Travelling always feels like an adventure, even more so when you have been staying in the same place for a long time. You don’t really need to go to the other side of the world, as the real meaning of adventure is simply to explore new places instead of seeing always the same things. And when you want to discover new places, the bicycle is always your best friend. All you have to do is get on the saddle and admire the varied landscape, especially if while on the trip you have the opportunity to discover natural beauties, ancient cities of art and amazing delicacies famous all over the world.
We cannot wait to leave again and discover the most beautiful cycling routes in Italy: we are sure it is the best way to enjoy new exciting experiences. Here, we are going to list some of the most charming cycle paths in Italy, must-see destinations for those who love travelling and discovering new places with the bike.
The Adriatic Riviera
Characterised by cities of art, beautiful beaches and a great culinary tradition, the Adriatic Riviera is the best example of Italian hospitality. The region is crossed by the Adriatic Cycle Route, a popular cycle route which connects Trieste to Santa Maria di Leuca and goes through some of the most famous towns in Romagna, including Ravenna, Cesenatico, Rimini and Riccione. It is really a special opportunity to visit a city of art such as Ravenna and enjoy the joyous atmosphere of the many seaside resorts on the Adriatic coast of Romagna, including Rimini and Riccione. Things to do: eat a piadina in one of the bars on the beach.
Island of Elba
If you love unspoilt nature, you must visit this island! With its coves, rocky promontories and a great network of cycle paths, the Island of Elba is a real paradise for those who love spending their holiday between the beach, uncontaminated nature and sporting activities. When we say sport we mean cycling of course, and in particular off-road cycling: the Island of Elba features some breathtaking MTB trails which will not fail to amaze any cyclist. Going for a ride, cooling off with a swim and relaxing on the beach will become your daily routine!
Piedmont and Langhe
Do you love cycling? And good wine? Langhe is an area with an ancient wine-making tradition and is the perfect destination for those who love cycling and good food. Discover by bike the hills of Langhe and its native vines of Nebbiolo and Barbera. It is a hilly area, so you will have to cope with some ascents, but your efforts will be rewarded with a visit to one of the local wineries which for centuries have been producing world-renowned wines such as Barolo and Barbaresco. It goes without saying that the food is delicious too, especially raw beef and truffle!
Rome and the Apennines
In the centre of Rome, exactly in St. Peter’s Square, there is the arrival of the Via Francigena, the famous cycle path which starts from the Pass of Gran San Bernardo and crosses most of the Italian peninsula. Cycling in the Eternal City is a unique experience which every rider should try at least once in a lifetime: you only need to follow the last leg of the Francigena which starts from Formello, crosses the countryside of Lazio, merges into the Tiber cycle path and finally reaches St. Peter’s Square. If you prefer staying off-road, we suggest the area of Fiuggi which has many routes for MTB in the Apennines of Lazio.
Once, a popular destination among many artists for its tranquillity and its picturesque views, Lake Maggiore is one of the most charming bodies of water in Italy, an area rich in history and natural beauty. You can take advantage of the boat which connects one shore of the lake to the other to discover by bike most of the villages of Lake Maggiore and enjoy pleasant rides on the cycle paths around the lake. Interesting places to visit are the fortress of Arona and the fortress Borromea di Angera as well as Villa Treves which in the past hosted several artists including Gabriele D’Annunzio and Giovanni Verga.
The luxury villas and its ancient villages have made Lake Como one of the most popular destinations among tourists from all over the world. In Lake Como there is much more than just its sumptuous houses. Here, you will find some of the trails which belong to the history of Italian cycling, routes which any person who loves this sport has heard about in the commentaries of the most exciting races: the “Wall of Sormano” of the Giro di Lombardia and the Sanctuary of Madonna del Ghisallo among all. Instead the spectacular hills surrounding the lake are ideal for MTB and gravel lovers, with numerous trails winding along beautiful dirt roads and single track trails.
When talking about unspoilt nature, centuries-old history and spiritual places, Umbria is one of the first regions which comes to mind. Located in the heart of Central Italy, this region offers the opportunity to discover unique places, areas which have been inhabited by various civilisations over the centuries. Pedalling on the cycle paths of this region, you will be able to discover the great cultural richness of Umbria and admire its beautiful landscapes: from the villages of Norcia and Todi to the spiritual places lived by Saint Francis, but also woods inland and the beauty of Lake Trasimeno. Umbria has also a rich culinary tradition and the most renowned Umbrian specialities include cured meat and truffle-based first courses.
A land between the sea and the mountains, Abruzzo is one of the less known regions among tourists but it is really worth discovering by bike. The hinterland may appear hostile at first glance due to its altitude, but once you find the courage to tackle its ascents, you will be able to visit enchanting villages (such as Mosciano Sant’Angelo and Bellante in the province of Teramo) and discover the real beauty of this area and the hospitality of the locals. Treat yourself to a delicious meal in a typical restaurant and enjoy a culinary journey through the specialities of Abruzzo such as ravioli and goat skewers.
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