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Stage 11 - Porto Sant’Elpidio - Rimini

The stage

Stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia takes us from Marche to Emilia-Romagna, starting from Porto Sant'Elpidio and arriving in Rimini, the city of Federico Fellini, whose 100th anniversary we are celebrating this year.

Stage 11 - Porto Sant'Elpidio - Rimini

Porto Sant'Elpidio is a lively seaside resort, particularly suitable for those who love outdoor holidays, thanks to the numerous well-equipped campsites that have been popping up along the coast. The town is part of the "Comune Amico del Turismo Itinerante" (in English, "Friend of Itinerant Tourism Municipality") circuit, which offers all essential services to motorhomes. Porto Sant'Elpidio also has a beautiful seaside pine forest, bordered by a cycle path.

Promenade of Porto Sant'Elpidio – Marche

Worth visiting are the Sanctuary of Santa Maria Addolorata, the Clock Tower – an ancient customs post, now the home of the tourist office –, the 18th century Villa Baruchello and its garden protected as a botanical garden.

The whole coast of the Marche region is a succession of seaside towns such as Civitanova Marche, Porto Recanati, Senigallia, famous for the Rotonda a Mare, the Rocca Roveresca, and the Foro Annonario, a neoclassical structure of circular shape that now houses the city market. Senigallia is also the city of the Summer Jamboree, the international festival dedicated to the music and culture of America in the 40s and 50s.

Those who prefer coasts that are more "wild" and less frequented beaches will find a sea of enchantment on the Conero Riviera. A holiday in these parts also offers the possibility to practice the most diverse sports activities (from sailing to trekking to horse riding) in contact with lush and unspoiled nature.

Riviera del Conero - Marche

Heading north, we arrive in Pesaro, the birthplace of Gioacchino Rossini. In honour of the great composer, the ROF – Rossini Opera Festival has been held every year in August since 1980. The ideal centre of the city is the elegant Piazza del Popolo with the beautiful Palazzo Ducale, from the Renaissance period. Culture lovers will not be disappointed by the offer of the Civic Museums of Pesaro, among the richness of the permanent collections and the numerous temporary exhibitions.

Sfera Grande by Arnaldo Pomodoro, Pesaro - Marche

Pesaro also offers relaxation, with its extensive, sandy coastline, suitable for families with children. Right in front of the sea is Piazzale della Libertà, a meeting point for the people of Pesaro, where we find the famous Sfera Grande by the sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro and the Ruggeri House, a villa that is one of the finest examples of Liberty style in Italy. The entire city of Pesaro can be covered by bicycle, thanks to the Bicipolitana, a system of cycle paths divided into several lines structured like a metro network.

Mappa della Bicipolitana di Pesaro - Marche

Map of the Bicipolitana of Pesaro – Marche

Just outside Pesaro, the Corsa Rosa (literally translated as "Pink Route") climbs up Monte San Bartolo, located inside the park of the same name. Much loved by the inhabitants of the surrounding area is its "Panoramica" route, from which it is possible to admire unique panoramic views from the hinterland to the north coast towards Romagna. The special attractions of the San Bartolo Park are the cliffs and caves that define the promontory, very rare in this part of the Adriatic coast. In addition to being a naturalistic paradise, the park is home to beautiful historical villas, such as the majestic Imperial Villa of the Renaissance period.

Monte San Bartolo Natural Park – Marche

Before leaving the Marche, we cannot fail to mention some inland locations not far from the Giro route, from Jesi, the birthplace of Frederick II, to Loreto, home to the sanctuary of the Holy House of the Virgin Mary, in Recanati, where Giacomo Leopardi was born. And then there are the villages, such as Corinaldo with its unmistakable mediaeval air, Cingoli – nicknamed "the balcony of the Marches" for the splendid view it offers over most of the Marche region – or Gradara, where it seems that the ill-fated love story between Paolo and Francesca began.

Corinaldo - Marche

We return to the stage route and, as we approach the finish line, we make a stop at Santarcangelo di Romagna, one of the most picturesque villages in the whole of Romagna. The markedly medieval identity of the streets, the walls, the castle, the palaces, merges here with a genuine drive for innovation that welcomes phenomena such as street art or Mutonia, the community of artists and performers dedicated to reuse and waste. This taste for experimentation is well reflected in the Festival dei Teatri, which has been bringing the excitement of the contemporary theatre and dance scene to the square for more than 40 years.

Santarcangelo di Romagna - Emilia-Romagna

Today's race ends in Rimini, an icon of summer fun with its 15 km of beach, 230 colourful bathing establishments, over 1000 hotels and amusement parks. But Rimini is also a city that boasts over 2000 years of history, the custodian of artistic masterpieces ranging from Roman times to the Renaissance.

Centuries of history have passed under the Arch of Augustus, the access point of the Via Flaminia that connected the city of Romagna with Rome, and above the Bridge of Tiberius, the starting point of the famous Via Emilia and still today, after more than two thousand years, accessible on foot or by car. Not to be missed, then, the Domus del Chirurgo, a house of the third century that belonged to a Roman doctor, decorated with precious mosaics and lively frescoes, and which contains the richest surgical equipment of the Roman world ever to have been discovered.

