Florence | Manifattura Tabacchi

Grand Tour by bike

The Grand Tour by bike is an activity to share with citizens the history of neighbourhoods surrounding the regeneration area. It is a way to engage different publics in the discovery of the neighbourhood, and to connect the area under regeneration to the wider surrounding areas. This activity is useful if the regeneration projects aim at entering in contact with the neighbourhood, generating a storytelling rooted on the history (and on stories) of the place. Moreover, the activity promotes new forms of sociality around the use of bikes as a way to discover the city.


Implementing actors: MIM - curator of MT meanwhile activities, together with “Associazione dei Desideri”

Engaged actors: Florentine Citizens, both in the collection of stories and in the participation in Grand Tours.


Manifattura Tabacchi proposed this activity to be known as the starting stop of each tour in 4 different neighborhoods surrounding the complex. Grand Tour organisation has been a way to connect with the city and with the citizens.

The Grand Tour by bike only takes a couple of hours, and instead of heading to more exotic destinations, it tells the now forgotten history of Florence’s neighbourhoods, a shorter but no less interesting journey. The whole route is guided and accompanied by a thematic soundtrack, and professional actors recount the history step by step in a way that is both interactive and involving. The stages form an itinerary for the discovery of incredible anecdotes, hidden away under the façade of a building we see every day, or the square that we pass through on the way to work, places that seem anonymous but which have actually seen important historical events


Artists and curators collect stories from the neighbourhood, both through field and desk research, select stories representative of different places of the city. Stories are selected to create a tour with several stops where anecdotes will be shared with participants. A soundtrack matching anecdotes with songs can be created and aired during the bike tour. A map synthesizing the tour can also be associated with the experience. With these outputs, the experience can be replicated by participants even without facilitation.

Tours can be organised by a small team of two persons, with groups from 10 to 50 participants each.