Chapter 3: Old Friends Reunited!

DAY 3


Are You Afraid Of Heights?

Not so many kms that day but we had fun and relax all day long!
We left the three fortified city in order to Reach Sliema passing throug La Valletta. 
These pics were taken at the moment of our arrival, on the top of a rock on the port. If you are afraid of heights we really do not reccomend it. 
If it’s not a problem you will find a beautiful view!
La Valletta is the Capital of Malta and it’s very particular for its style. It has been built in a Baroque style with some elements of Mannerist, Neo classical and modern Architecture.
A kind of style you can find in all the island but especially here. The city is also knowed as “La superbissima” in Italian that means “the most proud” due to its magnificent baroque palces, gardens and churches. 
In 1980 has been recognized as World Heritage City by Unesco.


Happy Old Friends! 🙂

After relaxing in La valletta, eating some healty food in a local restaurant we headed towards our final destination Sliema and St Jullian.
Before to arrive in Sliema Bruno called one of his friend that we discovered was living in Malta and that he didn’t see in years!
Life is strange, you don’t see a person in years and then you meet him/her in a foreign country!
We met Luca in Sliema and we decided to have dinner all togheter in a Italian Restaurant in Sliema! No wait stop! We are not the classic italian people who eat pasta and pizza in every place we go! Ahah jocking, yes we are. 
But we try other food too. But that night pizza. Pizza a heart lefted. One of us left it’s heart to the waitress.. but this is another story.
St Jullian is well knowed for its nightlife and even if it was barely spring there was a lot of movida. We had a little bit of relax in a Narghilè Bar telling stories of the things happened in the past during our trips and our lives, just like people who don’t see for years do 🙂
Thanks Luca for the company! 🙂 


Time To Say Goodbye, Malta!

Here we are at the end of our trip. We slept in St Jullian and the morning after we had to come back to Italy.
We woke up early, we had to give the bikes back and reach the airport.
We want to thanks The Cyclist Malta for giving us the opportunity to try their services and for supporting us. 
The bikes were impeccable!
They also allowed us to try an e-bike. We never tried it and we have to say that is really exciting!
Maybe we will try them for an entire trip.. who knows!? 🙂


It has been a very beautiful experience in a place that we didn’t expect to be as beautiful as it is. 
Thanks to all Maltese people who helped us during the trip giving us information and thanks to us for reading us! Especially THANK YOU for putting up with our bad left-hand drive! 😛

See you on the road, have nice & safe travels.
Bruno & Arthur – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 2: BoatPhilosophy Time!

DAY 2


Country Roooad, Taake Mee…

Country roads take me hoomee cama cama cama cameleonBeginning of the day and end of the day.
Our days has been like this, dirty roads for breakfast and dirty roads for dinner, but.. we couldn’t ask anything better then this.

The first pic was taken when we were on our way to Blue Grotto, the other two on our way to Kalkara before visiting Marsa Scirocco and Marsa Scala.
BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN THE TITLE? Easy, during our off road we sang this two famous song Take Me HomeKarma Chameleon mashed up convinced that was only a song.. all OK! 😀


The Blue Grotto!

Really close to Wied iż-Żurrieq port you can find Blue Grotto, that refers to a number of sea caverns.
Some of these caverns mirror the phosporescent colour of the underwater flora.
It is something you can’t miss. The spectacle is due to the position of the caves and the direction of the sunlight that hit the cavern walls and the sea.
In the first photo you can see an happy Arthur jumping from a table (why?) while in the other photos you can see the faboulous colour of the caves and the little oat we took to see them.

ISLA BORMLA AND BIRGU!

These three fortified city are very beautiful and is possible to visit them in one day.
There are narrow street that reminds you old times. It is really a pleasure to take a walk or a ride there.
These are the most historically rich, fascinating and characteristic areas of Malta.
For this reason they are inclused in the list of candidates for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 
Unfortunately these cities are visited only by 1 tourist in 10.
Why this happen? Probably due to the industry of mass tourism that concentrate everything in some places in order to maximize the profits.Guys and girls, these placese really deserve to be visited. Trust us, and if you won’t be satisfied Bruno will pay for your next trip everywhere! 🙂


Bruno or Tutankamon?!

