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Travels

Enjoy a taste of Italian charm with a ride
through Rimini…

Lying at the foot of the Republic of San Marino in Italy, the Rimini region has motorcycling in its genes. People come here from Bologna (with its famous Ducati factory) on the weekend to enjoy the vast beaches.

On the way, they pass the Imola race track before the Adriatic Sea opens out before them as they arrive in Rimini. The beaches here are private and divided up into numerous "bano" with decorated cabins, restaurants and bars, children's games and row upon row of sunloungers lined up as if on parade.

In summer the beaches are packed, so to escape the smell of suntan lotion, people take to the road. From Rimini, where you might pass the sublime stylists from Bimota, continue to Riccione and Cattolica. From there, you can hear the high pitch of engines accelerating on the Misano circuit in Santa Monica.

 

Treat yourself to a little detour via Pesaro, where you will also find the Benelli factory: take the Strada Panoramica Adriatica through the Parco Naturale del Monte San Bartolo - a far more attractive road than the expressway along the coast.

Leave the sea behind and take off on a pilgrimage to Tavullia, the birthplace of national legend Valentino Rossi.

A few years ago, Italian TV conducted a major survey. Over 90% of Italians had heard of Valentino Rossi: more than for any football player.

Motorcycling is so deeply rooted in Italians' genes that, when you enter Tavullia, it’s as if you are riding into a theme park dedicated to the famous number 46.

Banners and flags are everywhere, all the time, and the star's merchandise can be seen in every shop window. On race days, the village square backing onto the little church is awash with people following the event on the specially-installed giant screen, and no-one cares if the main street of the village is completely blocked off.

 

The little roads to Urbino and on to Urbania twist and turn from one bend to another. It is a typically Italian landscape and the dancing traffic has that easy-going Italian feel that puts a smile on your face.

Even so, keep an eye out for road hazards: a delivery tricycle that cuts in without warning, an uneven section of bitumen, or a paved village road that might be slippery. Equipped with the new MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyre, you'll have no trouble slowing down, accelerating or swerving to avoid the unexpected events that Italian roads sometimes throw your way.

And why not round off this Adriatic loop by paying tribute to a motor racing great? In his hometown of Coriano, the family of Marco Simoncelli, who died in October 2011, has devoted a museum to the young champion and his career as the renowned SIC58.

A fitting stop in one of the most motorcycle-oriented regions on the planet.