I'm going to be going to school in Bologna next year starting in August. I have a few questions, would appreciate if anyone could help me out.
1) I've been told that it will cost hundreds of $$$ to ship my dear old Peugeot to Italy, so I'm probably going to buy a used bike once I'm there. Is this a simple task in Bologna? How much should I expect to pay for a decent road bike (assuming I can hide the fact that I'm American with very little knowledge of Italian)?
2) Looking on Google Earth and plotting out potential weekend routes, I can't tell which types of motorways (i.e. A##, E#, S# etc.) are safe to ride on. Is there a consistent rule I should follow in terms of sticking to major/minor roads? I don't much enjoy riding on interstates here.
3) Is Bologna-Ravenna something I can do in one day, given #2 above?
4) Any other general advice would be much appreciated.
If you are going to road ride (30-90 mile ranges) buy something quality here, and take it with you. Keep it very secure around town. You can also find terrific quality used bikes for usually E1000, bargain down to E900.
If you are using "una bici" to be used for local transportation, bargain for a bike there.
Purchasing a quality ride in Italia "e' troppo costoso!" and a huge tax on top.
I'll be near there in June! You are going to love the simplicity of life!
Delta charges $80 to fly your bike. Bring your own.
Buy the Touring Club Italiano map for Emilia Romagna. Look closely at the road colors. Stay off the red ones; ride the yellow ones; definitely ride the skinny yellow ones. There are great roads southwest and southeast right from Bologna. Uphill!
To Ravenna there is no straightforward route. That's not to say it can't be done. You just have to bob and weave a bit to get there. Think about riding it one way, then taking the regional train back. Check. From what I understand, you can take your bike right on the regional trains.
everyone already told you everything there is to know about your question, i just want to wish you a great stay: Bologna is cold and dump, but definitely a great place to stay with very relaxed and enjoiable people. And if you want to know anything about Milano or other areas, just ask
how much stuff are you bringing? when i flew to rome (for school), i brought one suitcase, two carry ons, and my boxed bike. My boxed bike counted as my second checked item (i called ahead of time) and didnt cost anything. Call your airlines.