In our special Italia Bici section, presents the finest Italy has to offer in bicycles and cycling apparel. Each feature presents a leading Italian manufacturer and its 2008 product lines, with special insights into the design and manufacture of their products, including the input provided by some of the world's leading professional cyclists.

In these pages, we also meet the designers and driving forces behind some of cycling's greatest names, and look at the history of companies that have shaped the sport in the world's number one cycling nation.

Vittoria Shoes

The town of Vigliano Biellese, nestled below the famed Santuario di Oropa in the Piemonte region of Italy, is the base a true Italian family affair: Vittoria Shoes, a bicycle shoe company started in 1978 by former pro rider Celestino Vercelli. Vittoria Shoes has stuck to its standards over the last 30 years and is known for producing some of the finest cycling shoes, which are Made in Italy, from sole to upper.

Shoes are one of the three critical contact points for a bike rider, and the Vercelli family prides itself on providing a product that starts with the highest quality material and are 100% handcrafted in their compact factory in Vigliano Biellese. Over the years Vittoria shoes have been worn by winners of the Giro d'Italia,
Tour de France, World Championships, Olympic Games and numerous other races. Such past riders as Marco Pantani and Stephen Roche have been sponsored by the Vercelli family, while current riders include Manuele Mori, Luca Paolini, José Rujano, José Serpa, Gabriele Bosisio and Hanka Kupfernagel.


Milani Bicycles are back, thanks to the passion and desire of Natale Milani's son, Celeste. After the death of his father, one of Italy's classic bike lines faced extinction, but Celeste picked up the pieces in 2007 to keep alive the Milani name which started in 1927.

"When you are young, you don't see that you have a jewel in your hand; it was only when my father passed away that I discovered this," Celeste Milani explained to Cyclingnews from the Gallarate, Italy headquarters of Milani Bicycles in the spring of 2008. He gave up the security of his role in an international company and took up the trade of his dad and grandfather, building fine racing bicycles.

"I was a manager for a multinational company for many, many years, but I decided to leave that; I decided – along with my wife – to carry on the Milani name. When I was young, I did a little bit of welding, I was better as a commercial guy, not like the pure production guy that my father was. He loved what he did, he loved building bikes, and so he just kept making bikes. He loved his bikes and he was happy that way."

De Marchi

Mauro Coccia, President of De Marchi Sport told Italia Bici that "we have a long tradition at De Marchi, but that has not stopped us from innovating. We are very proud of our new Contour EVO Technology that over sixty years since our company was founded is at the forefront of cycling clothing technology."

"It is a very prestigious building, and one that has been presented in modern architect books," explained Selle Italia Marketing Manager Ingrid Bordignon, describing new headquarters building in Casella d'Asolo. Just 15 kilometres from the old location, the new HQ meant a chance in provinces, from Vicenza to Treviso, and a step up in working environments. The new building was designed by noted Italian architect Carlo Scarpa for appliance maker Zanussi in the early 1960's, and features plenty of windows in its cubical design that allows for Selle Italia's saddles to be seen in a bright new light.

Selle Italia

For 110 years Selle Italia has produced quality saddles in Italy just as it will in 2008. Selle Italia is newly based in a prestigious location in Asolo, Italy, that provides light to its black and white designs. Selle Italia's new headquarters is also where it proudly produces its saddles – from the Team Edition to the new, all-carbon CX Zero.

De Marchi founder and cycling pioneer Emilio De Marchi was born in in 1906 and knew cycling legends like Bottecchia, Bartali Coppi and Bobet. de marchi founded Maglificio Sportivo De Marchi in 1946 and quickly became famous for the fit and quality of his cycling shorts. In the early sixties Emilio passed on the company to daughter Elda and son-in-law Ezio Coccia which rapidly expanded production capacity to satisfy the already growing demand for quality cyclewear.