10.06.2019  12:00

Huge success for VENTO Bici Tour 2019

Conclusion of 7th edition of biggest initiative to raise awareness of cycle path along River Po

The VENTO Bici Tour 2019 left Chivasso on Friday 24 May and arrived in Lido di Venezia on Monday 3 June, a distance of over 500 km along the route of the cycle tourism path which will soon be completed. Its beauty has once again been discovered, loved and supported by more than 300 participants who endured downpours and scorching heat to declare that cycling is a political act but cycling together for a project that is a development model is a beautiful silent revolution.

The cyclists gazed across the many poppy fields and exchanged greetings with one another and with the residents of these areas who can’t wait to experience VENTO and its gentle, ecological tourism. A tour that began on the second Friday For Future with an address from the Minister for the Environment, Sergio Costa, and finished on World Bicycle Day couldn’t fail to go well.

The tour lasted just over 8 days and involved more than 100 B&Bs and hotels. The participants visited dozens of churches, castles, museums, theatres, mills and squares; tasted over 30 specialities from local producers and traditions; used trains, buses and boats; met approximately 40 mayors and local councillors; and honoured the enthusiasm of the many young, passionate tourist guides who explained the area’s forgotten but beautiful heritage. All local stories and economies nourished by the people who decided to ride the VENTO path.

A journey across a part of Italy that we usually miss on the high-speed roads, but which is a cradle of beauty, flavours, stories and energy. An Italy that is open to us and, with projects like VENTO, sees real opportunities to get local economies moving again through tourism and the employment it generates.

The green, light, antifragile development model is collectively taking shape pedal stroke after pedal stroke as people realise that behind VENTO lies a project about work, economy, culture, the local region and creating a promising future. By financing cycling tourism, we move away from the short-term logic of incentives toward the long-term logic of structural, lasting intervention.

The tour reminds us of the need to invest solidly in light infrastructure through ambitious projects rather than improvised or fragmented ones. In almost 2 million pedal strokes, we once again crossed the Po valley over two weekends of collective cycling to understand what cycling tourism infrastructure is.

The VENTO project is expected to receive another €13m which will enable further development over the next few years. All this has been made possible by the work done over the past few years by local people and local and regional authorities. The project was launched in 2012 by the Politecnico di Milano who continue to develop it.