On the drawing board for years, construction of the pista ciclabile, Naples bike path officially started on January 19th. A 20km route that will connect Bagnoli at Porta del Parco on the west side of the city to Piazza Garibaldi, it is part of a project that will eventually run all the way to San Giovanni a Teduccio on the east side of the city. According to city officials, this first phase will be completed within just seven months, opening by the end of July 2012.

At a ground breaking ceremony Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris said that the Naples bike path will be the longest and most beautiful in Southern Italy. At a cost of 1.2 million euro for the first phase, it is a bold move in the face of recent major transportation cuts.

Part of the new administration’s broader plan to create a sustainable mobility network, this project will connect riders with key points around the city and various modes of public transportation such as Lungomare, Porto Molo Beverello and the Central Train Station. The project will also include incentives for bike riders such as free transport of bicycles on Metro Lines 1 and 6.