Appennino Bike Tour: a unique Tour of Italy

After our Journey through Sicily, we are back on the road between the 4th and the 14th of April for a new project: Appennino Bike Tour. An initiative organised by ViviAppennino and sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Environment, Confcommercio and Confcommercio Ascom Bologna, Appennino Bike Tour will take us from Liguria to Sicily along the Appennines, the mountain range extending along peninsular Italy. The aim of the initiative is the formal establishment of Italy’s longest cycling route and the promotion of the Appennines as an alternative tourism destination in order to give new impulse to the local economies. We met Appennino Bike Tour’s president Enrico Della Torre last year – when the first edition of the Tour and our Journey though Sicily crossed paths in Bronte (Sicily). It was Enrico himself who announced, with a press release on the 23rd of March, his decision to have us in his team for the 2018 edition of the Tour: “we firmly believe their professionalism will be an added value to this year’s edition and are certain they will do a great job at telling the story of our Tour along this unique mountain range, the Appennines”.

From left to right: Tommaso Ragonese, Enrico Della Torre and Marco Crupi.

We sincerely hope the new cycling route will become a pivot for a more sustainable system of local economies based on softer and more conscious forms of tourism

Tommaso Ragonese

“When we started Meaningful Travels, we knew that our work would not have been merely descriptive: we wanted it to be thought provoking, to inspire positive change where possible. We identified so strongly with this mission that we used our initials, M & T, to name our blog. The ‘Journey through Sicily’, our most ambitious project yet, was premised on the belief that sustainable development is possible only when people’s cultural and ecological identity begin to merge, when citizens are reminded of the beauty of their surroundings, when they are able to think globally and act locally; only then will more sustainable consumption patterns take hold. This is why we completed the most ambitious travel project ever attempted in Sicily: carbon-neutral, plastic-free, filled with environmental advocacy and civic activism, far from the popular tourist destinations. And this is also why we are glad to be able to have the opportunity to do the same, this time nationwide, by joining Appennnino Bike Tour. We sincerely hope the new cycling route will become a pivot for a more sustainable system of local economies based on softer and more conscious forms of tourism.”

Our interview to Appennino Bike Tour in Bronte during our Journey through Sicily.

A photo essay connecting a country as rich and diverse as Italy from North to South is one of the most exciting challenges of my career as a photographer.

Marco Crupi

“Reportage photography has always been my specialty. A great photo is simply not enough: it must tell a story, convey an emotion, be remembered. This is particularly important considering the mission of this blog and the message we had in mind when we conceived our ‘Journey through Sicily’. I think there are substantial affinities with Appennino Bike Tour’s mission and that my photos, next to Tommaso’s text, are going to be a significant contribution to this year’s edition. A photo essay connecting a country as rich and diverse as Italy from North to South is one of the most exciting challenges of my career as a photographer.”

Omar di Felice, italian ultracycling champion.

Sustainable development and environmental advocacy remain thus crucial topics in our work (learn more about our sustainability commitments during the Journey through Sicily). All the more so in this upcoming edition of Appennino Bike Tour, whose aim is to establish the longest cycling route in Italy, thus promoting a more sustainable and conscious tourism along the Appennines. These new forms of tourism could be a new engine of economic development, which in turn may invert the current rural depopulation trends and attract enough public attention to issues faced by these areas such as hydrogeological risk. Appennino Bike Tour will start from the municipality of Altare (Liguria) and end in Alia (Sicily). We will travel aboard a hybrid car, documenting the Tour’s 43 stopovers: 2600km to discover the towns, the local culture and gastronomy of the Appennines (the Italian Ministry of Tourism declared 2018 the Year of Italian Food). This time it will be italian ultracycling champion Omar di Felice who will attempt a ride along the entire length of the Tour in just ten days. More details on this project and on each stopover are available at appenninobiketour.com.
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