Kicking it off
Left Cremona sharing the road side by side with the Sunday joggers and cyclists.
If you leave Cremona using the Via del Sale, you’ll need to turn left at the Pizzeria Dordoni. At the end of that road, you’ll find a paved cycle path you can take to the left.
If you’re using Bikeline as a guide it suggests you go straight to the path by the river, but you can safely ignore their lead and take this path if you prefer a paved road. However, if you follow its lead you’ll stumble upon a nice and shaded unpaved path along the Po, where we even found a small beach to dip our toes in the river. Don’t worry, both paths link down the road in different occasions, so you’d be able to change your mind later.
So many cycle paths!
A very good surprise is the number of cycle paths we’ve found along the way. But there are so many that at times we got lost.
If you imagine the road system (highways, local roads, etc), you wouldn’t imagine not having names and indications for each road. The same system is missing here: constant indications to guide cyclists looking either for local roads (I.e. Ciclovia Cremona Po) or national paths (I.e. Eurovelo 8). To put it simply, if you are a sports cyclist trying to go as fast as possible on the Eurovelo, or you’re a local cyclist going to the nearest river beach, you’d need to know which way to go.
In the end we based ourselves a lot on the Bikeline books (only in German though) and on Google maps (prepare an extra battery for your phone!).
Off our guidebook
At lunchtime we stopped at San Daniele Po and found a pizzeria (La Pinta). From there our guidebook suggested cycling South all the way to Parma, but we decided to stay on the left bank and head for Sabbioneta instead. As Google Maps doesn’t show bike routes in the region, we decided to play safe and take the Strada Provinciale 85 towards Casalmaggiore, then left the road at Gussola to take the much better bike path (Argine Maestro).
On arriving on the Argine, we saw that we could have taken it before (which Google Maps confirms – probably from Torricella del Pizzo). The Argine takes you right into the city center of Casalmaggiore and from there we followed the Viale del Santuario all the way to Sabbioneta.
Sabbioneta is a quiet little town with cobbled streets and ancient red brick ramparts.
We decided to walk along the outer walls before dinner time, where we enjoyed the sunny walk accompanied by a large duck family and ending the walk with an encounter with an otter-like creature which decided it was rather more hungry than afraid of us.
We finished our walk at the main square (Piazza Ducale) where, to our surprise, there was everything being prepared for that night’s party: a 70s-80s party to promote blood donations. Given that it was a good cause, we decided to join the party, get a surprisingly good pizza and dance among the locals.
IN A NUTSHELL
- 60 km today from Cremona to Sabbioneta
- 1 local party
- So many missing indications
You can follow all the routes we followed on: