da Vinci. As you ride the 40 km stretch, savor views of the Adriatic Sea, sandy beaches, and pinewoods. Once in Cesenatico, indulge in fresh seafood at a local trattoria.

Rimini to San Leo (35 km)

San Leo
The fortress of San Leo. © Profimedia

Suitable for: Children aged 12 and above

Embarking from the bustling resort town of Rimini, this route delves inland towards the mystical town of San Leo, with its impressive fortress perched on a cliff. As you navigate the 35 km of varied terrain, with its undulating hills and valleys, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the Montefeltro area. Due to its challenging sections, it’s best for families with older children.

Bonus adventure: Panaro River Bike Path (50 km)

Panaro River
The valley of Panaro River. © Profimedia

Suitable for: Families with teens

For those seeking a longer ride, the Panaro River Bike Path is a delight. Spanning 50 km, it offers a serene journey alongside the river, passing through forests, orchards, and picturesque villages. With well-maintained paths and several rest stops, it’s a relaxed yet engaging route for families with teenagers.

Emilia-Romagna is a cyclist’s dream. From its gastronomic delights to its rich history and natural beauty, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re meandering through medieval towns, tasting local produce, or challenging yourself on hilly terrains, it promises a memorable family bonding experience. Always remember to soak in the views, relish the local flavors, and above all – enjoy the ride!