At the Centre of Passion
If the Imola area is the beating heart of Emilia Romagna, the Imola Racetrack is the operational and emotional centre of the network of cycle tourism experiences offered by IF Cycling. A ring of asphalt where the sports passion beats strongly, and not only the kind for four wheels.
Just a stone’s throw from the Racetrack, the climb of the Circuito dei Tre Monti begins, theatre of the world cycling championship of 1968. On that day Vittorio Adorni raised his arms on the finishing line of the Racetrack after a memorable breakaway.
To feel the wheels of your bike racing on these glorious roads is a unique sensation possible for everyone today: the Racetrack opens regularly to the cycling public for events, competitions, open days and team building.
IF CYCLING ROAD ROUTES
The territory of IF Cycling, which stretches from Via Emilia to the crests of the Apennine, is a tour cycling area with a great variety of landscapes and routes. The four valleys created by the Rivers Lamone, Senio, Santerno and Sillaro contain a vast network of well kept roads with little traffic, studded with climbs of various lengths and degrees of difficulty, suitable for all levels. On the plains, even the less trained will appreciate the tranquil country roads, on itineraries dedicated to nature and history.
Pedal through the history of cycling and sport. A short and demanding stretch that has put many champions to the test. The start from the Racetrack circuit, with fast straights and two decisive sprints set out in an exciting contour, is a unique and unrepeatable cycling experience.
The hilly stretches are those that entered the history of cycling in the 1968 world championship won by Adorni.
View of the route.
A city icon since 1953, it hosts
world class competitions.
Imola, Mineral Waters Park
It came into being with the discovery, in 1930,
of springs of curative sulphurous waters.
Imola, Checco Costa Museum
Exhibition space dedicated to motorbikes,
a heritage typical of this part of Romagna.
Imola, Tre Monti Circuit
A climb famous for being the theatre of
Adorni’s victory in the 1968 world
A plunge into the past, a return to heroic cycling with a course specially designed for gravel bikes and fans of retro style. The sizzle of gravel under your wheels will accompany the tour cyclist for much of the itinerary. The peaceful dirt tracks of the country and a brief foray into the foothills make this a fun tour that can also be enjoyed by less expert cyclists.
Twin 19th century towers flank the entrance
to the ancient fortified nucleus.
Bubano, Sforzesco Defensive Tower
The renovated tower houses a museum
dedicated to the history and culture
of the area.
Castel San Pietro Terme, The Keep
Massive building dating to 1199, decorated
with Ghibelline merlons and today home
to the Civic Theatre.
Church with Franciscan monastery,
seat of Imola’s oldest Marian cult.
The cyclosportive dedicated to Davide Cassani, on the roads where the champion’s passion and talent were born and bred. The breathtaking start from the splendid Piazza del Popolo is followed by a course that runs through the loveliest valleys and reliefs of the Faenza area. Long, progressive climbs alternated with short, demanding sprints, amid panoramas that are always evocative: an event that mirrors the soul of tour cycling in Romagna.
Faenza, Church of the Commenda and Museum of the Palio
Built in the 12th century to house pilgrims heading
for or returning from the Holy Land.
Brisighella, Manfrediana Fortress
Example of military art, it stands on one of the 3
gypseous pinnacles that dominate the village.
Casola Valsenio, The Cardello
House of the writer Alfredo Oriani,
pioneer of cycle tourism.
Riolo Terme, Fourteenth Century Rocca
Small fortress with mediaeval and renaissance
features, it houses spaces dedicated
to Caterina Sforza.
Pedal through the wellbeing and uncontaminated nature of the surprising Sillaro Valley. The presence of renowned spa centres is exalted by an intact and peaceful environment, with parks and gardens where, with nature, you find your right equilibrium. An aspect of wellness that is also expressed at the Golf Club, where you can experience movement and nature to the rhythm of a time that never rushes by.
Spas of Castel San Pietro and Fonte Fegatella
Known since the middle ages for their spring
waters, both sulphurous and containing bromide
and iodide salts.
Castel San Pietro Terme, Golf Club Le Fonti
For both beginners and experts, an 18 hole
6.480 metre course, par 72.
Villaggio della Salute Più
Spa village with Beauty Farm, organic-produce
holiday farm and Acquapark.
