The 18th stage of the Giro d’Italia 102 winds its way through a huge variety of landscapes and scenery. It starts from the Alto Adige region, or more precisely Valdaora/Olang, at the foot of the Plan de Corones, the largest ski resort in the Alps, and takes the pack all the way to Santa Maria di Sala, a municipality with Roman origins just a few kilometres from Venice. In the middle are the Dolomites of Veneto and the Cadore area. This is the land of winter sports and summer climbing, with such stunningly unique vistas that they have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is also the land of clean energy: the rivers in the Upper Veneto region are dotted with Enel Green Power hydroelectric stations. Hydroelectricity is actually Italy’s main source of renewable energy, as EGP Italy Manager Carlo Pignoloni points out: “Enel Green Power is a world leader in renewables. We have a strong presence in Italy, and this is particularly true of hydroelectricity and geoelectricity. One of our main goals is to maintain this fleet as it is part of the nation’s heritage.”
With this in mind, EGP has worked on developing energy generation from all kinds of renewable sources, and is aiming to grow still further: “Renewables have evolved and are now very much a reality on the world stage,” continues Pignoloni. “Two sources in particular are driving growth at world level: wind and photovoltaic. Indeed they will be the focus of the major Italian development plan as part of the European goals and we will certainly play an important role.”
Although Stage 18 of the Giro 102 doesn’t present any particular technical challenges as it is almost entirely on level roads or downhill, it is undoubtedly one of the most scenic. The most spectacular part of the route is, of course, through the lovely town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, the pearl of the Dolomites.
Another noteworthy place that this stage of the “Pink Race” passes through is Vittorio Veneto. The town is famous not only for the pivotal First World War battle that took place there, but also as the birthplace of Lorenzo Da Ponte, Mozart’s most famous and important librettist. This is an industrious, development-focused part of the world that also has a vocation for sustainability.