Giro-E, Stage 15
Stage number 15 of the Giro-E 2021 stands between two fronts: from Aquileia to Gorizia, 74 kilometres with little movement (550 metres of elevation gain). A piece of cake compared to the Zoncolan that preceded it and the peaks of the Canazei-Cortina D’Ampezzo (Pordoi and especially Giau) that will follow, two five-star stages.
The starting town is extremely interesting. Founded by the Romans in 181 B.C. and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, Aquileia was one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire, one of the most vibrant communities of early Latin Christianity, and one of the most important ancient ports on the Adriatic, the starting point of trade, cultural and military routes to North-Eastern Europe. Worth visiting are the Episcopal Basilica with the Baptistery and the Südhalle, the Heroes’ Cemetery, the Roman Forum, the river port and the Domus of Titus Macro. It is crossed by the Alpe Adria cycle route, a cross-border itinerary that connects Salzburg to the Adriatic Sea, passing behind the Roman Forum and near the Basilica before plunging into the magnificent Grado lagoon; the Aquileia-Grado section is an ideal itinerary for a bicycle trip, flat and without traffic.
As for the stage, the other interesting factor is the town of arrival, Gorizia, which together with Nova Gorica is the European Capital of Culture 2025. The two cities convinced a jury of international experts with the slogan GO! Borderless, “let’s go without borders”, and with the idea of a Europe where walls have been broken down by the strength of two local administrations that have overcome all obstacles to build a better future.