Bike trail cuts through Eternal City

Story highlights

  • The Tiber Cycling Lane is one of Rome's few designated bike trails
  • The 33-kilometer (20.5-mile) path cuts through the capital city

(CNN)A decaying bike path in Rome reminds Alessandro Lacché of larger problems in his hometown and his country.

"It's both a window on the real Rome and a metaphor of something larger," the photographer and cyclist said of his photographic series "Tiberina mon amour" ("Tiberina my love"), which captures scenes along the Tiber Cycling Lane, one of Rome's few designated bike trails.
Lacché wanted his photographs of the Tiber path, a riverside route that has fallen into disrepair, to capture a point of view that's far from the rosy picture presented to visitors.
    "While tourists seem to be charmed by the dazzling lights of the Eternal City, Rome is far different: neglect, decay, abandon, Mafia," he said.
    Photographer Alessandro Lacché
    Rome isn't known for being bike-friendly. There are very few designated bike routes, and 71 out of 100 inhabitants use cars, among the highest rates in Europe.
    "Going around by bike is extremely dangerous due to the lack of infrastructure and maintenance-related issues," Lacché said.
    He wants to see Rome's cycling culture grow.
    "My goal is to create a critical consciousness that aims to improve the public spirit and bicycle culture," he said.
    The Tiber Cycling Lane captured the photographer's interest in 2014.

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    The 33-kilometer (20.5-mile) path was started in 1990. It cuts the city in half, running north-south along the Tiber river from the suburbs through central Rome and back out to the highway that encircles the city.
    "It is clear that the use of the bicycle is the best way to lower the level of pollution and rethink a city under the dictatorship of cars and traffic jams," Lacché said.