Emilia Romagna

The Val d’Arda ring

Start

Lugagnano d’Arda (PC)

Finish

Lugagnano d’Arda (PC)

Distance

107 km

Total vertical climb

1.150 m

Maximum altitude

1.300 m

Difficulty

Medium

Suited to

Trained amateur cyclists

When to go

Spring–Autumn

It starts and finishes at Lugagnano in Val d’Arda, in the heart of the Piacenza hills, with a circular itinerary of 100 km that is not too hard, but is spiced with continuous ups and downs that require non-stop effort. The characteristics of the route, along with an asphalt road surface that is not always in tip-top condition, require a saddle that can ensure you maximum comfort, such as the Max Flite Gel Flow by Selle Italia.

The hills of Piacenza are a kind of cyclist’s paradise: roads that wind through meadows and woods, small villages and castles, in a continuous up and down without excessive gradients and with perfect weather for much of the year.

Not to mention that these parts have their fair share of traditional restaurants where you can savour home-made cold meats and the inevitable potato cake with a glass of gutturnio, maybe at the end of your ride…

The route we have chosen today is quite demanding: 100 km or more with a “humane” vertical climb of just over 1,000 m.

It is the end of October but with today’s temperatures it could still be summer, if it were not for the beautiful autumn colours lighting up the beech woods.


The importance of comfort

A quick mention about a fundamentally important piece of equipment to enjoy your ride: the saddle. I am sure that no one likes that feeling of discomfort you get, when you are sitting on the wrong one, so it is a good idea to devote a little attention to choosing the size and model best suited to your characteristics so as not to spoil the pleasure of your ride.

The scientific method of idmatch measuring by Selle Italia can be extremely helpful here. In just a few seconds, it allows you to identify the ideal seat for your physical structure.

For the occasion, I have chosen a Max Flite Gel Flow, a gel model designed for maximum seating comfort even on bumpy roads with poor asphalt surfaces, like the ones we are going to meet.

My faithful SLR Kit Carbonio Flow, a lightweight and “racier” version, will have to be patient and wait for less “jumpy” routes.
The route
Let’s get back to our itinerary.

We can leave the car in Lugagnano d’Arda and set off on the SP 47, towards the Provincial Park of Monte Moria. It’s about a 13 km climb, with the hardest 500 metres of the entire route just before you start the downhill stretch. Then there’s a steep descent down to San Michele, along a narrow road strewn with gravel in many places: be extremely careful.

In San Michele, turn left onto the SP 14, towards Malvisi, climbing up through woods and meadows as far as the brow (1,300 m) just after the little Church of Santa Franca.

The descent is steep and winding at the start and then follows a slight slope up towards Bardi, dominated by a spectacular castle.

From here we climb up towards Lugagnano along the SP 359 and face the last climb of the day, namely the Pelizzone Pass at 1,021 m.

From here, there is a 25 km downhill rush on our way back to the car.

When it comes to it, the ride is not really suitable for everyone, because it does require a little preparation, but it is perfect for those coming from Milan who want a really enjoyable ride out, different from the usual monotonous flat roads.

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