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Old 06-04-09, 08:25 PM   #1
sandybar
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Touring Italy - Equipment and Route Questions

I'll be touring Italy for the month of September, plan on biking from Florence to a small village in Basilica in the south where my grandfather was born, and then to Rome. I have a few questions:
  • My wife is joining me for the first two weeks - is it possible to rent a decent touring bike w/ packs in Florence?
  • I have an MSR butane stove, can I buy butane cartridges for it in Italy? i.e. are the American and Italian stove cartridges interchangeable?
  • Any idea how much rain I should expect in September? Would you recommend fenders for touring Italy? I live in California and do most of my riding on dry weather. I have a set of fenders but prefer to ride without them, just less clutter. But I don;t mind bringing them if it's advisable...
  • Any suggestions for routes or must see places between Tuscanny and the south of Italy? I've ordered my biking maps and am waiting for them to arrive...

Any advice sure would be appreciated, Thanks!!

Mark
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Old 06-05-09, 05:16 AM   #2
pathebikeguy
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Check out my route map/pics etc on this webpage i made for ideas.http://www.geocities.com/pathebikeguy/italylazio.html
I recommend;
The coastal road between Terracina and Gaeta. Its spectacular.
Gaeta itself is a must stop i think.
To avoid traffic though its best to stay off most coastal road.
Another spectacular road in Lazio is; Avezzano-Capistrello to Sora but this stretch is hilly.
As is the road i took from Sora to MonteCassino.
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Old 06-05-09, 07:04 AM   #3
raybo
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This page has 18 links to information about bike touring in Italy.

Not all of them will be of interest to you but some of them will give you some good information.

Ray
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Old 06-05-09, 05:37 PM   #4
cny-bikeman
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[*]Any idea how much rain I should expect in September? Would you recommend fenders for touring Italy? I live in California and do most of my riding on dry weather. I have a set of fenders but prefer to ride without them, just less clutter. But I don;t mind bringing them if it's advisable...
[*]Any suggestions for routes or must see places between Tuscany and the south of Italy? I've ordered my biking maps and am waiting for them to arrive...[/LIST]
Any advice sure would be appreciated, Thanks!!

Mark[/QUOTE]

Weather Underground is a great site for weather and climate info. Here's an example of the info you can get - note you can pick both location and date range. Rain in Italy in most of September is not very high, especially in the south.

http://www.wunderground.com/tripplan...finalyear=1994

As for what to see, there are too many choices. Florence, Siena, the Chianti region in between and some of the ridgetop towns in Tuscany would be a must.
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Old 06-05-09, 05:43 PM   #5
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My only out-of-USA touring was in So. Italy and I loved it. We road from Rome to Campania, then took a train to Bari and road back to the west. Just get good maps and ride on the roads that look nice. Don't expect droves of other cyclists on the mostly-narrow roads, but cars will mostly respect you. I guess the only real answer I have for you is to leave your MSR at home and pick up a cheapo stove at a hardware store once you get there. The low-tech camping gaz (punch a hole) gas canisters are the easiest to find.

HAVE FUN! Part of our trip was to go to the small town (Capriglia Irpina) where my wife's great grandparents came from. You will meet many people whose families immigrated to the US and have interesting stories
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Old 06-05-09, 07:40 PM   #6
markf
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This is the MSR dealer in Florence, they had MSR cartridges when I was there in 2006. I would stock up before leaving Florence. This is the Italian distributor for MSR, they have a dealer locator but it's in Italian. When I was in Sicily last year I found Coleman cartridges that interchanged with MSR cartridges in a boating store, but they were expensive. I only saw them in one store, and I only found MSR cartridges in one store in Sicily. The two types of Camping Gaz cartridges (pierceable and resealable) are very common in Italy, any outdoor store will have them. Next time I go to Italy (or anywhere in Europe), I'm using a Trangia stove. Don't cook too many meals, Italy is full of good restaurants!

Spend a few days in Florence (book your accommodation now, the good places go fast), spend at least a day in Siena, and be sure to ride the SP222 (provincial highway) from Florence to Siena. Montepulciano was my favorite hill town. Montefioralle is a pretty little village outside Greve in Chianti, but the climb to get to it is a little stiff (it's a 17% grade).

Get the TCI (Touring Club Italiano) 1:200,000 regional maps from Trek Tools, they're excellent cycling maps.

HTH,

mark
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