Dozza, Fortress and painted Wall
An ancient village that is like an open air museum,
with wall paintings and fortified castle.
A multi-sensorial itinerary between the spa towns of Riolo Terme and Brisighella, linked by the delightful Lavender Way. Pedalling amid its flowering bushes is in itself a visual and olfactory cure, due to the chromatic harmonies and delicious perfumes. A demanding and satisfying route with a focus on wellbeing in the Botanic Garden of Casola Valsenio, dedicated to the many medicinal herbs that have been grown here for centuries.
Riolo Terme, Spa Centre
Medical waters and mud springs set in marvellous
Riolo Terme, Fourteenth Century Fortress
It houses a Museum of the Faenza
Casola Valsenio, Botanic Garden
A place where plants of medicinal and aromatic
interest are preserved and grown.
Brisighella, Carnè Nature Park
One of the loveliest and most evocative natural
environments of the Romagna Chalk Vein.
The Chalk Vein, a unique nature park with its silvery crests magically drawn by clay. A habitat sought after by naturalists for the rare flowers found there. The itinerary crosses three valleys, along crests and small roads that climb beneath the clayey ridges in wild and unspoilt environments. 80 kilometres of total immersion in the unmistakable nature of a small but fascinating mountain chain.
Brisighella, Cava del Monticino Geological Park
An open air geological museum in a former
Brisighella, Chalk Vein Park and Monte Mauro
Europe’s largest gypsum selenite chain, with a
wealth of grottoes and spectacular views.
Fontanelice, Riva dei Cavalli
Picturesque rocky formation with highly interesting
geological and natural aspects.
Riolo Terme, Grotto of King Tiberius
Archaeological evidence bears witness to
thousands of years of human presence.
A flatland itinerary on the plains, suitable for those seeking relaxation in the tranquillity of a pleasantly cultivated countryside. The destination of this short trip through the rural hinterland of Imola and Castel San Pietro Terme is the Nature Reserve of the Quadrone, a great wetland in the plains. The lagoon provides shelter for protected species of plants and animals. The huts dotted all over the marshland are used by birdwatching enthusiasts.
Castel San Pietro Terme, Garden of the Angels
Close to the relaxing Viale delle Terme, a green
oasis rich in enchanting plants.
Medicina, Radio Telescope
A visitors’ centre dedicated to radio astronomy,
with original things to see and a multimedia room.
Medicina, Quadrone Nature Reserve
Wetland featuring a marsh that provides shelter
for numerous animal and plant species.
Mediaeval village built by Guelph VII of Bavaria,
as Medicina’s defensive bastion.
A long, demanding route along the course of the river Lamone, in one of Emilia Romagna’s most picturesque valleys, all the way to the boundary with Tuscany. Vineyards and olive groves provide the backdrop to a cycling experience that focuses on discovery of Brisighella olive oil, one of the best appreciated extravirgin oils in Italy. The open air Oil Museum offers tastings and tales regarding the virtues of this centuries-old delight.
Ancient Bolognese outpost, surrounded
by lush vineyards and crops.
Brisighella, Open Air Oil Museum
Home of the positive exploitation of
a centuries-old heritage, where
the renowned oil may be tasted.
Brisighella, Pieve di Tho
The oldest parish church in the Lamone Valley,
for centuries the valley’s only church.
Faenza, Piazza del Popolo
Nerve centre of city life, bordered
by a harmonious and elegant arcade.
Dozza, a little gem of history, also spotlighted for its Regional Wine Lodge, the home of Emilia Romagna wines: more than just a historic shop, it is a centre for the dissemination of local wine culture. From here you may begin a varied and gratifying itinerary, a long ride in the name of the flavours of two PGI excellences: the chestnuts of Castel del Rio and the shallots of Romagna, which have a centre of production in Riolo Terme.
Dozza, Regional Wine Lodge
In the Sforzesca Fortress, tasting and sale of
the Region’s DOC and DOCG wines.
Castel del Rio, Chestnut Museum
In Palazzo Alidosi, the history of the Chestnut,
kingpin of the Valle del Santerno economy.
Casola Valsenio, Park of Forgotten Fruits
Products of the past recovered by the growers
of Casola and featured at local fairs.
Castel Bolognese, Scodellino Mill
The last extant example of the series
of mills built in the 15th century along
the canal of the same name.
