As countries seek to get their economies back on track after the devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, bicycle use is being encouraged as a way to avoid unsafe crowding on trains and buses.
This is true also for Italy where the government provided a 500 euro bonus scheme for those living in municipalities with a population over 50,000 inhabitants to encourage people to buy a bicycle as part of the corona measures. This has attracted many to the shops.
Also in the past few years the cycle network has grown exponentially.
Statistics show that there are about 1,85 million tourists who travel in Italy every year on cycling routes. Those who use the bike at their destination, renting it on the spot, are about 4,18 million.
Which destinations are the most cycle-friendly of Italy?
This year, FIAIB − the Italian Federation of Friends of the Bicycle − awarded 51 towns with the ‘yellow flag’ of Comuni Ciclabili , the most cycle-friendly towns of Italy
They’ve been choose on the base of four criteria:
- ‘urban mobility’ (urban cycling/infrastructure and traffic and speed moderation);
- ‘governance’ (urban mobility policies and services);
- ‘communication & promotion’;
- ‘cycling tourism’.
Based on these parametres, the project assigned locations a score from 1 to 5 which is represented by the same number of bike-smiles on their flag.
In the list for 2021, there are 5 new towns:
- Ancona (Le Marche) – 1 bike-smile
- Camisano Vicentino (Veneto) – 3 bike-smile
- Civitanova Marche (Le Marche) – 2 bike-smile
- Francavilla Fontana (Puglia) – 1 bike-smile
- Sassoferrato (Le Marche) – 1 bike-smile
Among the other 46 municipalities already in the list, there are thirteen capitals of region, which are Turin (Piedmont), Trento (Trentino-Alto Adige), Arezzo (Tuscany), Bergamo (Lombardy), Bolzano (Trentino-Alto Adige), Ferrara (Emilia-Romagna), Grosseto (Tuscany), Parma (Emilia-Romagna), Pesaro (Le Marche), Piacenza (Emilia-Romagna), Pisa (Tuscany), Verona (Veneto).
A special mention goes to three Comuni Ciclabili that have improved their score from 2 to 3 smiles, namely Verona (Veneto), Desio (Lombardy) and Turin which is a city that have become the protagonist of the Italian “bike revolution”.