From North to South, cycling the dams
Masterpieces of engineering, symbols of their local areas, spectacular hidden natural landscapes. Enel Green Power’s dams in Italy are largely unknown treasures that can be discovered by following the routes set out in a new guide.
Together with Il Sole 24 Ore, our Group presents “Cycling the Dams”, a nature and cultural project that aims not only to present the technical specifications of the infrastructure and its sustainability credentials, but also the most picturesque trails to follow to reach the dams, their links with local history and the Giro d’Italia, sports activities that can be enjoyed nearby with the family and some valuable advice about some of the local delicacies. The website of Italy’s most important financial daily features a special section with descriptions of 12 of the dams that have changed Italy for the better: two in Lombardy (Val Vestino and Campomoro), three in Piedmont (Entracque, Rochemolles and Morasco), and others in Trentino (Fedaia), Abruzzo (Campotosto), Sicily (Ancipa) and Sardinia (Coghinas), with wonderful destinations also in Calabria (Cecita), Molise (Castel San Vincenzo) and Tuscany (the river Serchio axis).
From the Alps to the Apennines and the large Mediterranean islands we pedal through Italy with a star team of Enel top managers, all passionate cyclists, taking on climbs at the most demanding dams, accompanied by the former cyclist and TV commentator Paolo Savoldelli.
The Il Sole 24 Ore section offers profiles of the installations involved in the project, with information on the areas they provide with energy and on how they are reducing CO2 emissions, as well as a number of features describing the local area, tourist trails, the most important historical facts and sports that can be enjoyed in the area with the family. For those with a passion for local cuisine, the gourmet notes also suggest an easy recipe, while the more inquisitive can read the “cycling stories” about a cyclist from the region or an important competitive event.
And with the launch of a Challenge on Strava, the number one app for runners and cyclists, from 21 July to 21 August everyone will have the opportunity to set new records as they cycle the 12 dams.
12 reasons to take to the saddle
Each of the dams offers marvels and curiosities, so it’s best to start from the installations that are closest to home, the largest ones or the locations that retain living records of past achievements. If you can’t decide, a few tips will put you on the right track. With Enel, there’s no shortage of energy to power a journey of discovery through Italy.
The Serchio drainage basin in the provinces of Lucca and Pistoia is one of Italy’s largest, with 11 dams, three barrages and 23 hydroelectric plants, producing 540 GWh. The Vagli dam has become a very popular destination after the reservoir was emptied in 1994, revealing the “submerged village” of Fabbriche di Careggine. Another of the area’s attractions is the Ponte del Diavolo, which spans the dam in Borgo a Mozzano. Dating back to the 11th century, the bridge inspired a sinister folk legend that has led it to be used as a location for numerous commercials.