Getting there by plane: airports

Published on:  | Last updated: 4 March 2017

Where to start? Airports

Your choice of starting point may be influ­enced by the airports you can fly to. Don't worry all of Italy's airports are within reach of great cycling.

North West Italy

The three major airports in the area are Milano Malpensa, Milano Linate and Bergamo Caravaggio. The others are Torino Caselle and Genova Cristoforo Colombo.

Milano and Bergamo

The Milano airports and Bergamo are a good choice for the Italian lakes, but equally you could head south for the the river Po.

If you're inter­ested in cycling around Bormio and Livorno the most convenient way to get there is probably to catch a train from Milano Centrale to Tirano and then either cycle from there along the Sentiero Valtellina cycleway (see italy-cycling-guide.info: Sentiero Valtellina or get a taxi to Livorno or Bormio (see also: italy-cycling-guide.info: Mountains of Lombardia.

Torino

Torino Caselle also offers lots of choices. You could head for the Alps that run around the west and south side of Piemonte. You could also follow the Po eastwards (eurovelo 8), or pick up the Moncenisio variant of the Via Francigena which takes you over the Apennines into Liguria and on from there through Toscana towards Rome. 

Piemonte offers lots of possib­il­ities within the region. You could follow the Corona delle Delizie the circular route that links the World Heritage-listed sites around the city.

You could also head for the hills in the wine-growing areas around Alba and Bra. For a gentler altern­ative you could explore the network of ciclostrade around Torino.

I'm not sure I would partic­u­larly recommend Genova sat the starting point for a tour, but you could follow the coast south towards Toscana or north towards Ventimiglia and Nice. Alternatively you can head north over the Apennines into Piemonte.

Routes in the area:

At a glance

Bergamo (Caravaggio)
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Bergamo
onward train connections: reasonable
access­ib­ility by bike? easy
left luggage? yes
airport website: sacbo.it
destin­a­tions: sacbo.it: destin­a­tions
Genova
airport train service: no but station nearby (Genova Sestri) (but not accessible on foot)
nearest main train station Genova Piazza Principe
train connec­tions: limited
access­ib­ility by bike? difficult
left luggage? no
airport website: airport.genova.it
destin­a­tions: airport.genova.it: destin­a­tions
Milano Linate
airport train service: no, but station nearby
nearest main train station Milano Centrale
onward train connections: excellent
access­ib­ility by bike? easy
left luggage? no
airport website: milanolinate-airport.com
destin­a­tions: milanolinate-airport.com: destin­a­tions
Milano Malpensa
airport train service: yes
nearest main train station Milano Centrale
onward train connections: excellent
access­ib­ility by bike? tricky
left luggage? yes
airport website: milanomalpensa-airport.com
destin­a­tions: milanomalpensa-airport.com: destin­a­tions
Torino Caselle airport
airport train service: yes
nearest main train station Torino Porta Nuova or Porta Susa
train connec­tions: good
accessible by bike? tricky
left luggage? no
airport website: aeroportoditorino.it
destin­a­tions: aeroportoditorino.it: destin­a­tions

North East Italy

The major airports for the region are Venezia Marco Polo, Treviso Antonio Canova, Trieste and Verona. (Bologna is also not too far away and has excellent rail links with the north-east).

To the north are the Dolomites and to the south the plain of the Po.

The Veneto tourism website has some excellent cycling routes in the regions (see veneto.to: cycle touring. Including the Anello del Veneto (Veneto Ring) which passes lose to all three of the region's main airports and would make a great intro­duction to the region.

If you're looking to go to the Trentino and Südtirol your best option is to get a train from either Verona or Bologna - or you could consider Innsbruck airport (see below).

Major cycle routes in the area:

The Dolomites …

(See my guides: East to West through the Dolomites and the Dolomites West-East.

Innsbruck airport

Another option you might want to consider is Innsbruck which is the closest inter­na­tional airport to the Südtirol (innsbruck-airport.com: destin­a­tions map). The Italian border, at the Brenner Pass, is 40 minutes by train from Innsbruck's main station - or you could of course ride from the airport. Bear in mind that this is a busy transport corridor: you can follow the Ciclopista del Sole south from the border - but I don't know what the route is like on the Austrian side of the border.

At a glance

Treviso (A Canova)
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Treviso
onward train connections: good
access­ib­ility by bike? easy
left luggage? no
airport website: trevisoairport.it
destin­a­tions: trevisoairport.it: destin­a­tions
Trieste (Ronchi dei Legionari)
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Trieste
train connec­tions: good
left luggage? no
airport website: aeroporto.fvg.it
destin­a­tions: aeroporto.fvg.it: destin­a­tions
Venezia (Marco Polo)
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Venezia Mestre
onward train connections: good
access­ib­ility by bike? easy-ish
left luggage? yes
airport website: veniceairport.it
destin­a­tions: veniceairport.it: destin­a­tions
Verona
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Verona or Villafranca di Verona
onward train connections: good
access­ib­ility by bike? easy
left luggage? no
airport website: aeroportoverona.it
destin­a­tions: aeroportoverona.it: destin­a­tions
Innsbruck
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Innsbruck
train connec­tions: good
access­ib­ility by bike OK
left luggage? no
airport website: innsbruck-airport.com
destin­a­tions: innsbruck-airport.com: destin­a­tions map

Central Italy

The major airports in the region are Rome's Fiumicino and Ciampino airports, Bologna Guglielmo Marconi and Pisa Galileo Galilei. Other options are Firenze, Rimini Federico Fellini, and Perugia San Francesco d'Assisi.

