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Cycling in Italy

Italy In A Nutshell

There's one country in Europe that ticks every box as far as cycle touring goes and it is Italy. It's got flats and mountains, a beautiful coastline, dozens of glorious cities and thousands of pretty villages, some of the friendliest people in Europe, usually reliable weather and a carb-heavy cuisine that almost seems designed for long days in the saddle.

When I Went To Italy

26th April - 11th June 2012

Where I Went

Italy's Scenery

I saw almost the whole of Italy, except the mountains in the north and given that they are just over the border from Austria, I'd imagine they are just as attractive as the rest of the country. If you are looking for flat cycling, although obviously with less attractive scenery, you can cycle from Milan to Ravenna with hardly a hill. Tuscany is everything you've heard it to be and the shin of Italy's leg offers stunning coastal riding.









Italy's Road Quality

The roads are very good. I've heard tales of cyclists who found Italian driving to be a little flaky but in my 3,500 kilometres in the country I didn't notice it to be as bad as anywhere else and it was considerably better than in the UK. At least Italians kept their distance.

Watch out. Italian cities like their cobbles and they can stretch for miles. If cycling south out of Naples expect to have your bike shaken to pieces.

Italy's Accommodation & Costs

Italy is more expensive than other Mediterranean countries. Of the twenty-two campsites I visited, the average was 13 (ranging from 9 to 24, although 24 is an anomaly - it was Pompeii - and the second most expensive was 16). My fourteen hotels averaged 48 (ranging from 30 to 85).

The international hotel starring system is a science. In Spain, an entry level hotel merits one star. In France the same hotel would have two stars. In Italy it has three.

Language

For a language that is pretty much only spoken within these borders the typical Italian in Italy is a bit rubbish with foreign languages. With a little knowledge of French or Spanish, it isn't difficult to pick up the basics of Italian. Once again, I recommend Michel Thomas's Italian course.

Reasons To Go To Italy

All the reasons already mentioned plus Rome, Florence, Ravenna, Perugia, Sicily and loads of other places.

Your Opinions & Questions

Have you cycled in Italy? Tell me what you think and I'll include your comments here. Also, if you have a blog, web site or Facebook page that includes an account of your trip, send me the URL and I'll include a link below. Include your name if you want your comment to be attributed to you. Or do you have a question about Italy? Ask me and if I can answer it I'll add the information to the page.




MY BOOKS


NEW! Route Britannia

A Spontaneous Bicycle Ride through Every County in Britain


Hungry for Miles

Cycling across Europe on 1 a Day


No Place Like Home, Thank God

A 22,000 Mile Bicycle Ride Around Europe

Available in paperback and for your Kindle now from Amazon!

Amazon Reviews for
No Place Like Home,
Thank God

"...by far the best cycle-based travel book I have read."

"Inspirational and very funny.

"...the funniest book I've read for a very long time."

"...made me laugh out loud as well as ponder the meaning of life."

"I guarantee you WON'T put it down"

"...a great read."

"Laugh out loud funny."

"...kept me laughing all the way along."

"...never a dull page."

"BIG laughs, pithy observations on life, the universe and everything else and simply great stories."

"Thought-provoking and funny"




UniCycle50 Comments

"Very useful website. I love it."
(Marianne, UniCycle50 comment)

"Sweet website, super layout, very clean."
(Anon, UniCycle50 comment)

"Love your descriptions of European food!"
(Siadwell, CycleChat)

"Looks good!"
(Monsieur, CycleChat)

"This is great. There needs to be one for the whole world. Loved your descriptions of the UK and Russia!"
(22Camels, CycleChat)

"Very good website."
(Danny, CycleChat)

"This looks great."
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