Italy can boast as many as 55 UNESCO sites, spectacular locations which have no equal in the world and can be found in all parts of the peninsula from north to south. There is more: in every Italian region there are splendid natural locations, old villages and art cities that you can discover, and which have shaped the dreams and imagination of its many visitors. From the Dolomites to the Apennines, from the vineyards of Piedmont to the Tuscan ones, from the northern lakes to the Riviera dei Fiori and the South with art cities and picturesque villages. Using your bike is the best way to discover the beauty that Italy has to offer, a unique opportunity to enjoy an experience in close contact with nature and discover the history of each region. Here you will find a list of some destinations selected by us to give you the opportunity to discover UNESCO sites, medieval villages, wonderful landscapes and art cities – always on your bike!
VENICE, ASOLO AND THE PROSECCO HILLS – VENETO
Venice is a city which does not need an introduction. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, the most famous lagoon city in the world is soaked in history, art and culture throughout every alley and canal. But not just that. The lagoon is also a site of great natural value with a variety of flora and fauna.
In the hills close to the Belluno Prealps, there is the village of Asolo, a small, old town included in the list of Italy’s most beautiful old villages. Wine and cycling are an old tradition here: Asolo is the name of one of the most iconic models produced by famous bike brand Pinarello and the area is known for its production of Prosecco. Spring is certainly the best season to enjoy the beauty of this place: just try to picture yourself riding among lush vineyards and cherry trees in bloom.
MALCESINE, PESCHIERA DEL GARDA AND BORGHETTO – LAKE GARDA
Perched on the hills of the eastern shore of Lake Garda, Malcesine is an old medieval village with a fairy tale atmosphere. What is it famous for? The Scaliger Castle, its vast vineyards and olive groves or its beaches? There is only one thing you can do to find out: go and visit it!
On the southern shores of Lake Garda instead, you can visit Peschiera del Garda (a UNESCO site). This village is renowned for its architecture and the pentagonal walls which for years protected the lake and the River Mincio. From here you can easily reach Borghetto, a village nestled on the banks of the River Mincio featuring several mills. An opportunity for a ride on the Peschiera – Mantua cycle path.
The Dolomites (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) are some of the most famous mountains in Europe. You only need to look up and admire its imposing peaks reaching a height of more than 3,000m to understand why. And if you love cycling, the Dolomites are the ideal place for an active holiday: single track trails, mule tracks and a bike park for those who love mountain biking or cycle paths and modern infrastructures for bike touring. Just like in any other Italian region, food is a serious business here with special attention to authenticity and taste: speck, cheese, apples, home-made jams. Do you need more?
RIVIERA DEI FIORI – LIGURIA
Enchanting beaches, sheer cliffs and mountains await you on the Riviera dei Fiori. It really does exist. Here you will have the opportunity to discover a region with beautiful landscapes perfectly balanced between the blue sea and the Mediterranean scrub, a riot of colour and unique scents. Moving inland, you can visit numerous medieval villages such as Seborga, Apricale and Dolceacqua. On the coast there are some renowned seaside resorts such as Sanremo and Bordighera. On top of everything, you can enjoy the mild climate all year round and savour traditional delights such as olive oil, pesto and focaccia. All the towns along the coast between San Lorenzo al Mare and Ospedaletti are also well connected along the cycle path of the Ligurian Riviera.
LANGHE-ROERO AND MONFERRATO – PIEDMONT
A great example of Italian wine tradition, the hills of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato are the perfect choice for those who love cycling and wine – and of course excellent food.
Be ready for tasting sessions in some of the most famous wineries in the world where refined wines such as Barolo and Barbaresco have been produced for centuries, but also less prestigious but still excellent wines such as Arneis or Barbera d’Asti. During a break between a ride and delicious tastings, we recommend visiting some small villages and towns which were the setting of some great battles of the partisan resistance (as told by Beppe Fenoglio in his famous novels) such as Alba and Treiso in Langhe, Bra in the area of Roero and Vignale in Monferrato.
