Welcome to the Italy Cycling Guide

Thinking about an independent cycle tour in Italy?

…this site is here to help: there are guides to tours, cycleways and cycle routes, and lots of resources to help you plan your trip. You could start by going to the guide for the region you’re interested in, or choose a theme: mountains? lakes? coastal rides? Or scroll this page for a small selection of what’s on offer.

Wondering where to start?

You can find good places to cycle throughout Italy, but, if you’re wondering where to start there are some pointers in the article Cycling in Italy – Where to start.

Some featured tours

cyclists on the road between Volterra and Siena

Heart of Toscana

This tour takes you through through the heart of Toscana: the Chianti, the Crete Senese, and the Val d'Orcia. Great cycling between some of Italy's great art cities. It links the UNESCO world-heritage listed cities of Firenze, Siena, San Gimignano, and Pienza, as well as the Val d'Orcia. It also takes you to Volterra another of the great Tuscan cities. There are lots of other places to see and visit in Toscana, but these would probably figure on most people's must-see list.

Read more: Heart of Toscana: tour overview.

Seafront cycleway near Follonica

The Tuscan coast

A relaxed 317-kilometre tour following the coast of Toscana using a combination of quiet roads and cycleways. Taking you through coastal pinetas and the Bolgheri wine country. Very little climbing. A good way to start if you need a bit of a warm-up before tackling the more hillier terrain of inland Toscana and Lazio. Or you might use it as a chance to get some time at the beach – possibly on the island of Elba – before returning home. There’s also a more challenging option taking in the hilltop towns that overlook the coast.

Read more: Tuscan coast: tour overview.

Sunset in the Dolomites near Forno di Zoldo

East to west through the Dolomites:

Italians will tell you that the Dolomites are the most beautiful mountains in the world. And if you see them at sunset you’ll think maybe they have a point. As well as the glamorous mountains the area is a fascinating meeting point of languages and cultures. The site has guides to two routes through the Dolomites: one goes from East to West and the other goes the other way.

Read more: East to West through the Dolomites: tour overview

view of the Lago Maggiore

A tour of the Western Lakes

A 250-kilometre road tour that takes in five lakes. Three of the bigger lakes: Lago Maggiore, Lago di Lugano and and the Lago di Como, as well as two smaller lesser-known gems: the Lago d’Orta, Lago di Mergozzo. The route avoids the busier roads and there are sections of cycleway. There’s relatively little climbing, except for one classic climb to the chapel of the Madonna del Ghisallo – patron saint of cycling. This is a loop, so you could avoid it, but it would be a shame to miss the great views of the Lago di Como.

Read more: A tour of the Western Lakes

Burano on the laguna di Venezia

Islands and Lagoons of the Adriatic coast

The highlight of this tour is probably island-hopping along the edge of the Venetian lagoon. Watch fishermen barbecuing their breakfast on the quayside or take a vaporetto to La Serenissima herself.

Read more: Islands and Lagoons of the Adriatic coast.

Puglia Gargano peninsula

Puglia Grand Tour

Italy is often either very hilly or very flat. Puglia is one of the exceptions. It’s flat enough to make it accessible to everyone, but not so flat that it gets too dull. With it’s distinctive heritage, including the iconic trulli (stone-built houses) and some of Italy’s most attractive towns and coastline, it’s a great cycling destination. Grand Tour of Puglia, takes you through the best of what the region has to offer from its coast to the hills, not forgetting the Gargano peninsula, which is a pretty hilly but very beautiful. Oh and there’s a detour to Matera, possibly Italy’s most unusual city.

Read more: Puglia Grand Tour overview.

About this site

This site is completely independent and non-commercial. Italy is a country I love and where I love to ride – I hope you will too.

The site doesn’t yet have anything like complete coverage of the whole of Italy, so please don’t assume that the places featured here are the best – I just haven’t yet made it to the rest.

Not just cycling

Italy offers some wonderful cycling, but of course there’s a lot more to Italy than the scenery. This site also aims to help you make the most of all that Italy has to offer, including the 47 UNESCO World-Heritage sites (more than any other country in the world). Some you’ll have heard of and others that you won’t

Watch this space

There’s a lot more content on the way. If you want to be updated about new content added to the site then please  join the mailing list to receive an email every so often (maximum once a month) with information about new articles.

Food, glorious food

Italy is a very diverse country and this is reflected in its food with many regional and local specialities that you won’t see in other parts of Italy, never mind your local Italian restaurant.

Read more:

…and drink

Italy has overtaken France as the world’s biggest wine producer. Vineyards are an important part of the landscape. Just as with food there’s a huge range of local specialities, that can be hard to find abroad. So leave your prejudices at home (yes, that includes fizzy red wine) and explore the world beyond Chianti and Pinot Grigio.

As well as wine there’s a bewildering range of grappas (forget the cliché’s about ‘firewater), not to mention a bewildering range of other drinks that all seem to taste like cough mixture

Read more: Drink: from water to grappa

I don’t know who produces the best wine, but when it comes to coffee there’s no doubt in my mind.

Read more: coffee and cafes

Other resources

Wherever I lay my hat…

Finding a hotel is generally pretty easy, thanks to sites like Booking.com. Finding campsites and hostels can be a little trickier. For each region there’s an interactive map showing campsites with contact details and website links. There’s also a an interactive map of nearly 300 hostels. These maps have been carefully researched and checked and are probably the most comprehensive and reliable listings anywhere.

Travelling by train with a bike

Train companies make things harder than they should be, but travelling by train with your bike is easier than you think. Whether you’re thinking about getting to or from Italy by train, or travelling within Italy, there’s a series of articles with tips to make things easier and avoid the pitfalls.

Read more: Travelling by train with a bike

Useful websites

Hopefully you’ll find plenty of interesting and useful stuff on this site, but there’s a load of other resources out there

It’s easy to find … if you know where to look. Each of the regional guides include guides to useful websites so you can cut to the chase (?) and go straight to the most useful sources of information.