Bologna

The Ciclopista del Sole (eurovelo 7 in Italy) passes almost past the entrance to Bologna airport. You could follow it south from Bologna to Firenze and Rome - or north to Mantova, Verona and on towards Austria. You're also within easy reach of the Po and the cycleways that form part of the eurovelo 8.

Bologna's major trump card is that you're a short ride away from Italy's major rail hub putting much of northern Italy and central Italy within a couple of hours by train.

Bologna (Guglielmo Marconi)
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Bologna Centrale
train connec­tions: excellent
access­ib­ility by bike? easy
left luggage? yes
airport website: bologna-airport.it
destin­a­tions: bologna-airport.it: destin­a­tions

Pisa and Firenze

Pisa is the major gateway airport for Toscana (although you may also be able to get a flight to Firenze). It's a good jumping off point for a tour of the Tuscan coast italy-cycling-guide.info: tuscan-coast. It's also pretty straight­forward to ride to San Gimignano or Volterra and pick up the Heart of Toscana tour italy-cycling-guide.info: Heart of Toscana.

Firenze is also on the route of the Ciclopista del Sole (eurovelo 7 in Italy).

Firenze
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Firenze Santa Maria Novella
train connec­tions: excellent
access­ib­ility by bike? difficult
left luggage? yes
airport website: aeroporto.firenze.it
destin­a­tions: aeroporto.firenze.it: general timetable
Pisa (Galileo Galilei)
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Pisa Centrale
onward train connections: good
access­ib­ility by bike? a little tricky
left luggage? yes
airport website: pisa-airport.com
destin­a­tions: pisa-airport.com: general timetable: arrivals | depar­tures

Perugia

Perugia airport is an ideal start point for Umbria and Le Marche. There are two cycle routes that pass close by (both promoted by the Umbria region's bikeinumbria.it website:

As well as these two routes you could head for the Monti Sibillini national park - the most northerly of a chain of national parks along the Apennines: see my guide National Parks of the Apennines

Perugia (San Francesco d'Assisi)
airport train service: yes
nearest main train station Perugia Ponte San Giovanni
train connec­tions: good
access­ib­ility by bike? easy
left luggage? no
airport website: airport.umbria.it
destin­a­tions: airport.umbria.it: destin­ation-map

Rimini

Rimini airport seems to have specialised in the Russian and Eastern European markets. So depending on where you live there will either be loads of airlines flying there or none at all.

Rimini is very close to riccione which has become probably Italy's major centre for bike hotels (see riccionebikehotels.it).

The Ciclovia Adriatica passes almost by the entrance (follow the link for gps downloads). You can follow it north to Ravenna and then the mouth of the Po, Venezia and beyond (see my guide: Islands and Lagoons of the Adriatic Coast

Rimini (Federico Fellini)
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Rimini
train connec­tions: good
left luggage? no
airport website: riminiairport.com
destin­a­tions: sogaer.it: destin­a­tions

Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino

Fiumicino on the western side of the city is Rome, and Italy's major inter­na­tional airport. It has excellent onward train connec­tions - partic­u­larly if you are carrying your bike in a bag and can take advantage of the high-speed Frecciarossa and Frecciargento services from Roma Termini.

There's some great cycling in northern Lazio within easy reach of Fiumicino. You can also follow the coast south to Napoli and beyond. The coast of northern Lazio is less scenic but the world heritage sites of Cerveteri and Tarquinia are defin­itely a big compens­ation. The coast road also offers a relat­ively quick and convenient route north to Toscana - which is within about a day's ride {quote the actual distance}. 

Cycling the Lazio Coast

If you have your heart set on cycling from the airport into Rome then Ciampino is this is the one to go for. The airport is within a very short ride of the the roman Via Appia Antica (the old Appian Way as opposed to the road that passes the airport). It's lined with mauso­leums and monuments built by ancient Roman. Rome's Christian necropoli are also in this area. The area is now a regional park (website: parcoappiaantica.it - it/en)and there are pdf guides that you can download from the site's download page (parcoappiaantica.it: flyers and guides).

This stretch of the Via Appia Antica forms part of the Ciclopista del Sole (eurovelo 7 in Italy). You can take it south to the coast near Ciclopista del Sole terracina. from there you can follow the coast to Napoli (see my guide: Cycling the Lazio Coast. You could also of course take the Ciclopista del Sole north through Rome following the banks of the river Tevere (Tiber).

There's no train service to the airport itself but there is a station at Ciampino. This offers some onward connec­tions via Cassino, but most journeys mean going into the Roma Termini station. 

