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Considering Road Cycling in Italy - Need Help

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Considering Road Cycling in Italy - Need Help

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Old 01-05-19, 10:52 AM
  #26  
datlas
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Thanks for the tips. Appreciated.

No decisions but leaning towards Florence. Wife is 100% non cyclist. She is an oil painter so I imagine she can find nice landscapes to paint if she runs out of culture. Also one of my bike club friends is from there and he can probably give me some good routes. We may aim for September so maybe the summer crowds won’t be an issue.
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Old 01-05-19, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Thanks for the tips. Appreciated.

No decisions but leaning towards Florence. Wife is 100% non cyclist. She is an oil painter so I imagine she can find nice landscapes to paint if she runs out of culture. Also one of my bike club friends is from there and he can probably give me some good routes. We may aim for September so maybe the summer crowds won’t be an issue.
Bonus if you do Florence is the center market. Amazing foods to try...We go there a few times a year. I stay mostly in the market while my wife does all the artsy stuff...
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Old 01-05-19, 11:55 AM
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I an still hoping my wife is willing to reconsider Spain because no language barrier there. But Florence sounds fantastic and will be plan B.
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Old 01-06-19, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
I an still hoping my wife is willing to reconsider Spain because no language barrier there. But Florence sounds fantastic and will be plan B.
Honestly not much of a language barrier in any of the more populated areas...We are Americans. I have lived here a few times and speak pretty fluently but, this is my wife’s first stint here and she speaks no Italian. She gets along fine. Almost everyone in the popular areas of Europe speaks English.
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Old 01-06-19, 05:35 PM
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clever!
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Old 01-07-19, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
I an still hoping my wife is willing to reconsider Spain because no language barrier there. But Florence sounds fantastic and will be plan B.
Very little language barrier in the 2 recent trips to Tuscany, Umbria and Rome. English is the universal language of Europe at this point.
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Old 01-07-19, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
I an still hoping my wife is willing to reconsider Spain because no language barrier there. But Florence sounds fantastic and will be plan B.
A fluent Spanish speaker will pick up enough Italian to get around fairly quickly.
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Old 01-07-19, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dolomoto View Post
There's quite a network of bike trails and MUP over most of Italy. For instance, you can ride from the Venice airport to Vicenza (55 miles) and only spend a few miles on streets. You can also cycle from Munich to Venice almost exclusively on cycling paths.

I can't post the links (new user) but if you do an internet search for "italy cycling guide", it should lead you to a great resource. Another search term is "tutto berici cycling", lists many cycling routes.
I'll have to look at that sometime, and dream of my next Italy trip.

Many of the back roads, in particular in the Parma/Reggio Emilio area were fine for cycling. But you mention Venice. Somehow I ended up on a bypass road near Venice. Wow, that was WILD!!!
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Old 01-07-19, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Thanks for the tips. Appreciated.

No decisions but leaning towards Florence. Wife is 100% non cyclist. She is an oil painter so I imagine she can find nice landscapes to paint if she runs out of culture. Also one of my bike club friends is from there and he can probably give me some good routes. We may aim for September so maybe the summer crowds won’t be an issue.
Get her out on a bicycle. Perhaps it would be fun to be car-free in a different country. Maybe she will become a 99% non-cyclist.

Are there bike rentals in Italy?

Some of the small towns can be unique too. I spent a day in Assisi. What a unique little town. Giotto was the important painter there. I think he came in a transitional period just prior to Leonardo and Michelangelo. So, if I remember right, the beginnings of 3-D perspective in painting, but not the true depth to the paintings that came later.
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Old 01-07-19, 12:35 PM
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Oh, as far as English vs Italian vs Spanish.

In the big touristy places, English will be just fine. At least 30 years ago... WHEW!!! Italian was important if you got off the beaten track.

Consider taking an Italian course at the local community college. There are summer "Crash Courses", generally in the summer. But, if your wife has a strong Spanish background, she might even be able to jump directly into second term, first year Italian.
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Old 01-09-19, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Umbria. Close to Rome, and great cycling. Cheaper than Tuscany. Winter is cold though.

