Wednesday 2 May 2018
Riding Alé La Merckx? Here’s What To See While You’re In Verona
Starting in the heart of Verona city, Granfondo Alé La Merckx is set apart through its fusion of challenging climbs, exhilarating scenery and history; serving up a visit to ignite cycling passion – a fitting celebration of Eddy Merckx: the greatest cyclist of all time.
Here’s what not to miss while visiting for Italy’s iconic granfondo.
1. Arena di Verona
As cyclists ready themselves for the legendary Granfondo Alé La Merckx, they are treated to the world-famous view of Arena di Verona opera house which still entertains crowds of up to 15,000, over 2,000 years on from when it was first built. Gathering in its presence ready for the event to begin is an unforgettable experience.
2. Juliet’s Balcony
Verona and renaissance romance go together like Merckx and a podium, and while visiting it’s hard not to be spellbound by the stories of love that the city is so well-known for. For those who will be in Verona supporting friends and family in the granfondo, they can enjoy a free tour of Verona while waiting for them to finish and to settle their gaze upon the very balcony from which those famous Romeo and Juliet lines were uttered: “Romeo, Romeo…”.
3. Verona Piazzas
The Italian piazza is the soul center of every city and town in the county; where locals gather to celebrate or hang out, and tourists come to soak up the spirit of the community. From legal buildings to restaurants; the piazza is the beating heart of a community, where politics meets prose. Verona is home to the stunning Piazza delle Erbe and – home to thousands of cyclists for Granfondo Alé La Merckx – the majestic Piazza Brà.
4. Verona Prealps
Outside Verona’s unique center, history and beauty awaits. Beyond the city gates, Lessinia Natural Park invigorates senses with its mountain-fresh air and wide highlands rich with woodland and pasture. The rolling Alpine foothills of Verona invite cyclists to test their legs on the many rolling climbs, where views and exhilarating descents are in store to reward tired limbs.
5. Verona Vineyards
It’s hard to climb the hills above Verona city without soon entering the region’s row upon row of grapevines growing high in the hills, ready to become some of the finest red wines of the country. And where there are grapes there is sure to be a rustic rambling estate to welcome passers by with its wares; be it a taste of fine wine, or some of the region’s delicious products including cheese, meats and olive oil.
6. Cascata di Molina Park
The Prealp mountains to the north of Verona provide a beautiful city backdrop – and for cyclists, an inviting challenge. The territory of the Cascata di Monlina Park, meaning ‘waterfall park’ for its prehistoric streams and falls that flow along the gorge, serves up an unforgettable climb for cyclists. The Granfondo Alé La Merckx route includes the tough 9.5 km Cannibal time trial (all information), with 592 meters of vertical elevation. In the first 7km, the climb slopes from 8% to 12%, and peaks at 15%.
7. Lake Garda
To the east of Verona and just a 30-minute drive away from the historic city lies stunning Lake Garda – the largest lake in Italy known for its invitingly clear aqua-blue water and picture-perfect mountainous backdrop. Cycling up into the Prealps delivers views of the 50km long Ice Age beauty, while a visit to the Lake itself offers boat trips and dining at unhurried restaurants at the water’s edge.