At a glance

Roma Ciampino
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Ciampino
onward train connections: limited
access­ib­ility by bike? easy
left luggage? no
airport website: adr.it: ciampino
destin­a­tions: adr.it: ciampino - destinations
Roma Fiumicino
airport train service: yes
nearest main train station Roma Termini
onward train connections: excellent
access­ib­ility by bike? good
left luggage? yes
airport website: adr.it/fiumicino
destin­a­tions: adr.it: destin­a­tions map

Southern Italy

The major airports in southern Italy for inter­na­tional travellers are Napoli, Bari Karol Wojtyla, Brindisi and Pescara.

Bari and Brindisi airports

Bari and Brindisi airports are the obvious choices if you are heading for the Puglia region in the south-eastern tip of the Italian peninsula. Both offer easy access to the coast. 

Bari is the start/​finish point for the Bicitalia Ciclovia dei Borboni cycle route between Bari and Napoli, while Brindisi is the end of the Ciclovia Francigena which follows the old pilgrimage route (at Brindisi pilgrims would set sail for Jerusalem). 

Bari is the best choice for rail connec­tions to Matera and the Basilicata region. {link to local train companies article}, although it would be relat­ively easy to cycle across country from Brindisi. there's also some excellent cycling around Alberobello, Locorotondo and Martina Franca.

At a glance

Bari airport (Karol Wojtyla)
airport train service: yes
nearest main train station Bari Centrale
onward train connections: good
access­ib­ility by bike? easy
left luggage? no
airport website: aeroportidipuglia.it: Bari
destin­a­tions: aeroportidipuglia.it: bari flights map
Brindisi (Aeroporto del Salento)
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Brindisi
train connec­tions: good
access­ib­ility by bike? easy
left luggage? no
airport website: aeroportidipuglia.it: Brindisi
destin­a­tions: aeroportidipuglia.it: Brindisi flights map

Napoli airport

Cycling routes: although it has the reputation for being busy with tourist buses in summer, you're probably going to want to head for along the Costa Amalfitana to Sorrento. From there you can continue onwards to Paestum and the Cilento national park (cilentoediano.it) (Italian only). 

Alternatively, you could follow the Ciclovia dei Borboni cycleway that connects Napoli with Bari. You can download the gpx files from the bicitalia.org website: bicitalia.org: Ciclovia dei Borboni. There's also a pdf guide (in Italian) available from viaggiareinpuglia.it: Ciclovia-dei-Borboni. Direct download link: Ciclovia dei Borboni: Descrizione del Percorso {pdf icon}.

For people who like cycling to the top of volcanoes there's the road that climbs to the top of Vesuvius.

There's no station at Napoli airport but the station is within relat­ively easy reach of Napoli Centrale railway station. If you have your bike in a bag then you can take the Frecciargento high-speed services that go from Napoli diagonally across country to Lecce in the south-eastern tip of the peninsula. More local services are more limited because the train operated by the local train companies aren't equipped to take bikes. There are however useful regional train services to Potenza in Basilicata via Salerno.

Napoli airport
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Napoli Centrale
onward train connections: limited
access­ib­ility by bike? tricky
left luggage? no
airport website: portal.gesac.it
destin­a­tions: portal.gesac.it: destin­a­tions map

Pescara

Pescara is one of Italy's smaller airports, but is worth consid­ering if you are heading for the Abruzzo region as there's a train station that runs between Pescara and Rome that will take you into the heart of the region. There are also very good bike-friendly rail services along the north and south along the Adriatic coast.

Pescara
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Pescara Centrale
onward train connections: good
access­ib­ility by bike easy
left luggage? no
airport website: abruzzoairport.com
destin­a­tions: abruzzoairport.com: timetable

Sicilia and Sardegna

Sicilia has three main airports (in order of size) Catania, Palermo, and Trapani. Palermo has a convenient train service into the city, while Trapani has the advantage of offering a reasonably-priced service for storing bike bags and boxes.

At a glance

Palermo (Falcone e Borsellino)
airport train service: yes
nearest main train station Palermo
train connec­tions: reasonable
access­ib­ility by bike easy
left luggage? no
airport website: gesap.it
destin­a­tions: gesap.it: flights
Trapani
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Trapani
train connec­tions: reasonable
access­ib­ility by bike easy
left luggage? yes - with special rates for bike bags/​boxes
airport website: airgest.it
destin­a­tions: airgest.it: destin­a­tions map
Catania
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Catania
train connec­tions: limited
access­ib­ility by bike OK
left luggage? no
airport website: aeroporto.catania.it
destin­a­tions: aeroporto.catania.it: destin­a­tions

Sardegna has two airports: Cagliari and Alghero. Neither has a train connection. Both are reasonably accessible by bike, although the road into and out of Cagliari looks like it could make for a stressful start to your tour - heading north on the other hand you can get off the main road pretty quickly.

At a glance

Alghero
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Sassari
left luggage? no
airport website: aeroportodialghero.it
destin­a­tions: aeroportodialghero.it: destin­a­tions
Cagliari
airport train service: no
nearest main train station Cagliari
train connec­tions: reasonable
left luggage? no
airport website: sogaer.it
destin­a­tions: sogaer.it: destin­a­tions

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