Nature is always amazing: she knows exactly how to astonish you with her strength and her beauty. I still remember my afternoon in Piallassa Baiona, a wonderful water area near the town of Ravenna, in Emilia Romagna. The leaden sky and the absolute quiet made that experience unforgettable. Silence all over the beautiful mirror of water that goes from the town to the sea.
Today I will explore another part of this natural wonder with a group of people. It’s a sunny day and we will ride our ebikes leaving from the restaurant Le Spighe in Alfonsine towards a very long itinerary across the country side towards the Piallassa Baiona and Marina Romea.
Ebike: experiencing nature with a slow pace
Yes. This is my first time on an ebike and also my first time on a mountain bike. No idea on how it will work and now idea on how to manage it.
At a first glance, ebike is a very easy way to travel: its electric battery makes your effort lower than with a normal bike, specially when you have to face short climbs and this is not our case. The saddle is not very comfortable and this is something I have learned in the meanwhile.
But this effort worth!
Starting from Alfonsine, we are going along a cycling road, there are many in this area (ask for a map to Slowbike tourism before leaving for your itinerary). Most of them are well kept so no fear to get injured. They go along “off the beaten path” area, where nothing seems to be changed in the years.
From Alfonsine we will go towards Sant’Alberto, Fiume Reno, Casalborsetti and down towards Piallassa Baiona and Marina Romea.
Meeting the flamingos in Romagna
Flamingos love warm areas and places where they can find enough food and a comfortable condition di settle for a while before flying towards South, Africa mainly. They are the symbol of a clean and safe natural environment. Until some years ago, flamingos used to visit the Cervia salt lakes and stay there for a while. Salt water, good micro pink shrimps, the food they like most, windy air and the sun of the Romagna Riviera: what else? But then they discovered there was a more interesting place quite near: piallassa baiona and the southern area of Delta Po River.
Cycling from Alfonsine to north, takes us along the Senio river. Here you can enjoy the country side of Bassa Romagna where agriculture is still as slow as once upon a time. The river culture meets the peasants one in a very surprising mix where piadina has fish inside and not ham or salame. Here the casoni di pesca (fishing houses) are passed from father to son and they are places to enjoy the ancient valley culture.
Arriving at Sant’Alberto you can choose to pass the river Reno or to continue the cycling road and arrive to the first water lake, the lower part of Delta of Po river natural park.
The road is bumpy sometimes but the beauty we have seen has no comparison! There is time to stop and admire the calm and quiet beauty of these places before keep on cycling and reaching the seaside. We are at Casal Borsetti, a nice little town, main harbour of Ravenna where great cruises boat stops.
The day is perfect to enjoy the beach, at least for some moments. Sea is clear and blue, perfect for a walk, beach volley, or just a stop to relax and read a book.
It’s time to reach our final destination for the night, but we have a final stop: sunset at Piallassa Baiona. This place is a natural dam, man did very little things during the ages. And this is the reason why many animals are still living here. The Piallassa Baiona has also an historical meaning. Here Giuseppe Garibaldi, the hero of the Two Worlds, found his shelter, escaping from the enemy army in the XIX century and again this was a shelter for partisans during the Second World War.
From this little harbour we stopped at, you can hire an electric boat and do birdwatching with an experienced naturalistic guide and see flamingos, swans and many other animals.
If you want to spend a day in the nature, enjoying this special unveiled and uncontaminated area, take a chance and come over. Romagna will welcome you and make you feel in a authentic and genuine place, to experience people and animals and take your slow time.
Disclosure: This tour is a part of Slow Bike Tourism itineraries. If you want to visit Emilia Romagna by bike, please check www.slowbiketourism.com