This is the Po Valley at its finest: flat fertile agricultural land laden with tradition. Stage 13 of the Giro 101 starts from the cradle of the Este family-driven Renaissance, Ferrara, and finishes 180 kilometres (and 400 years of history) later in the hills around the river Piave at Nervesa della Battaglia in the Province of Treviso, the site of a ferocious battle that saw the whole town razed to the ground at the end of the First World War in June 1918. Also killed during those bloody days was the legendary Italian flying ace Francesco Baracca whose plane was adorned with the image of a black prancing horse, an emblem that was later gifted to Enzo Ferrari to use for his newly-founded sports car company.
“There is a curious connection between aviation and cycling,” says pilot Giancarlo Zanardo. “The Wright brothers, who carried out the first powered flights in 1903, were bicycle makers.”
Stage 13 also has very strong links to the real star of the Giro: the bicycle. Ferrara is considered the bicycle capital of Italy and bikes are big business in the Treviso area too as it is the home of, amongst others, Selle Italia, renowned for its cutting-edge, lightweight designs, and Pinarello, which makes some of the finest bike frames in the world as well as being official supplier of the Nytro e-road bike used in the first edition of the electric bike version of the Giro d’Italia, the Giro E.
Enel too is involved in two major projects with deep roots in this part of the Po Delta. In partnership with Bonifiche Ferraresi, the Group is working to create Europe’s first smart agriculture district, which will be powered entirely by renewable sources. Furthermore, the former thermoelectric power station Porto Tolle is being converted into a themed tourist park for outdoor sports enthusiasts as part of the Futur-e project. Two real-world examples of how shared value can be created together with local stakeholders, and also of the circular economy at work.