We’ve pulled back the curtain so you can peek at how things work behind the scenes here at Macs HQ. Get to know some of our experts, specialists, fellow walking enthusiasts and small business owners who meticulously plan your trips, do all the logistical legwork and provide 24/7 support, so you can have a memorable, stress-free trip.
Spotlight on Davide, who's an integral part of our team on the ground for anyone Cycling in Sicily's South
Today, we chatted with Davide, whose company – Ciclofree – works closely with Macs Adventure to arrange incredible biking trips in Sicily. From the routes themselves to the luggage transports and bike hire, we work incredibly closely with Davide to create the best Sicilian adventures for you.
Davide tells us the best way to get to know the real Sicily, why he believes cycling is the best way to explore the island and what sustainable practices he’s implemented to be kinder to the planet...
How does the partnership between Macs Adventure and Ciclofree work?
We work on fulfilling any special requests from the customers. We organize airport transfers (run by us or our collaborators), we hold a welcome briefing where we talk about the tour and answer any questions, and we provide customers with their bikes (we own 200+ bikes).
How long have you worked in biking tourism and what made you get into it?
I started in 2017. I was studying business administration at the Economics faculty of "Università degli Studi di Catania". When it came time to write my thesis, I was looking for an interesting topic. Alissia was already my girlfriend, and at the time, her father owned Ciclofree – our cycling company. So, I was able to ask him many questions about cycle tourism and had the opportunity to access the company's data. After my analysis and providing minor recommendations for improving the company's performance, my thesis was published, and I received a university degree.
Shortly after, Alissia's dad asked me if I wanted to join Ciclofree. One year later, Alissia finished the same studies and joined the company too.
What makes biking the best way to see Sicily?
The best of Sicily is spread around the whole island. It’s in small towns, hidden corners, narrow ancient streets, at the top of rewarding climbs and on relaxing coastal seashores. All these places are often unreachable by car or public transportation. Only a bike can give the absolute freedom of moving around, stopping, going back, meditating, taking a photograph and going on again - all without skipping anything and engaging all the five senses.
What is one Sicilian dish our travelers HAVE to try?
It’s always challenging to limit the choices to one! While many would likely say "arancini" or "cannoli", I would say caponata. It’s a mix of eggplant, olives, carrots, celery, onions and capers, all in an agrodolce (sweet and sour) tomato sauce. Delizioso!
How can travelers best get to know the real Sicily?
By chatting to locals - especially in small towns. Sicily is a welcoming island filled with friendly people who are happy to help. They can provide insight that few handbooks can. Where to eat, local gems and even snippets of the area’s history.
Which of our Sicily trips is your favorite and why?
Cycle Sicily's South trip offers a unique mix of different biking stages. From mountains to hills to the coast. Wherever you are on the island, the food and wine are unbeatable. The weather is great all season long. There are six UNESCO cities, also famous for being the set of many movies/TV series (Inspector Montalbano and The White Lotus among others). The trip has a vast history which heavily influenced the Sicily you see today. From the ancient Greeks and Romans to the Arabs, Normans, Spaniards and the late Baroque era. All this, packed in a biking tour created in 2001, which we are constantly improving down to the smallest detail, as only a 20+-year-old tour can be.
What does working with Macs mean to you?
Working with Macs allows us the opportunity to improve the product and ourselves. From buying more bikes to having stronger partnerships with more hotels. It has allowed us to run more tours and hire two more collaborators. All of this feeds back into our community which is very important to us.
What sustainable practises have you implemented and what opportunities are you looking to for the future?
We limit printed paper to the very essentials, we’ve fitted solar panels for electricity on our home office and when sourcing bikes and spare parts, we look to sustainable-certified suppliers. In the future, we aim to completely eliminate the need for printed paper. We hope to only use electric vehicles for luggage transportation and work with hotels that use green energy.