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CYCLING HOLIDAYS WITH A DOG

September is the perfect month to arrange beautiful bicycles trips with friends and family, given the temperatures are more merciful and the colours of the landscapes are breath-taking. Those with a small to medium-sized dog can also take their pet with them with ease. The itineraries to do are varied, naturally in this case being better if flat!

In Italy, there are many areas offering cycle paths characterised by lengthy and well-signposted routes, which can be easily travelled even if we have our faithful four-legged companions by our side – or rather, in the basket in front of us! There are rest-stops scattered all along the itineraries where you can take a break, give your pet a drink and let them stretch out their paws.

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Extending between Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna is one of the most beautiful pathways, namely the Ciclovia del Mincio and that of the Po. Departing from Peschiera del Garda, travelling 45 km along the embankment of the Mincio river, it finally reaches Mantua, the famous city on the water. From here, take the Po bike path to the Adriatic, passing through Ferrara. For a total of 70 km, the cycle way meanders between cities of art and ancient connecting roads, being completely asphalted and isolated from road traffic, hence far from dangers!

For those who love maritime landscapes and who do not wish to exert themselves too much, there is the Ciclovia dei Fiori in Liguria. 24 km in length, it starts from San Lorenzo a Mare and reaches Sanremo via a long stretch that is paved and completely flat. Being exclusively for bikes, it is well-signposted along the seafront, hence if Fido is with us, we must absolutely stop to let him have a swim!

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In the centre of Italy, there is the Assisi-Spoleto-Norcia bike path that is a treat for the eyes, thanks to the beautiful scenery of the villages and the narrow tunnels that seem to lead to another world. This cycle route runs alongside the drainage canals, and is almost always flat.

The Sculpture Park cycle path in Syracuse, which travels along the railway line, is relatively short, being a mere 6 km in length, yet it is entirely immersed in a UNESCO landscape: from the Greek Theatre to the Baroque churches.

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Being properly equipped for your four-legged friends is important. It is useful to install a special carrier on your bike, such as the Atlas Bike Rapid by Ferplast, which is available in two sizes and can hold a pooch of up to 7 kg. It can be quickly and easily hooked and unhooked from the handlebars, is durable and comes fitted out with all the comforts and safety devices. There is a protective mesh with soft rubber profile, a frontal paw-rest, a comfortable cushion and a safety clip to attach to the dog’s collar or harness.

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Are you all set to spend a lovely day cycling with your furry friend?

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