Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Mechanic/Tourist
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Syracuse, NY
    My Bikes
    2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Would have more bikes if I had time to ride them all. Previous bikes: 1968 Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fav), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.
    Posts
    5,367
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Roads in Southern Italy

    I am planning a long dreamed trip to Italy to visit my grandparent's hometown (Squillace, CZ) as well as Rome and maybe Tuscany. I am combining bike and train, and am curious about the type of roads I will encounter. I will be traveling for a large part on secondary roads (typically light yellow in Google) such as from Squillace to Sella San Bruno and then down to the Tropea area. The other area I may explore for a couple days is Tuscany. I will be riding a Novara Randonee fairly lightly loaded (not camping), with 32-35mm tires. I am a very experienced tourist and mechanic, so I don't anticipate many problems, but I need to know what distance will be reasonable.

    p.s. I must say that I am enamored of the ability of Google Earth to give me a preview of not only the countryside but the actual ride I have planned. At the same time it does remove a bit of the mystery and adventure.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member dorkypants's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    392
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    While Google Maps/Earth overall are excellent resources (as are GPS devices), none of them is 100% correct (perhaps a consequence of the underlying geographical database, whether from Naviteq or TeleAtlas, being out-of-date or data having been entered erroneously).

    Roads marked as "secondary" on maps (printed or online) can turn out to be anything from well-paved to unpaved to non-existent. I'd say your best bet is to make contact with local cycling organizations and ask them about recommended routes for cyclists. You might start with the Italian Federation of Friends of the Bicycle (Federazione Italiana degli Amici della Bicicletta), known by its acronym, FIAB http://www.fiab-onlus.it/english/index.htm. There are regional chapters, some of which have their own websites.

  3. #3
    Mechanic/Tourist
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Syracuse, NY
    My Bikes
    2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Would have more bikes if I had time to ride them all. Previous bikes: 1968 Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fav), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.
    Posts
    5,367
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks, I have that as one of my resources, thought I'd check to see if any forum members have on the road experience where I'm headed.

    I will be using paper maps and gps as well as asking for help (learning Italian now). I am using Google Earth just for the fun of it - it's amazing to be able to "fly" over Italy at low level. Actually paper maps can be unreliable on smaller roads. I'm told that occasional intentional mistakes are made to help detect copyright violations. I did find many years ago that seemed to be true. Not mistakes a driver would care about but sometimes immportant ones for a cyclist.

  4. #4
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora
    Posts
    4,380
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    These three sites might help in your planning.

    This one will help you find the local tourist office

    http://www.enit.it/default.asp?Lang=UK

    The first thing you should do when you hit town is to go into the tourist office. They will help you with camping, hotels, local roads etc.

    This site

    http://en.comuni-italiani.it/

    will give you information on what cites are in which province and region.


    This site

    http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

    will help you find train schedules. Please be aware that there are only certain trains that you can take bikes on without being boxed. They are mostly Regionale trains. They are short distance trains. If you plan on going a long distance then it can be done but give yourself plenty of time and expect lots of train changes.

    Also be certain that you validate your ticket before gettin on the train. It is done with the yellow boxes at the platforms. Be sure to watch the electronic signs above the platforms. They like to switch platforms on you.

    You should get Touring Club of Italy maps. The TCI maps are color coded. You will want to stick to the yellow roads if you can. Sometimes a road is red but really is not that bad regarding traffic. I would avoid white roads as they are usually local roads, are unimproved and often dead end. If you pick one make sure you know where it come out.

    The far south I have ridden is Pisa. With very few exceptions, the roads are very bike friendly and Italian drivers are very courteous to cyclists.

    When are you going? The the Euro is supposed to fall to around $1.20 by mid year. If it does and if it holds I plan on going back but I will probably be cycling the lake region.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Mechanic/Tourist
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Syracuse, NY
    My Bikes
    2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Would have more bikes if I had time to ride them all. Previous bikes: 1968 Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fav), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.
    Posts
    5,367
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the info. I knew about the trains for the most part, and will be checking in more detail, as I plan on some rather long segments right now. I'm planning on late September right now - way too hot in summer in southern Italy, and travel/lodging rates are lower then as well. The tourist office is a great idea, will be doing a lot ahead of time once I know where I want to overnight. I have found some other great sites and will be posting info myself on a website as I progress toward the trip. I'll definitely get the TCI maps - I see they now have an Italy by bike guide.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,291
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Many years ago, I biked from Bari through the interior of southern Italy to the Amalfi coast, then up to Pompeii & Naples. The roads were fine.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Frisco, CO
    My Bikes
    '93 Bridgestone MB-3, '88 Marinoni road bike, '00 Marinoni Piuma, '01 Riv A/R
    Posts
    1,059
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The TCI maps are excellent, I found the 1:200,000 scale regional maps to be really useful for cycle touring. http://www.touringclub.com/ENG/Trave...d_Atlases.aspx

    You can get them at Trek Tools or you can order them direct from TCI.

    I cycled around Tuscany between Florence and Pitigliano two years ago (spring 2006), the roads were excellent. The roads marked in white (strade bianche) were very quiet and very well maintained, even the gravel stretches were easy to ride on. They can be steep, though.

    I found it hard to completely avoid tunnels in Tuscany/Umbria and in Sicily last spring. A good taillight and some well placed reflector tape will make these a lot safer, and a headlight wouldn't hurt either.
    Last edited by markf; 01-05-09 at 04:22 AM.

  8. #8
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora
    Posts
    4,380
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by markf View Post

    I found it hard to completely avoid tunnels in Tuscany/Umbria and in Sicily last spring. A good taillight and some well placed reflector tape will make these a lot safer, and a headlight wouldn't hurt either.

    I was a little afraid of tunnels at first. I aborted what could have been a very nice ride to Cinque Terre because of them. I wish I didn't make that decision.

    Tunnels are not a bug deal once you get used to them. The taillight is an excellent idea though.

    Some tunnels have a bike path bypass. Look for them sometimes not easy to see unless you know they are there.

    BTW Bike path is pista cicabile. There are a number of them in the north, not sure about the south.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •