The adventure starts in Ravenna that is the largest and most historically important city in Romagna and has been thrice capital: of the Western Roman Empire (402-476), of the Ostrogothic Kingdom (493-553) and of the Byzantine Exarchate (568-751). For what remains of this past splendor the early Christian monuments of Ravenna were added in 1996 to the list of Italian UNESCO World Heritage sites as the serial site “Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna”. The Basilica of San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Baptistery of the Ariani and that of the Orthodox Church, the Basilicas of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, the Archiepiscopal Chapel and the Mausoleum of Theodoric, which you will see along the Trail, are an incredible heritage.
You’ll be cycling through a pinewood that flanks the Adriatic Sea and skirting the Po Delta Park with its pink flamingos, herons, and egrets. You’ll be crossing tough passes and seeing centuries-old fortresses such as those in Brisighella and San Leo. You’ll follow a part of the Park High Road, passing through the Chalk Vein Park and the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, to tackle the famous Carpegna climb, so much loved by our “Pantani”, in the Regional Park of Sasso Simone e Simoncello. You will savor the magic and smells around the heritage of Camaldoli with its centuries-old trees, rich in mystery and charm, and see the finest forests in Italy (Cancellino-La Lama).
San Marino will be the last real effort before descending the cycle path of Val Marecchia. Here you will discover the hinterland and the famous Riviera: Cervia, Milano Marittima and Cesenatico (hometown of our Marco Pantani). In Romagna there are no high alpine peaks or the famous heights of the Dolomites… but the climbs are often steep and the continual ups and downs will give you no respite.
Romagna Bike Trail will offer you two options to try and meet the participants’ needs and time availability. The first option is a route of about 600 km, with an elevation gain of over 12,000 meters. The second is shorter with a route of about 350 km and an elevation gain of 6,500 meters. The participants can choose their option anytime.