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The startup that marries cycle tourism with food and wine

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Article by Caterina Lo Casto appeared in number 2 of BIKE (attached to Forbes Italia in October) on newsstands from October to December 2020

Unexpected synergies are created when a chef from Bergamo with a passion for cycling arrives in Parma to study gastronomic sciences and falls in love with Emilian cuisine. This is the story of Davide Pagani, born in 90 ‘, a lover of sustainable horticulture and a gourmet of Italian cuisine. In 2009, as soon as he moved to Parma, he bought a bicycle and touring the Emilian valleys, while being struck by the landscapes and the genuineness of the local food, imagined the possibility of being able to build his own startup in the cradle of many Italian gastronomic excellences.

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In 2015 Davide gives life to Bike Food Stories a startup that deals with food and wine cycling. His motto is “discover, experience, taste”. The core business is the itinerant gastronomic experience, pedaling through the Food Valley, discovering the flavors and history of small and medium-sized food producing companies. “The goal is to give a voice to the territory, but also to listen to the stories of the tourists who decide to follow me on my routes”, says Davide, “I like to think I can give them a unique experience far from the idea of ​​cycling performance”.

The tasting of Parmigiano Reggiano, Parma Ham and wines is done on site, directly in the companies, observing the production cycle, interacting with the artisans, entering into a relationship with this rich territory; starting from the center of Parma, passing through Salsomaggiore, Fidenza and Busseto. Each experience lasts one day, each path is different from the other and each occasion is good to fill one’s mouth and eyes with beauty.

L’autenticità è il primo valore di Bike Food Stories, dei sapori, dei luoghi e delle persone. “I miei clienti cercano il rapporto umano, si meravigliano ogni volta della genuinità di certi cibi fatti con amore, della cultura e dell’accoglienza emiliana”. Non c’è da stupirsi se nel 2019 Davide ha pedalato per 24.094 km, ha accompagnato 964 persone provenienti da 39 paesi diversi, ogni turista ha percorso in media 25 km, si sono stappate 277 bottiglie di vino locale e tagliate 1.400 fette di salame.

Living in a globalized world stimulates the rediscovery of local thinking, with the possibility of leaving an imprint through conscious choices starting from the way of traveling and tourism. Not just bikes, not just food, not just stories, but also communicating a sustainable lifestyle, being an example, a vector for greener, slower tourism in Italy. The dream is to expand the Bike Food Stories format to all of Italy, to create a virtuous circle, a network of people who can share the vision.

“Partners are fundamental to make the company grow” says Davide, and adds: “Cycle tourism is the present but above all the future of tourism in Italy”. Combining outdoor sports and tastings is good for us, for the local economy and for the environment. Acting locally to reach global: an ambitious project that Davide Pagani carries out with great dedication and preparation.

The future of the company? Bike Food Stories is a fluid and agile format, able to communicate with many made in Italy realities, a company that can also take root outside the Food Valley. Davide is already imagining new paths and does not exclude the possibility of writing a food and wine guide that collects Italian excellence, to give visibility to the cycling sector and to continue to tell and tell about himself through his travels between nature and taste buds.

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