The long journey of the 200th edition of the Giro d’Italia will pass through Lazio to the delight of all bicycle enthusiasts.
From May 14 the sounds of gear changes and chains on technological carbon frames will be heard as the “river of bicycles” descends Italy and enters Lazio: from Latera in Viterbo, those who have decided to follow the tour in person can discover a region in all its historical and artistic beauty, its landscapes and its typical dishes that will become the fil rouge of the visit.
The stages in Lazio will therefore not only include fatigue and physical prowess but great excitement and discovery.
The Maremma area of Lazio with Tuscania and its archaeological site is the best place to start the 500 km of wonders. The stage then continues to the medieval village of Vetralla, a large expanse of green hills, vineyards and forests in Tuscia.
So here we the journey goes on in a long pink descent into the heart of Italy in Sutri, leaving behind us the beauty of Lake Vico, and into the mysteries of the Etruscan world.
Numerous tombs and an amphitheatre made entirely of tuff stone testify to the grandeur of this city and its glorious past.
A few more kilometres and the metropolitan area of Rome welcomes us. Campagnano di Roma, Castelnuovo di Porto, Monterotondo and Mentana were part of the great Roman Empire and home to some of the largest companies in the past, but they are also places where you can savour the typical dishes of Rome, such as artichokes, the delicious gricia and the delightful maritozzo cream buns.
We have reached the final part, just over 40 kilometres more and Frascati will mark the winner of this fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia.
The setting is that of Castelli Romani with its big villas such as those of the Torlonia and Aldobrandini families that distract us momentarily from all the other wonderful experiences of this stage.
After the tiring cycle, the Roman lamb and local wine will bring us joy and make us forget the fatigue but not the beautiful and exciting discoveries.
On May 15 the journey continues in Lazio, from Castelli Romani to the Pontine Marshes with its countryside filled with seasonal spring produce and villages overlooking the sea.
Lake Albano and Lake Nemi with their waters that rapidly change colour are a wonder to discover just a few kilometres from the start, then Cisterna di Latina with the extraordinary Garden of Ninfa, before reaching the streets of Latina, the city in pure rationalist style founded in 1932.
This province of Lazio with its blue sea then leads on to Terracina, the end of this fifth stage that covers140 kilometres, but first a visit to the beautiful Abbey of Fossanova and the towns of Roccagorga and Prossedi.
The culinary specialities of this area are a perfect mix of sea and land: the result is a treat for the palate, especially when the dishes are accompanied by a Moscato wine such as DOC Terracina.
The finish line is just a few kilometres away, the muscles begin to tire, the rhythm becomes more pressing. We come to Terracina with its ancient and modern history, inextricably linked to the beauty of its golden beaches, awarded the Blue Flag, and the flavours of the sea.
The last stage in Lazio on May 16 brings us to Ciociaria, at the foot of the beautiful and impressive millennial abbey of Montecassino, we salute the tour with the sixth stage and the last one in Lazio.
Land of walkers who take the way of St. Benedict, Ciociaria is also the place of memory where, in May 75 years ago, Cassino was finally liberated from the Nazis as part of Operation Diadem.
A visit to the Abbey and the museum is therefore a must to complete this journey though Lazio that showed us what beautiful and wonderful things you can find while travelling on two wheels.
May the best man win! May Lazio win!