How to end this day?
This is how Bruno sleeps. He is really out of mind (and this cause to Arthur a lot of problem when he try to understand him)
Another sign that he’s out of mind:
In the video you can see Bruno testing the depth of another bathroom thanks to a precise measuring instrument: his shoe!

That’s enough for today!
Thanks,
Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

The Malta Tour


Hello dears!
In this post we will talk about our little long weekend in Malta by bike!
Malta is a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, only 80 kms from Sicily and it is the smallest but most populated states in the world.
The capital of Malta is La Valletta, a fortified city that is UNESCO word heritage: a must see!


Why We Choose Malta:

Basically we choose Malta for 2 reasons: the weather and the the possibility to visit many place in few days.The island is small and the short distance between the points of interest allows you to visit it in a short time.For what concern temperature it is perfect 365 days a year, in fact it hardly ever drops below 10 degrees.


To Cycle In Malta:

What to say? We think that the very best way to explore Malta by bike is with a mountain bike. It is the best way because there are a lot of climb and possibility to follow offroad path and enjoy the wilderness of this place. If you are not trained, another possibility, is to rent an E-bike. We had the possibility to test one for the first time at the rental shop and we really liked it.It is a good way to approach the world of bike tourism and to respect the environnement. For what concern the roads you must know that Malta was an English colony and they drive on the left. It could be a little bit tricky at first but after a day it becomes normal.
Car drivers and bus driver are crazy, they go very fast but at least they respect cyclists 🙂


The Cyclist Malta

For this trip we really would like to thanks THE CYCLIST MALTA who decided to sponsor us lending us two bikes to explore Malta.The shop is located in San Jullian and is easily reachble from La Valletta by taxi or bus. They are really prepared and willing to help for any problem or necessity. 
Take a look at the shop: www.thecyclistmalta.com

Many thanks!! 🙂


HOW WE PLANNED OUR TRIP:

DAY 1 – From St.Julians to Zebbugi (Via Bugibba, Mellieha and The Popeye Village);
DAY 2 – From Zebbugi to Kalkara (Via Blue Grotto, Marsca Scala and Marsa Scirocco);
DAY 3 – From Kalkara to Paceville (Via Vittoriosa, Senglea, Cospicua, La Valletta, Sliema and St. Julians).

Have a nice bike day!
Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 4: The great descent to Odeceixe!

DAY 4


All Ready To Climb!

This has been the most difficult day of the trip: No flat roads but 50 kms completely on the hills!
We woke up at 9 o’clock and after breakfast and stop at the local supermarket to buy some chocolate and some bananas, we started our day with a little climb (just to start the day with smiles on our faces) followed by a fabolous descent until Bordeira.

We knew that after the descent there would be a long ride upwind on the hills and that’s why we bought chocolate and bananas. 😀

that climb had a name: Monte Ruvio.

This stretch of road was very tough and we really suggest you to be prepared if you are going to follow this route.
We are not professional cyclists, but by training twice a week we were able to face this challenge without too many difficulty.
At the top of the hill, we decided to leave the road to do a little offroad to reach the very top of the mount. Once there we realized that wasn’t the very top but we were still happy.
Months of efforts really paid us with that beautiful view!

We started our descent to Aljezur sure of the fact that troubles were finished.


Aljezur: maybe it’s better wear a raincot? Or maybe not?

WE WERE WRONG!
Aljezur is a small village considered the paradise for windsurfing and that’s why you will see a lot of Van full of surfer.
We stopped here just to have lunch and here is where the troubles began.
Just a second before our departure it started raining cats ‘n dogs! It wasn’t really a problem because we were equipped with k-ways.
we changed our clothes and under the heavy rain we started pedal; of course the road wasn’t flat and the second part of the climb started here.
After 5 minutes struggling facing the hills, it stopped raining and we had to stop again to change our clothes because we were boiling.

C’mon rain, you hitted us just for 5 minutes?

Not even the time to change our outfit! 😀
Never never never stop in the middle of a climb or you will regret it for the further half ‘n hour because it really breaks your legs.
Despite everything we managed to survive once again and we reached the pictoresque Rogil, a little town on the way to Odeceixe with some beautiful windmills and houses adorned with azulejos.


A crazy descent on a beautiful fairy village: Odeceixe

We were really close to Odeceixe, just 7 kms on a flat road before a crazy descent long 1km on a gradient of 100 meters.
The view from the top of the descent was really awesome.

This little white village deeped into a green valley with a river in the background.

We stopped here to enjoy the landscape and then we started the crazy descent screaming like crazy.

Don’t ask us why but we started screaming as if we wanted to release all the effort we’d
accumulated. REALLY LIBERATING!
A little bit awkward at the arrival…did anyone hear us?…Who cares! we are still laughing about this funny moment right now 😀
This little white town (961 inhabitants in 2011) is considered one of the most beautiful villages of Portugal. With its white houses reminds us some beautiful villages in Greece like Santorini.
It’s not very popular in winter but from spring to autumn it’s full of people that come here following the “Rota Vicentina”.
Once arrived we found an hotel for the night runned by a crazy receptionist we are used to crazy receptionist: Italian Tour: From Bologna To Florence
We only say that we rang the doorbell (it wasn’t working) and after 5 minutes of waiting the receptionist came to give us a room. Just note that the doorbell started ringing only when the receptionist restored the electric power… 😀


Eat a lot or eat so much: That is the question

We were really hungry so we decided to have a shower and find a place where to have dinner.
Once again one of the speciality of the city was fish and we ended in the best restaurant.
We started our dinner with very tasteful raw shrimps and a fish pudding.

As main dishes we have ordered octopus with sweet potatoes (really sweet and typical from aljezur) and Maccaroni with fish (we don’t know what it was exactly but the taste was good 🙂 )
How to end your day at the best? Double cheesecake for us!

It was definitely a long and hard day for us, we did a lot of stretching along the road in order to avoid issue but we were really paid by all the beauty and the nature we saw.
Big climbs, big descents, heavy rain and big smiles! We think that every situation could be easier if you set your mind in a happy mood and don’t let the fear of not succeeding catch you!

Before going to sleep we had a walk in the quiet sourroundigs and talked a lot about these days.

We were halfway and we were happy. Nothing better before going to sleep.

Don’t stop pedal,

Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy


Chapter 3: The end of the world: Sagres & Cabo De Sao Vicente

DAY 3


Going To Sagres

New Day to the south-western point of Europe!
We woke up early and after the morning exercises we came back to Lagos to took some photos of the city and its famous Dona Ana beach.
After the photos we headed toward Sagres and Cabo De Sao Vicente.
There’s not to much to say about this part of the route because we followed the N125 and the N268.
Being a main road is well maintained and pretty flat… this is one of the last flat route covered before the ups and downs, up & downs, up & downs… 😀


Sagres & Cabo De Sao Vicente: Natural beauties!

We reached Sagres that our stomaches were making the rumbles, so before to talk about Sagres we will talk about the MARVELOUS lunch that we had in front of the Spar Supermarket!
We walked in the Spar with a big smiles on our faces and we grabbed EVERYTHING: The first thing that Arthur took was a bunch of prunes while Bruno took some wafers.Fair enough.
All ok till now, not ok 2 seconds later. We bought 200 gramm of salami, 200g of raw ham, 100g of mozzarella, candies, crisps, 6 empty buns and also tuna. We don’t know why tuna, stay healthy!
After this epic meal we visited this little town well known for surfing.
There’s not to much to see in this town: the main spots are the “Fortaleza do Sagres“, a fortress on the coast from which you can enjoy a good view of the ocean and the surroundings, and “Cabo De Sao Vicente“, a lighthouse in the south western point of Europe, also known as “The end of the world“.
The road from Sagres to Cabo De Sao Vicente it’s something magic.

