We present Vol. II of Strade Montane, four itineraries that wind through the first Apennines on the outskirts of Bologna. During the Second World War, the German army erected the Gothic Line, a major line of defence, in these lands. It stretched for 300 kilometres (186 mi) along the Apennine ridges between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas.
These four itineraries cross an area made up of gentle hills, ridges and valleys in a region that witnessed some of the most dramatic fighting of the Second World War. In this Collection, we ride up the front line, inviting you to discover the pages of history carved into the Apennine landscape.
Strade Montane is a cycling project that discovers the Apennines along paths, white roads and asphalted secondary roads that run through the mountain valleys and ridges between Emilia and Tuscany, among ancient villages, boundless woodland and silent ridges.
Vol. I, the first edition of the series, includes four itineraries in the Upper Reno area and the Suviana and Brasimone Lakes Regional Park. You can find the Collection here: komoot.com/Collection/1401199
Returning to this Collection, three out of four Tours are named after military operations that took place in the areas you’ll traverse. You'll get to know the Pliocene foothills on the Winter Line’s dirt tracks, leap over the cliffs of Monte Mosca, and plunge headfirst down the hairpin bends of Roccamalatina.
To end on a high note, we've prepared a special route – Encore. You should only take on this route on a mountain bike or a gravel bike with wide tyres and decent tread – and if you’re up for a challenge. The route is tough and takes you through the places where some of the fiercest clashes took place during the War. The route is a challenging dawn to dusk ride, or a two-day adventure if you go at a more leisurely pace. You’ll venture into the same forests where the 10th Mountain Division and the legendary Red Star Brigade fought strenuously for freedom.
In the three Tours that start from Bologna, you won’t exceed around 700 metres (2,300 ft) in altitude, while Encore, which starts from the Apennine town of Silla, takes you slightly above 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). With the right clothing and equipment, these routes are rideable almost all year round, except during the harshest winter months when you might find ice and snow. It’s best not to ride these routes if it’s recently rained as the clay soil turns to mud and makes riding tricky.
You can decide whether to ride these Tours on a gravel or mountain bike, depending on your preferences and riding style. You'll follow traffic-free back roads that are wonderfully smooth, as well as bumpy trails with plenty of snappy ascents. Agile ratios and generous tyres (minimum 40 mm) are a good idea.
To find out more about the Mountain Roads project, visit strademontane.it and follow us on instagram.com/strademontane.
Winter Line is a 108-kilometre route on the very first Bolognese Apennines, which runs through some of the decisive places for the end of the Italian Campaign during the Second World War. A fair difference in altitude of 2000 meters awaits you: a little effort is required to enjoy the beauty of these…
The Jump Off is a 90-kilometre route that starts from Bologna and climbs the ridges created by three streams: the Samoggia, the Lavino and the smaller Venola. However, The Jump Off is also, and above all, the name of the military operation that took place on 14 April 1945 precisely in the sector of the…
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This is the Lite version of the track The Jump Off.
We decided to include a more accessible version for gravel with 35 to 40mm tyres, removing some parts where a certain technical ability is required and inserting others that are more pedalable and have a great landscape impact.
Some variations include…
Pieve 1944 is a 100-kilometre route through the panoramas of the Emilian hills, whose tranquility was set aside during the war with the construction of the Gothic Line. This tour will take you to the Modena area, and more precisely to the areas of Pieve del Trebbio, a few steps from the Sassi of Roccamalatina…
With 146 kilometers and an elevation gain of about 4,000 meters, Encore is certainly not a walk in the park. This ring itinerary, for which we recommend the use of a mountain bike, runs through the most significant places of the Gothic Line on the Bolognese Apennines, the scene of the great war events…
Mountain Biking Collection by European Divide Trail
Mountain Biking Collection by Carolin
Hiking Collection by Angelina Kuhlmann
Hiking Collection by S-Bahn Berlin