Romagna is the land of hospitality, kindness and motorbikes. This itinerary is mainly dedicated to the memory of a person who embodied these three traits.
We’re talking about Marco Simoncelli, whose memory still brings a smile to all his fans. If you have a visceral love of motorcycles, then a day on Romagna’s roads with a roaring engine and a whiff of petrol in the wake of an iconic 58 is right up your alley!
Starting grid, traffic lights off...go! Your first destination is Coriano, where you’ll find the Museo Simoncelli. The world’s only museum entirely dedicated to the “history of the Sic” on and off the Grand Prix circuits is here in his beloved home town.
The gallery exhibit includes feats, motorbikes, helmets, racing uniforms and other objects belonging to the pilot, Marco Simoncelli. He was 250cc-class world champion in 2008 and tragically died at 24 after a serious accident during the Malaysia Grand Prix.
You’ll be moved by this touching exhibition when you see the smile of Super Sic.
Leaving the Simoncelli Museum, your next stop is the Misano World Circuit, which Marco Simoncelli had raced many times, and which was dedicated to him in 2012. In fact, the street leading up to the circuit entrance is named in his honour, Via Marco Simoncelli. To reach it, you pass through a large roundabout with an immense sculpture in the middle inspired by the cover of Marco’s book, Diobò che Bello, [not available in English] written together with his friend, journalist Paolo Beltramo, about his 250-class world championship victory.
The idea to build a circuit on this flat stretch of Romagna began much earlier, in the 1960s, thanks to a timeless name: Enzo Ferrari.
At Misano World Circuit you can book test drives on the track, watch scheduled 2- and 4-wheeled events, such as the Superbike Grand Prix, the Porsche Festival, San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix, Misano Racing Weekend, and practise driving go-karts on the mini-track next to the main circuit.
For motorbike fans, the obvious next step is to speed through the same hills of Romagna where the Sic (and his friends, including Valentino Rossi) learned to drive, feeling the wind in your hair, cornering your bike and leaning in.
You’re on the Strada delle Colline di Romagna [Romagna Hills Road], a ring circuit that starts and finishes in Rimini, passing through Torre Pedrera, Santarcangelo, San Martino Mulini, Sant’Ermete, Cerasolo, Ospedaletto, Coriano, San Clemente, Morciano, Santa Maria del Monte, Saludecio, Mondaino, Tavullia, Montegridolfo, Gradara and Gabicce.
This route, also known as the Strada del Paesaggio [Scenic Road], traverses the hills of Romagna parallel to the coast, crossing the entire province of Rimini. Not only is it loads of fun, but the views are spectacular. Taking in the sunset from atop a motorbike on the pilots’ hills is as good as it gets!