Have you ever played Final Fantasy? 6 kms in the middle of nowhere, only us, the road, the coast and the view of the lighthouse in the distance. WOW, that’s why we make this stretch of road listening to Final Fantasy soundtrack: Road To Zanarkand

That’s a reason why it’s called The end of the world and the reason is that’s really the end of the world, it’s really beautiful! It’s like to be in front of the infinite. There’s not a rational reason. It’s something you can’t miss when you visit the Algarve region.


 

Into the Wild: Vila Do Bispo

Vila do Bispo is situated at the crossroad between Sagres and Odeceixe. to reach Vila Do Bispo from Cabo De Sao Vicente you have 2 choices: you can follow back the route (14kms) or take a dirty road (11kms).
Guess what we choose? The shorter one, of course. The shorter one but the hardest one. Do our choice only if you have a Gravel or Mountain bike. Please.
The road was really spectacular, deep into the wild, so wild that wasn’t possible to see the main road.
You can’t imagine what a breath we took when we saw Vila do Bispo from the top of a hill 1km away! Look at it:

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Vila Do Bispo is a small village used only as a place for the night by the cyclists and the hikers. There’s not much to say except that we ate pizza even this time. 😀
After dinner we went to bed early to rest in view of the toughest day of the trip: From Vila Do Bispo to Odeceixe.

Thanks for your time,

Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 2: Beaches and fresh fish dishes in Lagos!

Day 2


What to eat to boost you up?

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Sunny day!
Just a little bit of stretching to wake up our legs and we were ready for the new day: 51kms to Lagos.
We followed the main route with the exception of the first strecth of road. It was funny but dangerous.
As we said in the previous post you have to be well equipped to go offroad in Portugal.
Some roads are not easy even if you have a good gravel, for example we had to stop many times to screw the screws back in; and above all have the right wheels.

We can’t deny that it was so much fun “skating” with our bike on the shingle! 😀
After this little offroad we went back to a secondary road on the hills where we discovered the joy of long descents after big climbs.
As well as being sweaty we had to look pretty desperate, so desperate that an old lady who was selling oranges along the way stopped us to give us a couple!

Ahh vitamins! It’s so beautiful when you met this kind of person with a very big big big big x5 heart.
With this load of energy and love we continued our route trough beautiful and different landscapes: from the red rocks to cozy villages, cows and the beautiful bridge of Portimao on the Arade river.
Cycling makes you hungry, so we stopped in the first place that we found along the road.
RIGHT CHOICE: Piri Piri Chicken makes you better, a better person! 😀 and of course it will.


it’s so spicy that had  invigorated our legs to the point of making us do the last 20km in just an hour!


The Azulejos City: Lagos

Lagos, together with Albufeira and Faro is one of the most famous tourist resorts in the Algarve.
It is not BIG, but it is very pretty. It’s known for its beautiful beaches and the walls of the houses adorned with azulejos, small tiles that resemble Sicilian majolica and give a taste of freshness and antiquity at the same time to the city.

Here you will find many of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve, for example the beautiful beach of Dona Ana near the city center. Look at this beauty!
In addition to the beaches there are several monuments that you can visit including the entirely covered with azulejos “Igreja of sait antonio” or the “Forte da ponta da Bandiera” from wich you can have a beutiful view of the sea.

We gave a quick look to the city and we decided to reach our resort in order to have a shower, relax a little bit and come back in the evening to have dinner!


Time To Rest:  ALDEIA AZUL RESORT

LOGOp

It was half past 5 o’clock when we arrived at the Aldeia Azul Resort where we met Lucas, the most prepared receptionist about Algarve! He spent a lot of his time giving us precious tips about what to do, what to visit and what dishes try in the cities of the algarve. He was so convincing that we need to come back in Portugal because we didn’t visited Sintra! He spent some fantastic words for it! 😛
Once we did the check in he accompanied us to our apartment. Just look at the photo below?

