If you haven’t heard already, the UCI Road World Championships, that is, the annual world championships for bicycle road racing, will be taking place in Florence starting from tomorrow September 21st to September 29th. The first world championships took place in 1921, though the only event that was contested was the Men’s Road Race for Amateurs. The first professional world championship took place in July 1927 at the Nürburgring in Germany where Italian Alfredo Binda won the professional men’s race”.
Although this is the thirteenth time the event has been held in Italy, it is the first time the city of Florence has had the honour of hosting. This comes as no surprise to me considering that Florence has been a bicycle city for what I have been told has been many years. I myself am a cyclist here, and find that it’s the most efficient, economical and environmentally friendly way of getting in and around the city. Although I don’t claim to be any kind of professional in this field, I do anticipate having some small sense of camaraderie in the coming days as I cycle to and fro, going about my day, while knowing that I’ll be sharing the Florence streets with those who are racing in this year’s championships.
With every event that is as glamorous such as this however, there also come the challenges of navigating the temporary changes that are placed on a city in order to adequately serve the needs to said event. In this case, this may mean affecting your travels whether you are going by foot, car, public transportation, vespa, bicycle or another form of transportation I haven’t listed. Bus routes will be detoured or temporarily out of service – varying from day to day, particular streets may be transformed into only pedestrian areas, thus, causing much of the regular flow of traffic to readjust itself in the coming days.
Below, I have listed some basic tips in order to ensure that despite these changes, you and your traveling willburys can get to where you’re going with nothing short of delay.
1. Florence is divided into homogeneous areas that are identified in relation to the Quarter of their belonging – for example, Gavinana (Q3), Galluzzo (Q3), Campo di Marte (Q2) or Masaccio (Q2) and so on. Ensure that you look into what Quarter you’ll be staying in and learning the most direct route to the Florencetown Office, the meeting point for Florencetown tours. For the record, Florencetown is located at Via de Lamberti, 1 in the Quarter Q1, the city center.
2. Make sure to check out any cancelations or detours regarding particular bus routes at the ATAF website, www.ataf.net. This is the official website concerning all bus routes for Florence and its province area. Remember, the race routes change on a daily basis so for your most accurate assessments, ensure that you check their website every day for any necessary updates.
3. Right from the horse’s mouth! If it doesn’t get any more direct than this, you can always check out the website for the City of Florence where they have outlined a daily “suggerimenti per gli spostamenti”, which translates to, “tips for trips”. Click the link for more details – http://www.comune.fi.it/opencms/opencms/comune_firenze/Mondiali_ciclismo_2013.html. Warning: It’s written in Italian, so if you don’t know the language, then ensure you are able to find a translation via person or computer.
In the map below we marked the walking access to cross the main circuit. They will be not open during the race so pay attention to check the program in advance!
All in all, I’m confident this will be an event to remember and despite some of the city route changes, I’m looking forward to the embracing cyclists from all around the world who are participating in this event. See you on the road!
Tiffany Tobias – Florencetown