UPDATED

February 25, 2019

BY Henry Gold

2 comments

UPDATED

February 25, 2019

BY Henry Gold

2 comments

Five (Or Fifty) Great Reasons To Cycle The Viva Italia

 

Ah, Italy! La Dolce Vita – the sweet life.

Consider the pizzas, the pasta, the wines, the history, the sights, the sea, the sun, the culture, the markets, the mountains, the valleys, the lakes, the medieval towns and the many, many other hidden gems. What other reasons could a cyclist possibly need to hop on their bicycle and explore this amazing country on the Viva Italia Cycling Tour?

It’s A Circular, One Of A Kind Trip – Like A Pizza Pie

Sure, you could take a one week holiday and cycle a part of Italy. If you are really serious, maybe take two weeks and cycle twice as much. When you cycle the Viva Italia, however, you will complete a full circle and experience not only the south, the north and the middle but Sicily and Sardinia as well. We even threw in a place called Corsica, which is kind of Italian even though one of the most famous Frenchmen, Napoleon, was born there.

Ride In The Footsteps Of A One Of A Kind Cyclist

There are a lot of great cyclists who have won the Giro and La Tour but there is only one, Gino Bartali, who, when interrogated and threatened by the Gestapo and Italian fascists, responded “I do what I feel [in my heart]”. You will cycle in the same area where he smuggled messages and false identity papers while supposedly training for his next bicycle race. When Gino died in 1990 Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, called him “a symbol of the most noble sportsmanship”,  the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) called for two days of mourning and a minute’s silence was observed before all sporting events.

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La Dolce Vita – The Sweet Life

I have already mentioned La Dolce Vita – the sweet life. If you are my age or older, you probably remember the great filmmaker, Fredrico Fellini, and the classic scene in his movie La Dolce Vita, with Marcelo Mastroianni and Elka Ekberg at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Of course, you will have an opportunity to visit the Fountain at the beginning and, if you wish, again at the end of the tour but I am actually thinking of the incredible desserts of Italy that you will have an opportunity to taste. The Canadian Food network even came up with a blog called 21 Italian Desserts You Need to Try Before You Die. What better way to do that than after a full day of cycling. On the other hand, if you are brave and decide to take a market food tour on your rest day in Palermo and are still standing by the end of it, you will be the recipient of the Passaporto del Mangione (Glutton’s Passport).

Where Else Would A Bicycle Be The Hero Of A Movie?

There are many movies that have something to do with bicycles or people that ride bikes but there is only one movie that is regarded as a masterpiece of Italian Neorealism and that is Ladri di Biciclette – The Bicycle Thief. If you have not yet seen it, be sure to watch it. It may just convince you to go to Rome. Considered as one of the 10 best movies ever made, the film will give you a sense of post-WWII Italy and recent Italian history. Another great film to see is called Il Postino – The Postman. This is about an exiled Pablo Neruda, the great Chilean poet, and a local postman who learns to write love poetry and is set on an Italian island. The postman, of course, delivers the mail by bicycle.

Fifty Reasons In One Paragraph

When one decides to write why anyone, and not just cyclists, should do a tour like Viva Italia, one does not know where to begin. Therefore I will now pretend to be James Joyce (think Ulysses) and let my stream of consciousness pour out on paper, or at least on my computer screen…Botticelli, have to go to the gallery in Uffizi in Florence, Caravagio, Rafaello, why is Italian government giving away free castles, I want to see them, want to walk where Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo walked, I wonder where Caesar was stabbed, gladiators (Russell Crowe) in the Coliseum facing lions that must have been pretty gory, Al Pacino the future Godfather, I wonder where it was filmed, would be cool to go there, was Nicolo Machiavelli so cold blooded or is the Prince a ‘how to’, I really should have finished that book, maybe I will do it when I am in Florence, the Medici’s one hell of family, they financed Michelangelo I think at least some of his works, what a great book Agony and Ecstasy, boy was I young then when I read it, 14 maybe 15 and still remember it now. I like to have a Chianti now, I wonder which part of Italy they come from, what did they drink in Pompeii, got to see that place, and those penises on the walls, crazy, what the heck were they obsessed with, palaces, gardens, cathedrals, operas, fishing villages, Naples should be cool, heard so much about it from my mom when she visited, when the commies allowed her to go for a visit, I was ten, man these memories sure surface, she brought home some Italian coffee, can’t wait to have real espresso, these Italian they invented it, ah cappuccino at mid morning stops, and than gelato for the afternoon stops with a tiramisu and they tell me cycling in Italy is great, the Italians just love cycling and fashion and their mothers, they sure make some great bikes, though I am not sure about towers, though I gather the Pisa tower is now stabilized. Can’t wait!

What I am really suggesting is that you turn off your cell phone, close your eyes and let your own stream of consciousness take you cycling in Italy. I am certain you will easily come up with 50 of your own reasons why you should open your eyes and sign up for the Viva Italia.

As the Romans used to say, ‘Carpe Diem’  – ‘Seize The Day!’

2 Comments for "Five (Or Fifty) Great Reasons To Cycle The Viva Italia"

….myou are picking up where I left off after hiking in the Tuscany a d Chinque terre!!!!! The most amazing part about an country in Europe is the thousands of years of history and Talt certainly has its fair share!!!!
COUNT ME IN ??

After hiking in Tuscany and Chinque Terre this complements my love for seeing the world.
All countries in Europe have thousands of years pf history and I will love to do this tour!!!

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