A brief itinerary of just under 50 kilometres, but it is best to take plenty of time in order to stop for a stroll in the city of ceramics with its old town centre that pullulates with art workshops and pearls of the past. Leaving Faenza, the strategic Oriolo Tower, which dominates the plain from the foothills, is a preview of Brisighella, one of Italy’s most beloved historic villages.
MIC, International Ceramics Museum
One of the world’s most famous Museums,
surrounded by numerous art workshops
in the town centre.
Faenza, Palazzo Milzetti
This stately home houses the national museum
of the neoclassical age in Romagna.
A 15th century Keep with an unusual
hexagonal plan, built by the lords of Faenza,
the Manfredi family.
Brisighella, Via degli Asini and Clock Tower
A picturesque covered street, in a village
dominated by the strategic crenellated tower.
Between past and future, in a short bike ride Imola recounts its history to the cycle tourist. From the resounding Racetrack to the past of the Sforza family – witness the imposing fortress – by way of the museums and stately homes of the old town centre. A short spin and a an enthralling series of climbs and descents in the foothills outside the town takes us to Dozza, where you will be surprised by its thousand-year old alleys frescoed by artists from all over the world.
Imola, Rocca Sforzesca
Small 14th century fortress delimited
by 4 great circular defensive towers.
Imola, San Domenico Museum
The former monastery houses the
“City’s art collections”, dating from
the 14th century to the present.
Dozza, Fortress and painted Wall
An ancient village that is like
an open air museum, with wall paintings
and fortified castle.
Sanctuary of Piratello
Church with Franciscan monastery, seat of
Imola’s oldest Marian cult.
Roads & Legends
I’ve covered a lot of road. Since I began road cycling I’ve stacked up so many kilometres. And more than half on my own roads. Great!
Few cars, extraordinary routes, roads that run into almost unknown valleys, but for this very reason unspoilt. Have you tried climbing Monte Albano, the pass that links Casola Valsenio and Zattaglia, on the road to Brisighella, on a sunny day in April? In front of you, fields of peach trees in blossom. You feel part of the nature surrounding you. And there are another hundred climbs like Monte Albano in the valleys of the rivers Santerno, Sillaro, Lamone and Senio. You seem to go back in time, amid hills studded with ancient villages where life flows slowly, like the rhythm of my pedalling. I must have climbed Monte Albano 1000 times. Monticino, a climb that begins in Brisighella, even more times. It was my benchmark: if I took less than 5 minutes and could do the last 500 metres at 25 kph I could enter races and win! I don’t check my times any more. It’s no longer important.
The important and vital thing is to get back on these roads with my bike. I relax, it makes me feel good. I take my time also for a break to enjoy the colours and perfumes of these hills. I couldn’t do without it. May I give you a very simple piece of advice? Try it yourselves.
Davide Cassani – Manager of the National Italian Cycling Team, ex pro, President APT Emilia Romagna
1st September 1968
Vittorio Adorni’s World Championship
I remember that day as if it were yesterday, a crazy venture! At 90 km from the finish I set off on my own, incited by the warmth of the people who urged me on with their enthusiasm. On that tough course I thought I was going to die, but instead I arrived! This is two-wheel country: motorbikes, bicycles, you see them “hear” them everywhere. It’s a way of being, of living these places that are so welcoming, and with great roads.”. PEDALI D’ARTISTA Il “Cardello” di Casola Valsenio è la casa natale di Alfredo Oriani, considerato uno dei padri fondatori del turismo in bicicletta. Oriani – una delle figure più originali della cultura italiana fra Otto e Novecento – scrisse tutte le sue opere in questa Casa-Museo. Nel sottotetto si può ammirare la bicicletta con cui compì nel 1897 un lungo viaggio solitario fra Romagna e Toscana che gli ispirò “La bicicletta” (1902), forse il più bel libro dedicato al ciclismo in Italia.
The “Cardello” in Casola Valsenio is the house where Alfredo Oriani was born, considered one of the founding fathers of cycle tourism. Oriani – one of the most original figures of 19th – 20th century Italian culture – wrote all his works in this House-Museum. In the attic you can admire the bicycle on which he made a long solitary journey in 1897 between Romagna and Tuscany, which inspired him to write “La bicicletta” (1902), perhaps the best book dedicated to cycling in Italy.