When it comes to cycling in Europe, Italy is the place to be. The planned VenTo cycle path, if built, will soon cover 679 kilometres of the country and connect major cities in the north – but while you wait, we’ve pulled together a list of our favourite existing routes for you to explore during your stay. Read our list of the very best, then get booking those plane tickets to pedal to your heart’s content!
1. Florence to Chianti
This day trip will take you through the stunning countryside of Tuscany, with stops en-route to sample delicious local food in traditional, quaint villages. If you plan to embark on this trip, consider a stay at the conveniently placed Villa Impruneta, just outside Florence. As well as being the perfect base for your bike ride, you’ll be in the heart of the Tuscan countryside with the city still an easy drive away.
2. Finale Ligure
The tiny coastal town of Finale is surrounded by mountains of up to 1380 metres tall, so expect epic downhill runs and spectacular coastal cruises surrounded by beautiful scenery. With cycling routes to suit all abilities, Finale is ideal for family groups and Tour de France pros alike.
3. Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Admire the gorgeous Istrian coastline with a bike route through Friuli-Venezia Giulia in northwestern Italy. Cross the region’s verdant rolling hillsides and farmland, or choose a route around one of its many lakes to enjoy breaks cooling down in clear blue waters.
4. Via Claudia Augusta
A 2000-year-old Roman road, Via Claudia Augusta runs from the German city of Donauwörth all the way to Venice. Cycling one of the routes along this historic path is an ideal way to tour the Alps, but our favourite stop is the quiet idyll of Verona. Here you can visit the balcony where star-crossed lover, Romeo supposedly wooed his Juliet, and re-charge your biked-out batteries with some refreshing and delicious gelato.
For a spot of wine tasting, cycle past vineyards to enter the northern Italian towns of Barbaresco and Barolo. Stay at the Villa Piemonte to wake up to spectacular views of the Alps every morning and enjoy warming up with a few laps in the indoor pool, before heading off for another day of exploring the slopes.
Photo Credit: Image via Jussarain on Flickr