Cycling in Italy

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Anonymous's picture

I know there are a lot of options for bike tours in Italy.. backroads etc.. does anyone know of some grassroots tours? northern or southern.. i am not picky. I'd rather make a decision based upon reviews instead of the self promotion these places have on their web sites.
thanks in advance.

Anonymous's picture
An anonymous cow! (Christian Edstrom) (not verified)

I would heartily recommend touring on your own. Ivy and I rode the Dolomites in 2004.

Flew to Milan, took the train to Bolzano, and rode Bolzano-Canazei-round the Sella - over the Falzarego into Cortina-over the Tre Croci and Lavaredo-up into Austria, over the Grossglockner to Zell am See and the Zillertal, then to Innsbruck. Skipped the Golden Roof, took a local train from Innsbruck to Brennero, and then an Italian train back to Milan.

We stayed in hotels, but carried clothes and spares on the bike - I used a Carradice bag, and Ivy had small rear panniers. We used standard road bikes.

Anyway, if you want a guided tour, you want a guided tour, but based on your post, you seem like someone who'd be open to this idea. Just thought I'd let you know that it's pretty easy to do.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
An anonymous cow! (Christian Edstrom) (not verified)

"Oh, and the best maps of Italy for cycling are the TCI ""Touring Club Italiano"" road maps. They are intended for automobile use, but are fantastically detailed, accurately depict road sizes and usage, and show hill gradients.

Highly recommended for vacation-scheming at home, as well.

- Christian"

Anonymous's picture
Greg Faber (not verified)
I concur

Just grab a road atlas + google Earth and plan out your itinerary yourself. I used Michelin's road atlas and stayed on secondary and tertiary roads marked with the green line (indicating lovely roads) and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Like Christian, I carried panniers and all my gear with. Italy also has campgrounds in amost every village (they're also marked on the atlas). I would suggest Florence to Rome in 3 or 4 days as a great ride!

Anonymous's picture
David Hallerman (not verified)
Bike Hotels

"We haven't done these yet, but there are several ""bike hotels,"" as they call them, along the Adriatic.

Riccione Bike Hotels

These are regular hotels that especially cater to cyclists, including rentals of high-end bikes, routes up into the hills (away from the more touristy oceanside), large snack meals in the afternoon when you return from a ride, and daily laundry of bike clothing.

I've read glowing reviews of several of these hotels in Cycling Plus (a Brit bike magazine).

We imagine a week or so at one of these hotels, then a non-bike week in Rome before returning.


Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)
Beautiful Area

David's suggestion is a good one. Although I've never stayed in these hotels, I've cycled in this area and it's great riding (and, of course, great food!). If anyone does go there, I suggest you not miss Ravenna - it's just up the coast and an easy train ride. The 6th century mosaics are quite incredible. After all, you don't go to Europe just for the cycling.

Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
there are pros & cons-self supported vs commercial tours

"In a first world country such as Italy individual/small group self supported tours are certainly doable and inherently substantially less costly than group tours.

NYCC Pres Wasser has enjoyed a number of tours with Experience Plus (I did one with them--it was a positive experience) and I/we have done 8 or 9 with Ciclismo Classico which obviously specializes in all parts of Italy. There are also more expensive commercial bike touring companies. Ciclismo is having a cocktail party in Queens Sat (info: 800-866-7314 or It would be worthwhile to stop in there just to get a perspective....
Also see my article in last July's NYCC Bulletin, available thru ""archives"" section of NYCC web site.
Feel free to contact me with any ?'s"

Anonymous's picture
Brad Ensminger (not verified)
Bringing Cycling Stuff

I just want to add one thing to all the great comments so far— if you go to a remote part of Italy you will need to bring everything dealing with your bicycle.

The last couple summers I have stayed in an amazing part of Italy­— Puglia. It is a dream to cycle there along the sea and amongst ancient architectural sites. But where we stay there are no bike stores for hundreds of miles.

If you are going to a small town, envision in advance what you may need to bring— and bring it. Otherwise you may have to do without.

Enjoy Italy!

Anonymous's picture
An anonymous cow! (Christian Edstrom) (not verified)

I'll only speak to Trentino and Alto Adige, but there is no scarcity of bike parts or bike shops there. Pretty much every town has a good bike shop, with both road and mtb parts.

Still, on a tour, you should bring parts you might need, and have a basic knowledge of bike mechanics. It'll give you an opportunity to help others and possibly receive free beer in return. (It is a well-known fact that if you bring tools, you'll certainly not need them for your own bike...)

