Italians falling in love with bicycles again

Bicycle sales in Italy have outstripped those of cars for the first time in over half a century, according to new figures.
In 2011, 1,750,000 bicycles were bought, compared to 1,748,000 vehicles. This is something of a revelation, as Italy has one of the highest car ownership levels in the world (approximately six cars for every ten people).
It appears that the country, famed for developing Ferraris and Lamborghinis, two of the most sought after cars, has fallen in love with the simple pursuit of cycling all over again.
Professionals moving to Italy will be interested to hear that cycling has long been part of Italian culture, though since World War II, cars, motorbikes and scooters have been particularly popular forms of transport.
“More and more people are deciding to bring their old models out of the garage or the cellar,” Pietro Nigrelli, of industry association Confindustria, was quoted by the Telegraph as saying.
“Bikes are easy to use and they cost little. And on distances of five kilometres or less, they are often faster than other modes of transport.”
As well as cycling becoming chic again, other reasons for this renaissance are related to the high cost of petrol, traffic and the challenges of parking in the country’s major cities.
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