Welcome to the Italy Cycling Guide

Thinking about an independent cycle tour in Italy?

…this site is here to help: there are guides to tours, cycle­ways and cycle routes, and lots of resources to help you plan your trip. You could start by going to the guide for the region you're inter­ested in, or choose a theme: moun­tains? lakes? coastal rides? Or scroll this page for a small selec­tion of what's on offer.

Wondering where to start?

You can find good places to cycle through­out Italy, but, if you're won­der­ing where to start there are some point­ers in the art­icle Cycling in Italy - Where to start.

Some featured tours

cyclists on the road between Volterra and Siena

Heart of Toscana

This tour takes you through through the heart of Toscana: the Chianti, the Crete Senese, and the Val d'Orcia. Great cyc­ling between some of Italy's great art cit­ies. It links the UNESCO world-heritage lis­ted cit­ies of Firenze, Siena, San Gimignano, and Pienza, as well as the Val d'Orcia. It also takes you to Volterra another of the great Tuscan cit­ies. There are lots of oth­er places to see and vis­it in Toscana, but these would prob­ably fig­ure on most people's must-see list.

Read more: Heart of Toscana: tour over­view.

Cycleway near Fallonica (Toscana)

The Tuscan coast

A relaxed 317-kilometre tour fol­low­ing the coast of Toscana using a com­bin­a­tion of quiet roads and cycle­ways. Taking you through coastal pin­etas and the Bolgheri wine coun­try. Very little climb­ing. A good way to start if you need a bit of a warm-up before tack­ling the more hil­li­er ter­rain of inland Toscana and Lazio. Or you might use it as a chance to get some time at the beach - pos­sibly on the island of Elba - before return­ing home. There's also a more chal­len­ging option tak­ing in the hill­top towns that over­look the coast.

Read more: Tuscan coast: tour over­view.

Sunset in the Dolomites near Forno di Zoldo

East to west through the Dolomites: 

Italians will tell you that the Dolomites are the most beau­ti­ful moun­tains in the world. And if you see them at sun­set you'll think may­be they have a point. As well as the glam­or­ous moun­tains the area is a fas­cin­at­ing meet­ing point of lan­guages and cul­tures. The site has guides to two routes through the Dolomites: one goes from East to West and the oth­er goes the oth­er way.

Read more: East to West through the Dolomites: tour over­view

view of the Lago Maggiore

A tour of the Western Lakes

A 250-kilometre road tour that takes in five lakes. Three of the big­ger lakes: Lago Maggiore, Lago di Lugano and and the Lago di Como, as well as two smal­ler lesser-known gems: the Lago d’Orta, Lago di Mergozzo. The route avoids the busier roads and there are sec­tions of cycle­way. There’s rel­at­ively little climb­ing, except for one clas­sic climb to the chapel of the Madonna del Ghisallo - pat­ron saint of cyc­ling. This is a loop, so you could avoid it, but it would be a shame to miss the great views of the Lago di Como.

Read more: A tour of the Western Lakes

Burano on the laguna di Venezia

Islands and Lagoons of the Adriatic coast

The high­light of this tour is prob­ably island-hopping along the edge of the Venetian lagoon. Watch fish­er­men bar­be­cuing their break­fast on the quay­side or take a vapor­etto to La Serenissima her­self.

Read more: Islands and Lagoons of the Adriatic coast.

Puglia Gargano peninsula

Puglia Grand Tour

Italy is often either very hilly or very flat. Puglia is one of the excep­tions. It's flat enough to make it access­ible to every­one, but not so flat that it gets too dull. With it's dis­tinct­ive her­it­age, includ­ing the icon­ic trul­li (stone-built houses) and some of Italy's most attract­ive towns and coast­line, it's a great cyc­ling des­tin­a­tion. Grand Tour of Puglia, takes you through the best of what the region has to offer from its coast to the hills, not for­get­ting the Gargano pen­in­su­la, which is a pretty hilly but very beau­ti­ful. Oh and there's a detour to Matera, pos­sibly Italy's most unusu­al city.

Read more: Puglia Grand Tour over­view.

About this site

This site is com­pletely inde­pend­ent and non-commercial. Italy is a coun­try I love and where I love to ride - I hope you will too.

The site doesn't yet have any­thing like com­plete cov­er­age of the whole of Italy, so please don't assume that the places fea­tured here are the best - I just haven't yet made it to the rest.

Not just cycling

Italy offers some won­der­ful cyc­ling, but of course there's a lot more to Italy than the scenery. This site also aims to help you make the most of all that Italy has to offer, includ­ing the 47 UNESCO World-Heritage sites (more than any oth­er coun­try in the world). Some you'll have heard of and oth­ers that you won't

Watch this space

There's a lot more con­tent on the way. If you want to be updated about new con­tent added to the site then please  join the mail­ing list to receive an email every so often (max­im­um once a month) with inform­a­tion about new art­icles.

Food, glorious food

Italy is a very diverse coun­try and this is reflec­ted in its food with many region­al and loc­al spe­ci­al­it­ies that you won't see in oth­er parts of Italy, nev­er mind your loc­al Italian res­taur­ant.

Read more:

…and drink

Italy has over­taken France as the world's biggest wine pro­du­cer. Vineyards are an import­ant part of the land­scape. Just as with food there's a huge range of loc­al spe­ci­al­it­ies, that can be hard to find abroad. So leave your pre­ju­dices at home (yes, that includes fizzy red wine) and explore the world bey­ond Chianti and Pinot Grigio.

As well as wine there's a bewil­der­ing range of grap­pas (for­get the cliché's about 'fire­wa­ter), not to men­tion a bewil­der­ing range of oth­er drinks that all seem to taste like cough mix­ture

Read more: Drink: from water to grap­pa

I don't know who pro­duces the best wine, but when it comes to cof­fee there's no doubt in my mind.

Read more: cof­fee and cafes

Other resources

Wherever I lay my hat…

Finding a hotel is gen­er­ally pretty easy, thanks to sites like Booking.com. Finding camp­sites and hos­tels can be a little trick­i­er. For each region there's an inter­act­ive map show­ing camp­sites with con­tact details and web­site links. There's also a an inter­act­ive map of nearly 300 hos­tels. These maps have been care­fully researched and checked and are prob­ably the most com­pre­hens­ive and reli­able list­ings any­where.

Travelling by train with a bike

Train com­pan­ies make things harder than they should be, but trav­el­ling by train with your bike is easi­er than you think. Whether you're think­ing about get­ting to or from Italy by train, or trav­el­ling with­in Italy, there's a series of art­icles with tips to make things easi­er and avoid the pit­falls.

Read more: Travelling by train with a bike

Useful websites

Hopefully you'll find plenty of inter­est­ing and use­ful stuff on this site, but there's a load of oth­er resources out there

It's easy to find … if you know where to look. Each of the region­al guides include guides to use­ful web­sites so you can cut to the chase (?) and go straight to the most use­ful sources of inform­a­tion.