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  1. #1
    Cycle Italia koreansteve's Avatar
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    New to touring...want to travel in Italy

    I'll be studying abroad in Italy in a year and a half and i want to bike across the country during my semester...and then I want to spend the entire following summer biking around Italy and seeing everything there is.

    So, has anyone biked across Italy or plan on doing so? Or if anyone can tell me where I can find info concerning this topic, that'd be awesome.

    The following are general concerns/questions I have about a potential trip:
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    -How do you carry all your clothes/stuff?
    I've only heard panniers mentioned, but I believe they are just bags that hang on the back (and front sometimes) of the bike like this ...or a more extreme version here
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    -How do you know which roads are safe and capable of being ridden on a road bike?
    I've heard books are made specifically for this, but is that the best way to go?
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    Any advice concerning touring (hostiles vs. camping, places in Italy to visit, biking tips, etc.) would be SUPER APPRECIATES.

    Thanks.

    **How much does the average 'tourer' get slowed down by a full pannier??

  2. #2
    Cycle Italia koreansteve's Avatar
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    anyone??

  3. #3
    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    Hi, I'll be going through Italy in a couple of week's.
    For many of your questions you can check out> http://bicycletouring101.com/index.html
    As to where to go and what to see check out, (Lonely Planet Italy) good book, many tips with some advice.
    I've looked for maps but decided to get them when I reach Italy, so far I only got a map of the Benelux area, when I get to Germany I'll stop at a tourist office and pick out a map then and so on.
    http://www.geocities.com/xilios/index.html
    Stay on smaller roads if you can and try to avoid large cities when possible.
    Try this site for some camping places, http://www.icaro.it/camping/e
    Then put the adress of the camp site on this site to find where it is, http://www.mappy.com/
    You can also save some maps on your e-mail so if you get in trouble just find a PC.
    I hope this will help you out.

  4. #4
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    I have biked across Italy--from the southern port of Brindisi to the area around Venice. It was wonderful. Looks like you're getting good info from xillios. So, I'll just relate my own experience:

    I never felt in any personal danger.

    The Italians were the most friendly people I met on a bike tour that included eight countries.

    Hostels may be available in larger towns but are pretty rare in smaller ones. They’re fine, if a bit casual (which I liked). I enjoyed the one in Florence the best, which included wine with dinner.

    Camping was easy to do almost anywhere (with or without an “official” campground.) Many times people invited us into their homes, especially in southern Italy.

    Good luck! I think you're in for a great time.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  5. #5
    Two Tired Traveler
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    I just got back last week from touring Rome to Brindisi. Basically, I found everything Blackberry said to be true. The south has lots of cheap campgrounds along the coast. When I was in the interior, I usually just pitched my tent in a field (careful not to trample anybody's crops). If anyone was around I would ask permission, and the inevitable response was, "Sure, you can sleep wherever you want." In one small town they opened up the dorms in an abandoned school, turned on the hot water, and I spent two days partying with the locals.

    The only problem you might have is finding a place to do laundry.

    I lived in Italy for almost 4 years, and was a tour guide until 9/11. Email me if you have any questions.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Lonely planet put out a book on Cycling Italy which should give you some ideas on where to ride. It seems to me most people use panniers or trailers for touring. My wife and I use panniers (front & back) and are quite happy with that. The number of luggage items can occasionally be a problem with some airlines, but if you turn up early it's generally OK.

  7. #7
    Senior Member marmotte's Avatar
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    Hi koreansteve,
    if you plan to bike some mountain stages, too, you can visit my homepage (use english version).
    There were never any problems (you must avoid auto stradas / highways, but there are enough small roads) in Italy, even in the Alps. Northern Po plane is a bit boring in summer, because the are corn fields on both sides of the road and you will not see anything else for hundreds of km...

    I prefer using a trailer like this one below.

    My special advice:
    Korsika is the finest place I've ever been. You can easily reach it by ferry from many italian harbours. If you decide for such an excursion, I can give many further advices.

    marmotte

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