Awarded World’s Best Cycling Guide By Outside Magazine 2014
A former competitive triathlete, Marcello Bonini is a true Renaissance man who has also worked as a personal trainer, masseur, cycling consultant, teacher, and sommelier. He began cycling at such an early age he doesn’t actually even remember starting. “Like every Italian I learned to cycle before I learned to write,” he says. He does, however, have clear memories of receiving a bright red road racing bike for his sixth birthday. Together with his cousins and friends, Marcello spent much of his childhood racing through the countryside on different courses and assembling “monster hybrids” using parts from old bikes.
Born in Reggio Emilia, Marcello grew up in both Tuscany (Arezzo) and Romagna (Cesena) due to his father’s career as a professional soccer player. He now lives in Reggio Emilia with his wife, Cleide; their two children, Gaspare and Gaia; and his parents. He appreciates the high standards of social services, education, and sports in his home area, as well as the fact that it is home to citizens who care about their community and actively participate in many aspects of the city’s civic life.
As a guide, he has led more than 120 trips, most of them in Tuscany and central Italy. Passionate about music and sports, he loves to combine both on his tours, singing his heart out as often as possible while biking along. “I rarely have enough wind to sing when climbing,” he says, “but you can surely hear me going downhill!”
In Their Own Words
“My favorite area to cycle is Tuscany because of the beauty of the scenery, the quality of the roads, the history of every little village, and the personality of the people. Putting it all together I reckon Tuscany still one of the best regions to travel by bike.”
“What I enjoy most about Ciclismo trips is the opportunity for me to share the most beautiful stretches of my own country with foreigners who always turn out to be very interesting people themselves. This job has forced me to learn a lot about places I didn’t know before and keeps me outdoors for four months per year.
“I hope my guests bring home two things; the scent of the Italian lifestyle – a mix of musical cheerfulness, slow wellbeing and self-irony – and the passion for cycling, the most energetic human activity.”