It is the glorious final parade through the streets of Rome. 10 laps of a circuit that takes in Piazza del Popolo, the Circus Maximus, the Colosseum and the Quirinal Hill. A total of 115 kilometres spanning climbs, descents and, of course, the city’s famous sanpietrini bevelled cobblestones. This is not Rome’s first time to play host to the Giro d’Italia finale: the capital also provided the venue for the “final stage” in 1911, 1950 and 2009, when the Russian cyclist Denis Menchov took the Pink Jersey despite a slip on the sanpietrini just a few metres from the finish-line. Ah yes, the Pink Jersey. That great symbol of passion, sweat and triumph has had a very special sponsor for the last three years: Enel, the Italian company that has made innovation and sustainability its cornerstones. “The Giro means we can be present all over the country and stay close to people,” explains Enel Head of Country Italy Carlo Tamburi, “but most of all it lets us promote electric mobility.”
And Enel is very much at the forefront in the electric mobility arena. We are developing innovative charging systems, thanks in part to collaborations with startups like Ares2T, which was founded in the capital, as well as researching ways of recycling lithium ion batteries, drawing on the experience built up by Cobat. This national collection and recycling consortium is a real role model when it comes to managing and reusing waste. It is also one of the 100 Circular Economy stories that we have told in partnership with the Symbola Foundation.
Alongside these initiatives, we are also staunch promoters of electric vehicles of all kinds, be they two or four-wheeled, electric bikes included, of course. So much so, in fact, that through Enel X we are the sponsors of the first edition of the Giro E, the electric bike version of the Giro d’Italia.
“Bikes aren’t just smart and healthy,” says Gianluca Santilli of Federciclismo (the Italian Cycling Federation). “More importantly still, it is the most intelligent way of getting around Rome.” The great Vittorio De Sica didn’t film Bicycle Thieves in the city for nothing after all!