Think Pink… the Giro d’Italia is Coming to Dublin! Two wheels always trumps four when it comes to getting out and about in Dublin. This weekend, that goes double – with the Giro d’Italia cycling race freewheeling into town. The Big Start of this year’s race is reason enough to get in the saddle, but there’s a whole host of cultural activities shaping up over Friday, Saturday and Sunday too. Here’s our pick of the best…
1. The Giro d’Italia Start 2014
Dublin will be pretty in pink this Sunday afternoon, as Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia’s Big Start comes whizzing into the city. After an opening ceremony and time trials in Belfast, the famous race departs on a 187km dash from Armagh to Dublin, with the peloton expected into Swords at 15.58, before chasing onwards to Malahide (15.44), Portmarnock (15.51), Clontarf (16.06), The Talbot Memorial Bridge on City Quay (16.11) and the finishing line on Merrion Street Upper around 16.13. The race leader traditionally wears pink… so get your bunting on and to give him a big Dublin welcome! Organisers recommend getting there at least 90 minutes in advance.
2. Pink Your Bike, Café Rothar
Bring your trusty two-wheeler to Café Rothar on Fade Street this Friday or Saturday (May 9-10), and in-house artists will ‘pink’ it for free. Look out for pop-up biking performances around Grafton Street too (including a bike dance jam on South King Street), and Café Rothar is also the starting point for three alternative bike tours. The two-hour tours depart on May 9th (10am), 10th (2pm) and 11th (11.30am), promising a behind-the-scenes look at Dublin with an Irish-Italian flavor. They’re free, but you need to register with seedublinbybike.ie. Bikes, helmets and snacks are provided.
3. Film Festival, Meeting House Square
It wouldn’t be an Italian cycling-themed weekend in Dublin without a screening of The Bicycle Thief (1948), and that’s exactly what you’ll find projected onto the screen at Meeting House Square from 1opm this Saturday, May 10th. Director Vittorio De Sica's classic story of a poor father searching Rome for his stolen bicycle is free - as is the showing of Breaking Away (1979) on Sunday at 1opm. The latter is an American coming of age comedy-drama following a small-town teen obsessed with the Italian cycling team. You can book free tickets for both online via entertainment.ie.
4. Borza Tours
Looking to inject a bit of La Dolce Vita into your life? Three Italian-themed tours of Dublin could be just the ticket. Treasures of Italy (10am, May 10th) takes in the highlights of the National Gallery’s Italian collection; Sights of Italy (1pm, May 10th) explores the stuccowork of some of Dublin’s greatest Georgian buildings, and Taste of Italy (4pm, May 10th) takes in the Italian Quarter, P. Borza’s chipper on Thomas Street, and a dip into Little Italy in Smithfield to sample some wine and Italian produce. The tours are free, but should be booked in advance on eventbrite.ie.
5. The Mobius Strip
The wha’? Our thoughts exactly. As Irish cyclists including Nicolas Roche, Dan Martin and Philip Deignan compete for the coveted Maglia Rosa (pink jersey), another Irishman will be chaining remakes of Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel to bike stands around the city centre. That artist’s name is Aaron Lawless, and his conceptual sculptures are designed as whimsical interventions highlighting everyday events in the life of the city.
6. Giro Jive, Dame District
Lots more events are lined up for the Giro weekend, including alternative bike tours with the Le Cool Dublin Experience, free cycling tours with Storymap Dublin, and five hours of free live outdoor entertainment in the city’s Dame District. The Giro Jive takes place outside the Mercantile, bringing a festival vibe with The Lunar Boys, opera singer Wayne Woodman blasting out the Italian classics, the Fullmoon Boogie Band and those all-important handmade pies from Dave’s Pizza (5-10pm, May 10th)...
Check out #pinkthecity for more Giro events this weekend.