- Una mucca anonima!

Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)

"Yes, I've done lots of tours with ExperiencePlus. Their European base of operations is in Italy, northeast of Florence. They now have a support service for people who want to do their own thing not with a group. They will rent you bicycles (good quality road bikes) and possibly provide other support services such as hotel bookings. Check out their website Bike Rentals.

This is a very service-oriented company and if you contact them, you'll be able to speak with a helpful person. (Tell them I sent you.) They can set you up with a short-term rental villa in Tuscany, from which you can do loop rides, or if you want to carry your own gear and move every day, their bikes have racks so that would be easy to do.

And of course, if you just want to go with a group, but with a not-so-expensive company, check out their Italy tours at ExperiencePlus.

And, Jay, that spelling would be Waaser."

Anonymous's picture
Amy Blau (not verified)
Comments about companies

I took a dream tour of Sicily with Bikeriders Bicycle Tours out of Boston. They do a very customized trip - min 16 - higher end without some of the higher pricing.
Husband and wife own it and he is Italian. They also do chef tours - cook and eat half the day, ride the rest. And they run a trip in Puglia, bring their supplies.
I had a terrible experience in the Azores with Experience Plus....the guides were so unfriendly and un-service oriented it was pathetic.
Have heard great things about Cicclismo (sp?). But, as other people noted, you could do this on your own.

Anonymous's picture
Amy Blau (not verified)

It wasn't Experience Plus I rode with in the Azores, it was Easy Riders. I don't recommend Easy Riders, do hear good things about EP. Sorry.

Anonymous's picture
af (not verified)
Would be better if you would edit the original post,

when you make an error, particularly in case like this, because some people won't see the separate correction. (Just use the same computer and you can edit your earlier posting.)

Anonymous's picture
lisa (not verified)

Check out ABCycle Tours. You can find them in the Club site under resources and then click on travel. Going with this company again this year.

Anonymous's picture
Wayne Wright (not verified)

I too did a tour with ABCycle last year. The tour was Sardegna, not Italy proper, but it was beautiful. ABCycle runs tours in pretty much all of the parts of Italy where you'd want to bike.

My experience with them was definitely a good one. I will say, though, that the rides were pretty much what NYCC folk know as 'A' style rides. A slower B or C rider might feel that they're in over their heads on an ABCycle tour.

Anonymous's picture
Claudio Chiapucci (not verified)
Here's one from Andy Hampsten

The only American to win the Giro D'talia has his own touring company in Tuscany. Never tried it, but it's probably worth a closer look. Bona Fortuna!!

Anonymous's picture
David C. (not verified)
Italian Cycling Center -- any interest?

"Somewhat on this topic, my wife, Colleen and I, ended up deciding to go to a place called the ""Italian Cycling Center"" in the Veneto (we posted a query earlier about this and got some good responses). Their website is Seemed like the essentials were there: bicycling paradise of lots of routes, great food and drink, a pool available for swimming, etc. In comparison with tours, they had more options of fast, long rides than many, and you don't have to pack/unpack. I called several of their references and checked another link (see below), and the responses were quite positive. All that -- but we have not been there yet.

We do plan to go in July (8-15) and can give a brief report. If others are interested in joining, that would be great too.

David C.

For another review of a stay at the ICC see a link that Mordecai kindly sent us ("

Anonymous's picture
PLee (not verified)
Italian Cycling Center

I spent four days there a few years ago and loved it. The operator is a bit of a character, but he runs a good operation.

Anonymous's picture
Beth (not verified)

I'd be interested in the report! Thanks.

Anonymous's picture
Beth (not verified)

I've done 3 trips in Italy with La Corsa ( They're designed for serious cyclists (you bring your own bike) and are really well run. You stay at 3 star hotels and they have a van that transports your luggage. The people on my trips were great. Check out their Web site for more info and call Lori Turoff, who owns the company.

I did trips in Tuscany, Umbria/Marche and the Veneto.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
The co-owners of LaCorsa are ex-NYCC members. nm (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Cycle Enthusiast & ex NYCC member (not verified)
LaCorsa: Great Choice

I highly recommend LaCorsa. Lori and Howie know how to run a cycling vacation. Be forewarned, only real enthusiasts need apply. I can only speak to my experience in Italy but, these guys find the best routes and guides to assist with every detail of the trip. Best of all, they are fun.

cycling trips