A magnificent Country, full of history and culture, cities and uncontaminated natural landscapes, high and majestic mountains and crystal-clear sea; Italy is the place you want to visit for your holidays to follow in the footsteps of the great Romantic aristocrats who used to choose it as the destination of their educational pilgrimage. It might not have been their problem, but the modern tourist is looking for a comfortable and sustainable way of visiting the cities, and cycling is proven to be the best and easy way for your group or family.
But the more you want to see, the more you will ride and get tired; how to solve this problem?
Pirelli has developed a new e-bike rental service: Cycle-e Around. With assisted pedals, Cycle-e Around will provide you the sustainable and traffic-less vehicle you were looking for, travelling with almost no effort.
Now, which city to visit, and what are its main attractions? Here we provide you with some ideas to test the incredible performance of your new rental electric bike.
1. Land of art and wine, introducing Florence
Our itinerary starts from Piazza del Duomo, just 10 minutes from Santa Maria Novella train station, one of the most iconic squares in Italy and probably of the world.
Here you will find the majestic Cathedral of Santa Maria in Fiore, in XV century the world’s biggest church, with its unique Cupola del Brunelleschi, the biggest masonry cupola in the world. Step into the Cathedral to see the world’s widest frescoed surface, 3600 m², painted between 1572 and 1579 by Giorgio Vasari. Admire the impressive mastery of Vasari’s Biblical scenes, painted on the interior of the Cupola del Brunelleschi to testify Florence’s splendor and Christian faith.
Let’s continue our tour heading towards the Arno river to find the beauty of the Ponte Vecchio. This bridge crossing the Arno was the only survivor of the Nazi bombings in 1944, and still nowadays houses typical wooden medieval workshops.
Just a few miles away you will find Piazza della Signoria with the remarkable medieval silhouette of Palazzo Vecchio, dating back to the XIV century and former residence of Cosimo I de’ Medici, of the Parliament of the newly established Regno d’Italia, and now of the Mayor of Florence. Facing the façade of Palazzo Vecchio, you should be able to see a narrow alley on the right; follow that path and prepare yourself to visit one of the most important museums in Italy: the Uffizi. It’s pointless to list all the artworks contained, but just to name a few, think of the works of artists like Botticelli, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and Leonardo da Vinci all reunited in the same place. A must-see.
Have a break and enjoy the local cured meats this land is famous for, not to mention Chianti, Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino and so on. Florence is an artistic and gastronomic artwork.
2. An incredible mixture of different cultures cohabiting, introducing Naples
This time we start from the very center of the old town, which, by the way, is the biggest in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage site, spreading out for 17 km² and dating back to before the Grecian domination.
Explore Spaccanapoli, the picturesque narrow street splitting up the old town, teeming with small shops and patisseries you might want to try, and head to Piazza del Plebiscito, one of the most iconic of the city, where you will find the Basilica di San Francesco di Paola facing the Palazzo Reale di Napoli, all surrounded by the dazzling colonnade. We will continue our trip around Naples reaching the Theater San Carlo, one of the most spacious of Italy, to find in its vicinity the Maschio Angioino, or Castel Nuovo.
This behemothian medieval castle, dating back to the 1266, was erected by Carlo I d’Angiò after the defeat of the House of Staufen and the subsequent coronation as King of Sicily.
By the way, Italy is famous for espresso coffee and pizza, but Naples is also famous for being specialist in these two fundamentals of Italian cuisine. Pizza is perfect for every meal; allow yourself some time to try the amazing specialties of the place, you won’t regret it.
3. Discover the door to central Europe and the Balkans, introducing Trieste
We will inaugurate our tour of Trieste introducing Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia.
One of the most beautiful squares in Italy, Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia is also the largest square on the shores of a sea in all Europe. The square was built during the Austro-Hungarian domain, when Trieste was one of the Empire’s most important ports, all testified by the Palazzo della Luogotenenza Austriaca, the symbol of the Habsburg military and political power.
Facing the Town Hall, you will see the Fontana dei Quattro Continenti, built in the XVIII century by Giovanni Battista Mazzoleni in order to celebrate the new status granted by Charles VI of tax-free harbor. From here, let’s move to the Piazza della Borsa, the former economic center of the city and now surrounded by splendid buildings, among which stands out the daring architecture of art nouveau Casa Bartoli.
In the surroundings of the square, try to immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere of the Trieste’s Jewish Ghetto, where you can find one of the biggest synagogues of the whole Country.
Let’s go back to cycling and let’s ride a few kilometers north to reach the spectacular sight of the Castello di Miramare and its park. This outstanding castle, with its beautiful view on the Gulf, was built in 1860 when the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, caught by a terrible storm, was forced to take shelter in around the place where the castle is now located; he then decided to build his house on that limestone spur.