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Biking Italy’s Apennines Mountains In Emilia Romagna

Biking Through Emilia Romagna

Biking Through Emilia Romagna

Reggio Emilia, Italy

Biking is an excellent way to explore the Reggiano Apennines Mountains of Northern Italy, home to medieval castles, chestnut forests, and rural farms.

Italy’s Emilia Romagna region is typically known for exotic cars (Ferrari, Lamborghini) & cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano). But head up into the foothills and you’ll find adventure, like I did.

Bikes are the preferred mode of transportation in these parts, and a large network of single track paths and country roads makes for great mountain biking or road touring outside the town of Reggio Emilia.

If you truly want to experience “real” Italy, this is the place. While millions of travelers overrun the more popular destinations like Rome & Venice every year, Reggio Emilia is relatively tourist-free. Locals are proud farmers, the food is excellent, and the pace of life is slow.

Grape Vineyard Italy

Lambrusco Grape Vineyard

Parmigiano Reggiano

After a short 1.5 hour train ride from Milan I arrived in the town of Reggio Emilia to meet my adventure guide Claudio. We would spend 2 days hiking & mountain biking the edge of the Apennines Mountains learning more about this lesser known area of Italy.

Geared up with full-suspension bikes we peddled into the countryside.

Agriculture is very important here because the economy runs on parmesan cheese. Much of the farmland isn’t dedicated to cows though. Instead they grow special grass to feed the cows — a critical part of creating true Italian parmesan (aka Parmigiano Reggiano).

Fiat 500 Italy

Old Italian Fiat 500L

Travel Back In Time

Wine & Balsamic vinegar are also big exports from Emilia Romagna, so there are quite a few vineyards here too. Obviously food is a big deal in Italy! In fact, my friend Ayngelina created a wonderful Modena food travel guide if you want some tips.

We continued biking through large fields, dirt roads, and past tractors that must have been 50 years old. At one farm we discovered a bright red classic Fiat 500L in pristine condition.

I stopped briefly to chat with a local farmer named Gianni (with Claudio translating) about farming & the economy. This was rural Italy like I’d imagined it — right out of a movie.

The people are sincere, down to earth, and genuinely friendly.

Local Farmer Italy

Gianni the Farmer

Canossa Castle Italy

Castle of Matilda de Canossa

Castle Of Canossa

There’s a lot of history in these hills too. Matilda of Canossa was a wealthy & powerful Italian noblewoman who was famous for her military accomplishments. We peddled up to her ruined castle perched on a rocky cliff, which turned out to be quite a workout.

Built in 940 AD, Canossa Castle was the agreed location where Roman Emperor Henry IV & Pope Gregory VII met to settle a dispute about the authority of European monarchies at the time.

I loved traveling by bicycle around Reggio Emilia, you can explore an area & learn about its history in ways traveling by car can’t match. Slow & deliberate travel. My favorite kind of experience. ★

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Location: Reggio Emilia, Italy
Company: Trekking Emilia Romagna

Packing Guide

Check out my travel gear guide to help you start packing for your trip. Pick up a travel backpack, camera gear, and other useful travel accessories.

Book Your Flight

Find cheap flights on Skyscanner. This is my favorite search engine to find deals on airlines. Also make sure to read how I find the cheapest flights.

Rent A Car

Discover Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

Book Accommodation

Booking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. Or rent apartments from locals on Airbnb. Read more about how I book cheap hotels online.

Protect Your Trip

Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a big fan of World Nomads for short-term trips. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance.
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READ MORE ITALY TRAVEL TIPS

I hope you enjoyed my guide on biking Italy’s Apennines Mountains in Emilia Romagna! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:

Do you enjoy traveling by bicycle? Drop me a message in the comments below!

#Blogville is made possible in partnership with Lombardy Tourism, Emilia Romagna Tourism, and iAmbassador. Content & opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Rosario e Valeria

Friday 3rd of July 2020

Nice post and nice photos! The Reggio Apennines are rich in history, enchanting villages and splendid rocky massifs: if you were to return we can suggest new itineraries! Rosario e Valeria

Steph

Sunday 7th of January 2018

I'd love to do some long distance cycling. The problem is, I'm a bit of a cissy about cycling on roads. Especially on the other side of the road. With crazy Italian drivers! Maybe I should just book a flight and a bike and get on with it though.

Teo M

Saturday 20th of August 2016

Hey, if you want to bike somewhere else in Emilia Romagna, I recommend you the Sanctuary of San Luca nearby Bologna. The road to reach it isn't very hard, but the sanctuary and the views on the hills are wonderful! :)

Luca

Sunday 27th of March 2016

Very beautiful, compliments

Manos T

Monday 26th of October 2015

It seems a wonderful place where you can enjoy both mountain biking and the picturesque scenery! The Castle of Canossa is also very interesting!

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