About 3 weeks ago the new “Ciclovia del Sole” it has been opened between Osteria Nuova and Mirandola on the Bologna – Verona line. A perfect opportunity to go out and try the new connection which, with some detours, allowed us to take a 3-day tour on cycle paths for 80% of the Bologna-Bologna trip.
So together with a friend (Daniele) who is planning a long bicycle tour of Italy, we decided on an exploratory tour of the new cycle path and then continuing along the right bank of the Po river, up to the Comacchio valleys park, and then back to Bologna through the Delta Po regional park and some small country roads.
To reach the beginning of the new of the Sun Route, we followed the gpx that Dynamo had prepared to attend the opening a few days earlier and which a friend had shared with me (thanks Emanuele!). In about 20km we were at the starting point just behind Osteria Nuova train station and immediately we gathered with other curious cyclists, busy taking pictures in front of the sign.
EuroVelo 7 (EV7), also named the “Sun Route”, is a 7,409 km long EuroVelo long-distance cycling route running north-south through the whole of Europe from the North Cape in Norway to the island of Malta. The inaugurated stretch that runs in part on the old railway route has been built following the best of the European standards. Equipped with rest areas, tables, fountains, recharging plugs and perhaps one day the abandoned stations will become bars and welcome points.
The mandatory stops along the way were many, for the photos between the passages on the bridges, the suns painted on the ground to show us the direction, the chat with other travellers who came to explore the new route like us.
Leaving the Sun Route through a couple of random detours on other cycle paths, we arrived at the “valley of the bumps and waters“, a lowland forest that with various gravel tracks and bird watching spots.
Leaving the park near San Martino Spino, we found ourselves crossing 3 regions in a few kms. In that area, in fact, Emilia, Veneto, and Lombardy intersect like in a crossroad. The streets in the countryside and along canals weren’t very busy and it did not take long to reach the bank of the Po river. We stopped in Fellonica to refill our water bottles and shop for dinner before heading out to find a spot on the river bank to camp. The area was very quiet, the sun was setting on the day and after dinner a well-deserved rest.
On the second day we followed the right bank of the Po river, going after Eurovelo 8 (EV8) “the the Mediterranean route” based for that part of the track on the Ciclovia Destra Po which is also part of the project of the VEnTO route (the cycle lane that will connect Venezia with Turin). Bicycles allow travellers to appreciate all that the territory is able to offer, the green landscape oscillates continuously between the natural areas of the wet floodplain with very tall poplars and willows and reassuring oaks with columnar trunks and the crops with all the productive essences from corn to wheat.
It is easy to be fascinated by such a pleasant territory, by its beauty and also by its moments of solitude, a cycle path that could bring a lot of tourism, but which in that day has welcomed only us and a few others. We slowly cycled all day and we stopped near Mesola close to the border between Veneto and Emilia. For that night we had the luck to find a very nice spot, a small fisherman’s house with a cozy wooden pier on the river bank from which we could appreciate the colours of the sunset when slow the sun went down across the river.
The third day was the day of the return, folded the tents, and reloaded the bikes we left for the area of the Comacchio Valleys, along another stretch of Eurovelo 8, we arrived near the “Bosco della Mesola” a nature reserve with very high trees grown on a land of alluvial origin, where the cycle path runs around the perimeter and then continues towards the sea. In a couple of hours, we reached the cycle path that connects Ravenna to Venice.
I was positively surprised to find out that is quite easy to follow the cycle lanes thanks to the signs placed along the road, even if for a while we took the inland “road of wines” to get to the regional park “Delta del Po”. The territory of the park is varied, its gravel path that goes between the canals of the lagoon area overlooking the salt pans and then continues through greener areas towards Argenta. The park of the “Delta del Po” is one of those places that enchant, its beauty is unique, you ride for 50km escort only by the sound of the wind in the company of pink flamingos and other birds of the reserve. I had already been here the last year, and even if it is an easy ride, I still like it very much (if you want to read more click here!)
The day was nearly over when we hit the road to reach Bologna, in front of me the rain wet the street but luckily after 20 minutes lost to fix a puncture on the rear tube we managed to arrive home fully dry!
Let’s see some numbers of the 3 days tour:
- Day One – Eurovelo 7: 95.5Km / 190m elevation / sunny with a cold wild camping night – (Komoot – tour gpx)
- Day Two – Eurovelo 8: 111Km / 320m / windy with a mild wild camping night – (Komoot – tour gpx)
- Day Three – Parco del delta del Po: 141Km / 280m / 1 puncture and a bit of rain – (Komoot – tour gpx)