Let’s start by saying that Bologna has always been a bike-friendly city. In recent years, however, due to the development of an extensive cycle network, the desire to cycle has become an obsession and the fines for undisciplined cyclists have doubled. Be careful: although the huge cycle network literally covers the whole city, the porticoes are not the best places for bikes, even if you do see the odd person speeding along them despite the fact that they’re forbidden. To adapt to local customs, just rent a bike from BikeinBO on Via dell’Independenza. As well as renting out bikes and ebikes, the shop organises great excursions into the hills and Apennines around the city. Another alternative is Bike Rental Bologna in Via Rialto.
Ready? Saddle up and let’s go for a warm up spin. Start at the church on top of San Luca hill. To reach the sanctuary to the south-west of the city, climb along a short but challenging road, which in 2009 gave rise to one of the most exciting endings to the Giro d’Italia in recent years. From the church on the top you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the city. But don’t get distracted for too long. We’re here for what’s behind the Basilica. Turn around and look – the Bolognese hills! With their endless routes, it’s natural to start with a good bit of cross country. The route comprises continuous ups and downs, along which you’ll be accompanied by beautiful scenery, with ochre-coloured churches and red and yellow houses. This is just a first taste, though.