Thursday, February 26, 2009

Birthplace of the Italian Bicycle

My thanks to Nick R. for submitting the following article which appeared in "The Florentine".

Home of the Bicycle
February 26, 2009

Florence is not only the birthplace of Gino Bartali, one of the greatest cyclists in history, but it is the birthplace of the Italian bicycle. The velocipede was built by Florentine inventor Giovan Battista Gallizio, who made the two-wheelers from 1860 to 1880.

Cycle lovers can catch a glimpse of this rare piece of history at the Museo di Ciclismo Gino Bartali in Ponte ad Ema (FI) until February 28. As part of the exhibit, entitled "From the velocipede to the bicycle", Gallizio's velocipede is showcased with some other very rare cycles: a late-1800s tricycle in iron and with different sized wheels, as well as two motor-run bicycles from the 1900s.

The exhibit explores the history of the bicycle in Italy with the aim of ‘attracting more Florentines to the museum and to the sport', says the museum's director, Leonardo Petronici.

Established by the Associazione Amici del Museo del Ciclismo Gino Bartali, the museum in Ponte ad Ema also holds an important permanent collection of cycles, jerseys, biographies and anecdotes of Italy's great cycling champions as well as an entire room dedicated to the titles won by Bartali.

Associazione Amici del Museo del Ciclismo
Gino Bartali
Via Chiantigiana, 177
50126 Ponte a Ema (Firenze)
Tel. 055/6461272
Open (at time of writing):
Thursday 9,30 - 13,00 and 15,30 - 19,30
Friday 9,30 - 13,00 and 15,30 - 19,30
Saturday 9,00 - 13,00
I've been informed that large groups can arrange visits at different times

Photo: museum logo

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