Bridge of Tiberius, Rimini – Emilia-Romagna

The medieval and Renaissance face of Rimini can be seen through Castel Sismondo, or the Malatesta Temple, whose current form is the work of Leon Battista Alberti and which houses works by Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Giorgio Vasari and Agostino di Duccio inside.
Finally, we propose a tour of the Rimini of Federico Fellini, the great Italian director known throughout the world who was born 100 years ago in the city of Romagna in 1920. The celebrations of the Fellini year involve the whole of Romagna with many initiatives, including online.

By bike

By bike in the Marche

Cycling in the Marche means discovering an ever new landscape: from the sea to the mountains passing through the gentle hills, the traveller, riding their bike, becomes the protagonist of an experience that integrates nature, art, culture, food and artisanal traditions.

Marche Outdoor

To navigate this world of discoveries, cyclists can rely on Marche Outdoor, a project that includes 24 cycle routes organised in geo-referenced rings, which can be consulted through the website and dedicated app, which also provides information on specialised facilities and activities to do along the way.

In 2020, the year in which we celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of Raphael's death, we strongly recommend the ring with departure and arrival in Urbino, the birthplace of the painter, one of the greatest interpreters of the Italian Renaissance.

Mappa dell'anello cicloturistico Urbino-Urbino - Marche

Map of the Urbino-Urbino – Marche cycle tour

Conero by bike

We also recommend the Conero By Bike project, which offers guided tours, suggestions for self-organised routes, a list of bike-friendly accommodation facilities, and many other services for cycling tourism on the road or by mountain bike, with friends or family.

Riviera del Conero - Marche

Cycling along the Conero is a unique way to get in touch with luxuriant nature that hides precious historical-artistic treasures while discovering a landscape of unforgettable colours.


By bike in Emilia-Romagna

Road, mountain biking and cycle tourism. Emilia-Romagna presents itself in all its beauty to lovers of two wheels with courses suitable for all cycling profiles: from those who love simple rides through nature, villages and towns to those who want to combine the pleasure of the visit with the joy of challenging themselves. We propose three itineraries around Rimini, with three different levels of difficulty.

The hills of Romagna

This route is known to local cyclists as the "Strada del Paesaggio" ("Landscape Route") thanks to the variety of landscapes it crosses. The average difficulty makes it accessible to everyone, and the numerous rest areas along the route offer pleasant refreshment to those who follow it.
From Rimini, the road enters the green heart of Romagna, touching Santarcangelo di Romagna, and a series of quiet inland villages, immersed in the countryside and with ancient origins: Coriano, San Clemente, and Morciano di Romagna. Cycling towards the border with the Marche, we reach Montegridolfo, a village completely enclosed by high walls with access protected by a tower with a medieval gate; the inhabited area has been the subject of a careful restoration work, which brings it back to life in a perspective of hospitality, tourism and culture.
After a passage in the Marche region through Gradara and Gabicce Mare, we return to Rimini along the coast passing through Cattolica and Riccione.
At this link, you can download the map and the GPX itinerary.

Mappa della Strada delle Colline di Romagna

Visit to Cagliostro

Magician, alchemist, healer, and in all probability the greatest swindler of the eighteenth century: Giuseppe Balsamo, count of Cagliostro, born – it seems – in Palermo, with his adventurous life ending in the Fortress of San Leo. We propose an itinerary that, in the footsteps of Cagliostro, leads us to discover the mysteries of magic and alchemy, via a route that is demanding due to the long climb of 15 km that leads to the fortress.
San Leo is an ancient medieval village perched on an unassailable rocky ledge. In addition to the imposing fortress, the old town centre is worth a visit for its many valuable buildings, such as the Pieve (parish church), the Cathedral, the Tower or the Medici Palace, with its elegant Museum of Sacred Art. A place not to be missed, the artistic capital of Montefeltro is included in the Borghi più Belli d'Italia (literally translated the "Most beautiful villages in Italy", an association of small Italian towns of historical interest).
The map and the GPX itinerary are available at this link.

Mappa della Visita a Cagliostro

Circuit for climbers

Let's conclude this review of cycling tours in the surroundings of Rimini with a perfect route for those who love climbs. 114 km with an altitude difference of 1,550 m, departure and arrival at Torre Pedrera, a seaside resort for families and children with a promenade dotted with clubs, restaurants and places for children's entertainment.The road continues on the plain as far as Santarcangelo di Romagna, then gradually climbs up towards Sogliano al Rubicone and down to Ponte Uso, which is where the ascent really gets going. The longest and most difficult climb is the stretch of about 20 km through Monte Tiffi and Perticara, with gradients up to 15%.
Click this link for the map and the GPX route.

Mappa del circuito per scalatori

All the information, itineraries, maps and GPX files for a cycling holiday in Emilia Romagna are available at this link.