Most would agree that it’s awesome to enjoy a cold beer after a long ride in the sun. Or perhaps a delicious ice cream if you’ve got a sweet tooth. But it would be even better if it was free, right? Well, it’s possible, but you’ve got to to Bologna in Italy.

Bike for beer in Bologna

The city council of Bologna hoped to inspire the community to give up driving their cars and choose to bike or walk instead. So it launched the Bella Mossa app. Through this app you can mark when you are biking or walking to a destination that you would normally drive to. The more you opt out of driving, the more points you get. And as the points add up you get discounts in the city—and can even get products for free.

There are more than a hundred businesses locally support the campaign, and the city of Bologna receives subsidies from the European Union to fund the experiment. What’s more, it’s working!

The programme has been motivating residents to get more exercise. There is also a competitive aspect because everyone wants to get more points than their friends. The rewards are worth the effort: you can see a movie for free just by not using your car to get around. Last year users traveled a total of 3.7m km, according to the app. And that means a lot less time in cars!

bella mossa bologna


There are some caveats. For example, the app only works for six months of the year and you can only record a maximum of four trips per day. Also, you really have to move around all day for several days before earning enough points to score a beer. But still, it is a nice alternative to the car and the city is motivated. We would love to see this in our country!