The New Italian Cycling Riviera

LONDON March 19, 2009

Sample the best of the Italian Riviera – delicious wines, pasta al pesto, and world-renowned olives – at this gourmet event to launch the grand opening of the Italian Riviera’s first cycling path: Cycling Riviera, Liguria, Italy.

Hosted by Claudio Burlando, president of Regione Liguria and Tullio Russo, president of Area 24, developer of Cycling Riviera, the event promises to be a fantastic introduction to the delights of the Italian Riviera, including an overview of the new eco-friendly cycling path.

The spectacularly beautiful cycle-pedestrian path hugs the picturesque Ligurian coast between Tuscany and the south of France. The first 24km stretch, from Ospedaletti via Sanremo to San Lorenzo al Mare, which opens this year, offers a truly unique Italian Riviera holiday for cycling enthusiasts and families alike.
“With the Mediterranean on one side and the Alps on the other, this new cycle-pedestrian path is one of the most beautiful in Europe, the first on the Italian Sea” says Mr. Burlando, “Almost 2 centuries after the English first discovered this coast, the cycle path will introduce a new generation of UK holiday makers to the delights of Liguria.”

The route, which follows an old railway line, wends through eight historic fishing villages and the glamorous town of Sanremo. It provides access to five kilometres of previously unreachable beaches and an 444.000 sq metres ecological coastal sea park that protects a whale sanctuary.

When finished in 2010, the new Cycling Riviera will stretch for 74km. “This is the first time in Italy we are replacing an old railroad with a cycle/pedestrian path that will create a protected natural environment, car free, and tourist friendly,” said Tullio Russo of Area 24, the Euros30 million public-private partnership that developed the project.

Riviera Cycling offers something for everyone:
* For nature lovers there is the sea park sanctuary with a unique microclimate and flora.
* For those also seeking the glamour of the Riviera, Sanremo is the quintessential destination with its famous casino and designer shops.
* For sports enthusiasts, the path leads you to scuba diving and sailing schools and a new 18-hole golf course.
* For foodies, Liguria produces unique local wines and food, including the famous Taggiasche Olives, Albenga purple asparagus, and Ligurian red prawns.

The path is a cyclist’s dream. Flat and wide, it is perfect for families. For experienced cyclists it offers a gateway to the world-renowned Milano-Sanremo route, and mountain bikers can explore the nearby Maritime Alps.

The English first established this stretch of the Italian Riviera as one of the most fashionable holiday spot in the early 1800s. The extremely temperate climate made it the ideal destination for Europe’s wealthy aristocrats seeking a warm place for winter, a spa cure, or simply a beautiful location with luxuriant vegetation and subtropical gardens.
Queen Victoria and later Winston Churchill holidayed at the Villa Hanbury, 20km from Sanremo. Alfred Nobel spent the last years of his life here.
Today the Italian Riviera takes a new lease of life with the opening of the New Cycling path. It is easy to reach with low-cost airlines flying from the UK to Genoa at one end and Nice at the other. Cycles are available to hire for as little as Euros 5 an hour, and accommodation of all types is offered on the routes.

With universal worries about recession and climate change, the popularity of cycling holidays has increased by 30% (Mintel research on Tourism Trends). This is not only out of respect for the environment but also because it¹s a perfect activity holiday for all ages and especially families.

Western Liguria – the very accessible area between the French border and Genoa- is a relatively undiscovered region of Italy. It offers spectacular coasts and beaches, lots of Italian culture and history, and great local wine and food. It has a unique “eternal spring” micro-climate, which earns it the nickname of the “Costa dei Fiori”and now with the addition of the best cycle path in Italy, it’s a all year round, irresistible new destination.

western riviera

liguria cycling promenade

Sanremo - Ospedaletti : area24

The Italian Magazine

On the current issue of “The Italian Magazine” (a magazine published in UK) there is a very well done article by Mrs Leaonne Hall about our region, focused on the Riviera dei Fiori (the “Flowers Riviera”).

“….this area is home to some of Italy’s most stunning hilltop villages, sandiest beaches and best weather….”

“….Sanremo is a lush and verdant place – you’ll find brightly coloured gardens and flowers everywhere…again, the microclimate of the riviera in in evidence at the Ormond Gardens and Nobel Villa, where many species of exotic flowers grow…”

“….Dolceacqua is set on the River Nervia, it has been occupied since the Iron Age, and one of the town’s most famous sites is the Ponte Vecchio, wich was built in the 15th century. The bridge was made famous thanks to a painting by Monet….”

“….Bordighera has always had an affinity with the British, being a prominent resort town during Victorian times, and many aristocratic Brits built art deco holiday home here. Bordighera was the site of Italy’s first ever tennis club, and more evidence of the British presence can be found everywhere, from the Anglican Church to the British cemetery….”

“….It is impossible to mention sanremo without looking at the numerous events hosted here each year…the Sanremo Music festival, the Sanremo rally, the Milan-Sanremo bicycle race, sailing regattas, the Flowers parade….”

So, what are you waiting for ???

Click here to find the right property for you!


Eastern or Western Liguria?

Both Western and Eastern Liguria are generally characterised by a warm temperate climate, though further subdivisions are possible. For instance, along the farthest part of Western Liguria – from Capo Mele to the border with France – you can find even better climatic conditions.

Liguria owns its lovely climate to its peculiar geographical position. It is a natural amphitheatre facing south and shielded from the cold northern winds by the Alps and the northern Apennines. These very same elements influence winter temperatures, especially on Western Liguria where they range between 10° C. and 14° C.

The orography of Liguria influences considerably the pattern and distribution of rains. Eastern Liguria is affected by sirocco winds that cause bad weather conditions, while Western Liguria is affected by westerlies that allow for more settled weather conditions. In particular, when winds blow from north and north-east, temperatures rise considerably and the rate of humidity lowers. At this stage, the weather in Eastern Liguria is cloudy and rainfall is high, while it is lower in Western Liguria rains. From December to February, the area between Capo Mele and the border with France has lower rainfall than Genoa and slightly higher rainfall than the mountainous area between Chiavari and La Spezia -in this area the rainfall total is sometimes similar to the one registered in North-eastern Italy during the same period of time.

In cases of settled weather conditions, Western Liguria is characterised by Levanters (from East) all along its extent to the border with France. Sirocco winds (from South – South-east) are rare. North-west and west winds are also rare because of the Western Alps. This two phenomena are at the basis of the exceptionally lovely climate of the coastal area between Capo Mele and the border with France. And this is why Western Liguria can enjoy a high number of sunny days – equal, or more, to the one in Southern Italy – even during wintertime.

The sea acts as a thermoregulator and thus there are no substantial differences between the minimum temperatures of the two sides of Liguria, though in winter notable differences can be registered between minimum temperatures in seaside resorts – always above zero – and the hinterland – often below zero .
During wintertime, the temperature range is low; the number of sunny hours per day is high; and the rainfall is low. The mountains act as a barrier that shields Western Liguria from disturbance, thus differentiating the climate in these two bordering areas. San Remo and its surroundings (specially Ospedaletti) can actually enjoy a fairly milder climate than nowhere. Snow and harsh temperatures are almost exceptional events in San Remo.