Was it paradise?
If we have to buy an house we definitely ask for a copy of this apartment. Or Maybe a copy of this resort! PRETTY COOL!
You can find anything you need: Spa, gym, Swimming pool, tennis and beach volley courts, soccer field, minigolf and a good bar where we drunk an excellent gin tonic!
For sure, it’s good especially for families and cyclist who want some good relax.


Time To Dinner Ladies and Gentlemen!

If you choose a resort outside the city center, our suggest is to absolutely bring the lights because the roads are not enlightened. For what concern us we decide to take a taxi that for 10 euros brought us in the city center. Much safer and not expensive 🙂

As Lagos is a sea village, its speciality are fresh fish dishes!
So, don’t miss the fabolous fish soup that many restaurants propose to its clients! And don’t miss the sweet potatoes too!


The following morning we decided to get up early and take some fresh air in front of the swimming pool. What’s better for your spirit?

Dawn, fresh air, respiration exercise and we were ready for the new day! We know that every single day traveling by bike has something different from another one! We love that feeling!

We were ready to reach vila do bispo, but first passing through Sagres and Cabo De Sao Vicente, the southwest point of the European continent.

dav

Keep on traveling,

Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 1: Let’s Up & Down, Albufeira!

Hello people, let us introduce you to our trip.

This time we decided to tour in Portugal, to discover and live the nature in all its beauty, from the hills to the beaches.

It will be divided in 8 posts:

  1. From Faro to Albufeira;
  2. From Albufeira to Lagos;
  3. From Lagos to Vila do Bispo, via Sagres;
  4. From Vila do Bispo to Odeceixe;
  5. From Odeceixe to Vila Nova De Milfontes;
  6. From Vila Nova De Milfontes to Vila Nova de Santo Andrè
  7. From Vila Nova De Santo Andrè to Tròia;
  8. From Tròia to Lisbon.

DAY 1


Let the music play: Start the journey!

dav
Early, early in the morning, but very very early morning.
No, not this time.

REWIND

Late, late in the evening, we started our journey.
the previous days were very weird. Anxiety, joy, skirt, enthusiasm.

It was the first time that we bring our bikes and you know, first time is always the first time. 🙂
Our flight was at 7.25 a.m. but due to the distance from our houses and the necessity to arrive at the airport at least 2.30 h before we decided to sleep there.
Airports at night are something special. Very few people sleeping, other people reads, someone is smoking and someone else talks with a stranger.
How many stories, how many destinies and destination.
For what it concern us we met a friend of Arthur and we spent the night helping him to choose photos for a work and trying to place his hammock.
Yes, an hammock in a airport! Can you believe it?

Look at the photo down here! 🙂

dav
The best thing happened that night was at the wake up. A stranger left a piece of toilet paper on which he wrote that he left a bag full of snacks under the hammock!
Breakfast assured 🙂


Faro, take care of us!

dav

Time to start the journey, plane takes us to Portugal!

The flight was very easy, not as it’s happened at the return (we will talk about this, oh yes!).
We arrived in Faro on time and after ONLY two hours we finished to assemble all the parts. Please have a cup of tea, it was the FIRST TIME 😛
We really appreciated that the airport was equipped with 3 “bike stations”, very useful for assembling/disassembling bicycles.
All good! The sun was shining and legs were ready! We were so excited, all went good and we were on the bikes with our yellow bags full of clothes and useless things! Useless like the blue jeans of Arthur’s father. He says that don’t know how is happened… Useful as the pair of Bruno’s jeans in excess!


Destination Algarve: The wild nature

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5 kms from the airport and we were already deep in the Algarve Region. This region is very wild and the nature is simply incredible: pines, palms and dirty roads!
kinda esotic!
To reach Albufeira is really easy, it’s just 35 kms from the airport and you can chose between different roads. If you have a mountain bike or a gravel with good tires you can take the dirty roads and enjoy the wild surroundings, otherwise you can follow the normal road.