RAVENNA, SAN LEO AND VERUCCHIO – ADRIATIC COAST
The Adriatic Riviera is not just its beaches. Perched at an altitude of 600 m on a fortress in inland Rimini, you will find the charming village of San Leo. Its historic centre has retained much of its atmosphere and we recommend visiting the Cathedral and the Fortress of San Leo. If you love mountain biking, you cannot miss out on the opportunity to visit Verucchio. This village overlooks the valley of the River Marecchia and features many dirt tracks, demanding single track trails and spectacular forest roads. And if you want to visit one of Italy’s most famous art cities, you can do that on the Adriatic Riviera too! Treat yourself to a day out to Ravenna, a town renowned for its cathedrals, Byzantine mosaics and the tomb of Dante Alighieri.
ROME AND CIVITA DI BAGNOREGIO – ROME AND THE APENNINES
Have you ever dreamt of visiting the Eternal City and going on a mountain bike excursion in the surrounding hills? The area which stretches from Rome to Fiuggi is an unspoilt paradise scarcely visited by tourists where you can completely indulge yourself in your passion for MTB. Then coming back from a ride, you can visit St Peter’s Basilica and other beautiful monuments. In Upper Lazio you can visit Civita di Bagnoregio, a small district ranked among Italy’s most beautiful villages and known as “the dying town” (only 11 people live here today). Starting from Viterbo, you can try an exciting 140-km route which leads to Civita di Bagnoregio and the beautiful Valle dei Calanchi, also passing through Orvieto, Montefiascone and Vetralla.
SIENA AND VAL D’ORCIA – TUSCANY
If you ever happened to see a postcard with enchanting hills, majestic cypress trees and expanses of vineyards, it was certainly a picture of Val d’Orcia. This part of Tuscany is certainly the closest thing to sublime beauty in typical Italian scenery. You will only need to ride on one of its famous dirt tracks early morning or at sunset to enjoy an incredible experience, not to mention the innumerable charming medieval villages nestled on the hills such as Montalcino, Radicofani, Pienza and San Quirico d’Orcia. We also recommend visiting Siena, the town of the Palio and the spectacular Piazza del Campo.
Alberobello is the most famous UNESCO heritage site in Apulia. Located away from the coast, this village is renowned all around the world for its trulli, typical conical houses made of white stone. Cycling in this area is great fun, especially out of season when the temperature is still well above 20 degrees. Expanses of olive groves and typical farms will be the setting of an unforgettable holiday rich in colour, scents and flavour. We suggest stopping off in one of the typical farms to taste local products such as olive oil and cheese.
Located in the heart of Central Italy, Umbria is a region renowned for its numerous spiritual places. Saint Francis is the most important figure in the history of this beautiful region and his legacy is still visible in some of the most iconic towns, in particular Assisi, Norcia and Todi. But Umbria is also unspoilt nature, ancient history and art: here you will have the opportunity to admire green valleys, remains of the Etruscan, Roman and Byzantine civilisations and works of painters such as Giotto, Perugino and Cimabue. And of course, delicious culinary traditions. Is that enough to convince you?
Do you need a holiday in a tranquil place to take a break from the chaos of the cities? Once the favourite destination for several Italian artists, Lake Maggiore is one of the most charming and peaceful locations in northern Italy and the perfect place for taking a break from the daily routine. The noble villas on the shores of the lake, the lush hills and the numerous botanical gardens contribute to making it the perfect setting for a holiday dedicated to exercise and relaxation. We recommend visiting the fortress of Arona, the fortress Borromea of Angera and Villa Treves, which in the past hosted several famous artists, including Gabriele D’Annunzio and Giovanni Verga.
Abruzzo is one of the less known tourist destinations in Italy, especially for those who travel by bicycle. The territory of this region can be harsh but is inhabited by kind people and is home to some real unique landscapes. To reach the hinterland you will only need to tackle its demanding climbs, almost insurmountable at first sight. With the help of an e-bike though, you can easily explore its unspoilt nature and enchanting villages such as Mosciano Sant’Angelo and Bellante in the area of Teramo. We also recommend a stop in a typical restaurant to enjoy the famous local hospitality and try some of the specialities of Abruzzo such as vegetarian ravioli with sauce and goat skewers.
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