Touring - Venice to Pisa? Which way would you go?
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04-03-03, 12:34 AM
I need assistance with a route from Venice to Pisa via Florence. Can anyone help me with the best route...hopefully not too many steep mountains as I am sure I will be all 'mountained out' by then.
I'm going to give you a short version, then I'll update it with a longer version later this evening, since I'm about to head off into bubble bath land for a good hour or so...
Leaving Venice, the only way out is either by boat or train. You can leave out early morning for sure with your bike by train. Not every train will accomodate your bike, but I believe the early morning train does.
Take your bike to Verona, and hang there for a day if you can. It's one of my favorite places in Italy. Verona has it's own highlights that are spectacular. From there, you can ride westbound on the slower highways that allow bikes along the highway that goes past Lago de Guarda (I will have to look that name up just to be for sure) headed into Brescia (another spelling to look up). That's about 70 km from Verona. If you want to make a big push, you can ride an additional 70 or so km to Milano. It's almost all flat, so if you're a strong rider and you aren't carrying a lot, it's totally do-able.
From Milano, you can stay overnight (but it's expensive), then pick your way through the city and head southbound towards Florence. It's here that you'll hit hills, but let me go into my storage where I keep my maps tonight and look at some less hilly alternatives for you. From Florence, it's not a bad hop into Pisa. I cannot remember for sure how hilly it was, but again, I'll check my maps and see what you can do.
Forget about a bike path. Ride the streets. It's the only way to go. There just aren't any real bike paths (like what you saw with that Holland post a few days ago). They sometimes have paths on the street or along the sidewalks, but they are rarely used, except by pedestrians who are jogging. It seemed like everyone who had a bike rode the streets. I never had a problem during the six and a half weeks I toured Italy. If your legs are feeling like deadwood after riding for some time, you can always chuck your bike on the train and ride it for however long you want.
Short answer. I'll look up some information tonight and PM you with some alternatives.
Check out the Trento Bike pages
04-09-03, 07:24 AM
I have given the Trento Bike pages a thorough search and they do have one or two travelogues in the Venice to Pisa area. There are probably more but I can't read German, Italian, etc...only English for me. I have also searched many other sites...I have been researching my trip for over 20 months.
I am thinking maybe I might spend more time in Hungary/Slovakia/Czech Republic earlier in my tour and just catch the train from Venice to Pisa. Will see what suggestions I get.
It depends on whether you want to take the long way or the short way. There are, as suggested, some places well worth a visit to the west of Venice, but it is a longer route.
The shortest route is to head south towards Ferrara and Bologna. It will be flat for 200+ km to Bologna. Then you reach the beautiful Appenines. I crossed from Bologna via Sasso Marconi and Vaglia, reaching a highest point of 900 metres at Passo di Futa. The "flatest" route directly from Bologna to Florence is probably the (on my map) medium sized road east of the motorway (E35). We took smaller roads which added a lot of up-and-down riding, making 55 kilometers into a full day of hard riding... But the view of Florence (http://biketouring.eurotourism.net/album/images/1998_145-148.jpg) is quite a reward.
From Florence to Pisa you can choose anything from a flat 100k ride along the Arno river to a detour through the beautiful (and hilly) area south of Florence. Siena and Volterra are just two of many nice towns not too far away.
This map (http://biketouring.eurotourism.net/pics1998/1998_karta.gif) can give you an idea of the route we chose.
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