 

 

sdr

We decided to follow both. The first part in the wild passing through the salinas and the second part on the normal road BECAUSE WE WERE DYING! Jocking 🙂
The first thing you will notice following the main road is

that is full of golf resorts. Miles and miles of green fields and people driving golf cars. We will think about this when we retire! 🙂

Jokes aside, this is a renowed region for Golf!
The first day was very easy and before noon we were in the white Albufeira.


Albufeira: Fortress of the sea

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Albufeira is a well known town in the Algarve.
The city was founded by the Arabs in order to be a fortress on the sea. His names literally means “Fortress of the sea”.
Born as a fortress, during the centuries it became a little fishing village and now, in the last 50 years, it has become one of the most touristic place in the south of Portugal.
This city is a little white pearl, full of narrow street, beautiful views, amazing beaches and its famous nightlife.
It’s a little bit difficult to visit it by bike because is built on a hill.
Up & Down, Up & Down, Up & Down…:D

The Main place to visit are the clock tower “Torre do Rologio“, the symbol of the city, and “Torre Sineira“, a beautiful tower with 8 bells.
Despite this town is full of churches and monuments we didn’t have enough time to visit them, so we decided to do a little tour of the city and then relax a little bit at “Praio di Peneco“.
We enjoyed the sunset at the beach and then we went to the hotel.


Welcome to the São Rafael Atlântico Hotel!

SAO_RAFAEL_ATLANTICO_RGB_COR-02

davOnce arrived at the hotel we had the possibility to leave our bikes safe in a little storeroom behind the reception desk.
The whole staff was very friendly and once in the room they brought us a tasty dish with strawberry, chocolate, meringue and orange juices! NICE SURPRISE!

Look at its smile! 😀

We were happy, so happy that Arthur created a funny dance to celebrate the moment. We jealously guard the video, make an offer and we’ll let you know. 😛

The room was really beautiful, a room of a refined elegance and almost big as our houses!

And what about the view from the balcony?

After 2 days without sleeping on a bed it was like being in paradise! Oh, it’s a paradise even if you have slept normally the day before. Trust us.

If you need to relax and fully recover your strength, we strongly recommend this hotel for your stay in Albufeira.

Here you can find the link to book your stay, visit their website or learn more about the hotel: https://www.saorafaelatlantico.com

We suggest you to take a look to the photo tour on their website. You will not regret it!


After a good shower we were really hungry so we decided to have a walk outside. PLEASE DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE WE DID!
We stopped in a restaurant that was rated 4 stars on Trip Advisor.
As good italian boys we decided to order two pizzas, also because the chef reassured us that pizza was one of his specialities.
We’re still shaken by that experience that we don’t even want to mention the name of the restaurant. :’D
The tiredness accumulated from travelling by plane and bicycle was so much that once back in the room we fainted on the beds and we woke up directly in the morning.

Someone said morning?!

What’s better than a good breakfast?

What’s better than a continental breakfast?

dav

The buffet was so big that you can lose yourself in it.
It’s weird because when we are at home we eat just a croissant or some biscuits with a tea/coffee, while here we ate like there was no tomorrow! 😀

Too bad we stayed here only for a night .. 😥


cof

It was time to leave Albufeira, morning stretching, a last look to the city and we headed to our next destination: Lagos.

Thanks for your time,

Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 2: To Bologna with Piadinas!

Day 2


Happily lost in Reggio Emilia

sdr

It’s time to wake up ladies and gentlemen!
After a good breakfast based of 2 cups of tea and 2 muffin, we were ready to pedaling towards Bologna.
But first we want to give a look to Reggio Emilia ’cause the first day we were too tired to do it.reggio 2
“Reggio” is a little & cozy town that can be visited for one dayGet lost in alleys and lead in pleasant squares is something to try once in life.
Its inhabitants are so kind! A lot of people stopped us to speak about our journey and support us.
This is the kind of people that we mostly appreciate, always ready to spread happiness! 🙂
Once you visit this town, you must see:
the museum of Tricolore: You need to know that Reggio is where the italian flag born!
 What’s better than a museum to celebrate it and its story? Get lost in the charming italian history!
First italian murales: It was made in the ’40s and although it is faded, you can read: the right people want snow, a slogan against poverty and the fascist regime.
City center: A lot of squares and monuments like S.prospero square with its homonymous basilica and Camillo Prampolini square with the Dome of Reggio Emilia, Santa Maria Assunta cathedral.Get lost in the italian architecture.

