Rocco Forte Hotels

We're delighted to announce that taking a leading role in Verdura Resort's Cycling Academy for 2019 is one of Italy's most celebrated professional road cyclists, Mario Cipollini. Nicknamed the 'Lion King' during his illustrious career, which spanned almost two decades and saw him break several world records, he had 42 stage wins at the Giro d'Italia and 12 stage wins in the Tour de France.

Mario retired in 2005 to devote himself to the creation of Italian-made carbon road bikes and stylish cycling gear, but groups of all ages can enjoy the exclusive opportunity to cycle with him this summer at Verdura Resort. We caught up with Mario to learn more about cycling in Sicily.

What makes Sicily a great destination for cycling?

“I have cycled all over the world, but Sicily is overrun with breathtaking landscapes. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or are simply interested in taking a bike ride to explore the Italian countryside, Sicily has some stunning trails that wind through beautiful mountain and seaside scenery”.

Where do you like to stop along the way, and what local food or drinks do you find most refreshing?

“Our bike rides are designed to offer participants the opportunity to enjoy local coffee and granita, cassata and cannoli. Though probably not all in the same ride…”

Tell us a bit about the sessions you run, and how you keep them suitable for cyclists of different ages and abilities. Are there sessions in which the whole family can take part?

“There are opportunities for everyone, including daily family rides around the resort and rides outside the resort for cyclists who want more of a challenge.”

Why, in your opinion, does cycling make the perfect family activity?

“Cycling enables you to spend a wonderful holiday full of quality time with your family.

In this modern world, everyone is busy, and there is a serious lack of time for personal freedom and luxury. In short, people suffer from time poverty. Riding with your kids or with your spouse can help mutual understanding.”

What’s your favourite way to wind down at Verdura Resort after a day of cycling?

“The Spa at Verdura Resort draws inspiration from legendary Sicilian hospitality, and is a place of personal peace, enchantment and wellbeing. Massages and treatments are based on traditional wellness practices, but Verdura Spa also features treatments for specific post-cycling restoration.”

To find out more about Verdura Resort's Cycling Academy, or to book an exhilarating stay in Sicily, please email reservations.verdura@roccoforthotels.com or call +39 0925 9980 01.

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