Say Cheeeeeeese!

Time to reach Modena. Once again the route was partly cicleable, anyways It’s pleasant ’cause the stretches alternate between flat and gentle descents.
In the previous chapter we said that this region is scattered with gastronomic traps and our decision to move away from the via emilia to follow the country roads led us to buy 250g of grana padano.
OH WAIT, it was Parmiggiano Reggiano! Please be careful to don’t confuse these cheeses otherwise you might unleash the wrath of local vendors! 😀
Reggio Emilia is the house of Parmiggiano Reggiano and local sellers want to underline the uniqueness of their product . 😛
3
Follow the railway.
do you know when your instinct tells you not to rely on the navigator but to ask for information to the only passerby in a very small village? Exactly.
We’re still searching for the road that would have allowed us to reach Modena following a non-existent railway, saving kms and an underpass that we have crossed 4 times.
the railway had not existed for years and the road we were told was more like a jungle.
That’s why we decided to go back on the main road.
Finally Modena.

Modena: Between Piadinas & Beauties

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Modena is a very nice town, a man-sized town. Getting lost in the little streets of the city center, enjoy the Rhytm of the city and its pastel-coloured houses is something you must do when you visit this part of Italy. This town is full of beauties: the heart of the city, Piazza Grande, hosts the Dom and its tower “La Ghirlandina” (Unesco Heritage)

The city is also full of museums among which there is one dedicated to Enzo Ferrari.

Lunch time: never never never visit Emilia Romagna without trying a Piadina, a flat brad filled with cold cuts and vegetables or cheese: basically one of the seven wonders! Time to have a coffee and we were back on the road to stop again 2 km later for an ice cream.. We are a little bit greedy 😀 😀 Back on the road, as we were saying, toward Bologna, last 38 kms left only with a stop for another coffee and to take some photos… mm more then some photos 😀 Luckily the weather was perfect and the road was all on a cycle path. Despite the second day is the most tiring we managed to get to Bologna before night so we could enjoy a spectacular We were not tire and when we arrived at the hotel but Arthur knee was hurting due to an old problem and for the fatigue of the day.


 Bologna “La Dotta”

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We stayed at Hotel Maggiore, a cozy hotel that we would like to spend a few words to thanking them for their hospitality.
The hotel could seems a common flat from the outside but inside it is very welcoming.
The rooms are very comfy and probably are recently renewed.
Furthermore is one of the very few bike friendly hotels of the city: you can also repair and do minor maintenance for free.
Once we arrived, we left our bicycle in the private garage and it was a great surprise to find more than 10 e-bikes parked there for the guest of the hotel.
A good way to reach the city center, just 2kms away, and explore the less beaten track.
It’s also a beautiful way to visit the city for families.
they love so much the cyclists that they make dedicated discounts for all those who are traveling in Italy by bike. If you are interested check their website: logo hotelhttp://www.hotelmaggiore.net/en/

If you guys of Hotel Maggiore are reading us we really would like to thank you for the support and for the ice for Arthur’s knee. 😀
What’s better than an hot shower and a night tour of the city?
First of all we took our bicycles and once reached the center we stopped to eat in a typical Bolognese restaurant: a NEAPOLITAN PIZZERIA 😀 😀
We’re joking…no, we’re joking again. Trust us, we can’t live without pizza.
After dinner we met Arthur’s cousin who he hadn’t seen for years.
Few drinks and back to the hotel.

The following day, after the visit of Bologna which we will talk about in the next post, we should have pedaled on the Apennines but Arthur dancer-meniscus played us a bad joke.
In the next chapter we will talk about the stunning Bologna and Hokito, the cycling misfortune and a very bizarre hotel populated by crazy people. VERY CRAZY. 😀
Stay tuned,
Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 1: Food Injection towards Reggio Emilia

Hello people, let us introduce you to our trip.

This time we decided to tour in Italy to discover the lovely cities along the Via Emilia, an old road that was constructed to connect Piacenza to Rimini (or Rimini to Piacenza but it’s quite the same 😛 )

It will be divided in 3 posts:

  • From Piacenza to Reggio Emilia;
  • From Reggio Emilia to Bologna;
  • Cycling around Florence.

DAY 1


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Piacenza: time to start!

Early, but very early in the morning, as usual, as very very usual, we got up to load our bikes on Bruno’s car. Direction: Piacenza!

Piacenza is a cozy city at the border between Lombardia and Emilia Romagna with a little city centre surrounded by ancient city walls.

We spent just little time in Piacenza because it was our starting point, but it is a beautiful city that deserves at least a visit in total relax.

After a quick and tasty breakfast with Croissant and Cappuccino we unloaded our bikes and stuff and left for Reggio Emilia.

Luckily, to get outside of the city and reach Reggio Emilia & Bologna it is very easy because you just have to follow the Via Emilia or SS9 road, that is almost straight due to the fact that it was constructed by ancient Romans to connect the main cities of Emilia Romagna.

The first stretch of road is dipped in the rural country side but approximately after 20 kms we reached Fiorenzuola d’Arda, a typical provincial village with lovely colored houses.

One piece of advice we would like to give you, if you follow our route, is to stop in these villages outside the big cities, to observe the daily life and the typical Italian architecture of these centers.

After a quick coffe-break we continued pedaling towards Fidenza, a city mostly known for the homonymous shopping outlet.

Our intention was to reach Parma, but one of the many trattorias set as traps in the street kidnapped and forced us to eat (very sadly) a crazy appetizer of regional cold cuts and a dish of tagliatelle with meat sauce.


TRAVELLING IN ITALY IS LIKE SENDING YOUR DIET TO HELL. If you didn’t know, now you know. LOL

After lunch we left for Parma on the most difficult part of our journey:

we had to cycle on a very long false plan on a tight road while paying attention to the one million high speed travelling trucks on our left and the irrigation canal on our right. Definitely the worst stretch of road of our trip.

Really not recommended for families 😦


Parma: between Art aaaand Food

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Parma is one of the main cities of Emilia Romagna famous for its Parmiggiano Reggiano and its raw ham. But Parma is not only gastronomy, we really suggest you to visit this city because it is very pretty and bike-friendly as there is a discrete network of cycle paths that extends outside the city.

This makes it a good starting point for your hypothetical tour in Italy starting from this region.

What you should not miss in this city is the beautiful Duomo di Parma and its Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta: a perfect example of Romanesque architecture with a gabled facades and Gothic and Renaissance inserts. On the inside you find a wonderful fresco depicting The Assumption of the Virgin by the Italian Late Renaissance artist Correggio.

Very close to the Duomo there’s the Battistero di Parma, considered the connecting point between Romanesque and Gothic Style.


Last strecht of road: crosswind, pain AND PIZZA 😀

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Luckily, the last 30 kms of the days were mostly on cycle path. A little bit tough, maybe for the crosswind and for the fake flat road faced during the day, but the will to reach Reggio Emilia was stronger than everything and we arrived at destination in less then 2 hours.
AMAZING: just a minute after our arrival the owners of the B&b where we stayed – Villa Agata- gave us the telephone number of a takeaway Pizza. CHE BELLEZZA!

Half-through a pizza and a quick shower, we fainted, we fainted happy and exhausted, ready for the second day of the journey and curious to visit Reggio Emilia, a gastronomy city (as all the cities of Emilia Romagna) where the italian flag TRICOLORE was born.

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Next Chapter: from Reggio Emilia to Bologna via Modena

Keep pedaling

Arthur&Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

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