I misunderstood. Thought that you were going now. If summer, then you can't beat the Dolomiti for unparalleled beauty as well as climbs.
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Old 01-10-19, 03:24 PM
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When is the best time to climb/ride around Finestre during the summer?

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Old 01-11-19, 04:46 AM
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I like Milan. My wife loves the shopping, the history, and the architecture. It's safer and less congested than Rome. If we have time, I spend a few days riding a large loop which takes me to Turin, then to the coast to Savona, then down the coast to Genoa, then back. If I have more time, I'll push the loop into France, and head down to Cannes or Nice, and then along the coast back to Genoa.
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Old 01-11-19, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by yarbrough462 View Post


Honestly not much of a language barrier in any of the more populated areas...We are Americans. I have lived here a few times and speak pretty fluently but, this is my wife’s first stint here and she speaks no Italian. She gets along fine. Almost everyone in the popular areas of Europe speaks English.
Almost everyone we met in Amsterdam last year spoke better English than the vast majority of Americans.

I did once miss a local train in the Italian boonies as a 20 year old, and had quite the struggle trying to communicate in semi-fluent Spanish to a station attendant, but I managed to get home alive.
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Old 01-11-19, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
Almost everyone we met in Amsterdam last year spoke better English than the vast majority of Americans.
Heh. One day, when I was bike touring in the touristy coast area of southern Spain, I was shopping in a grocery store. I tried to speak to a clerk in Spanish, which I was somewhat competent in. She would only speak English to me. The place was full of tourists from the north (e.g., Germany and Holland). Guess English was the "universal language" down there.
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Old 01-11-19, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Heh. One day, when I was bike touring in the touristy coast area of southern Spain, I was shopping in a grocery store. I tried to speak to a clerk in Spanish, which I was somewhat competent in. She would only speak English to me. The place was full of tourists from the north (e.g., Germany and Holland). Guess English was the "universal language" down there.
It already is for business and aviation. I saw a thread on another site recently about "anglophone privilege" as something that should be addressed for "fairness".
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Old 01-11-19, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Heh. One day, when I was bike touring in the touristy coast area of southern Spain, I was shopping in a grocery store. I tried to speak to a clerk in Spanish, which I was somewhat competent in. She would only speak English to me. The place was full of tourists from the north (e.g., Germany and Holland). Guess English was the "universal language" down there.
iTriste!
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Old 01-11-19, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
iTriste!
Si. It was funny because I had been riding in a lot of out of the way places where no one spoke English. I did spend two nights in a town where I met a bar tender who spoke English because she had studied it in London. She told me about all the Spanish she heard when her class took a trip to NYC. The campground receptionist in Cordoba was also a student who spoke decent English.

One day I pulled into the town of Velez-Blanco dead tired from a long day with a stretch of serious headwind. I plopped down on a park bench and looked up a hostel in my guide book. A kid came riding up to me and said "Cannondale." I was riding a Cannondale T700. He was riding a Cannondale MTB. I asked him (in Spanish) where to hostel was. He looked at me like I was daft and then pointed across the street. I was literally sitting right across a small street from it. I was so spent I didn't notice. Turns out the kid's family owned the place.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Si. It was funny because I had been riding in a lot of out of the way places where no one spoke English. I did spend two nights in a town where I met a bar tender who spoke English because she had studied it in London. She told me about all the Spanish she heard when her class took a trip to NYC. The campground receptionist in Cordoba was also a student who spoke decent English.

One day I pulled into the town of Velez-Blanco dead tired from a long day with a stretch of serious headwind. I plopped down on a park bench and looked up a hostel in my guide book. A kid came riding up to me and said "Cannondale." I was riding a Cannondale T700. He was riding a Cannondale MTB. I asked him (in Spanish) where to hostel was. He looked at me like I was daft and then pointed across the street. I was literally sitting right across a small street from it. I was so spent I didn't notice. Turns out the kid's family owned the place.
That is funny. We may still go back to Spain, I really love the climate and the vibe, and I can speak Spanish pretty well. I especially like Andalucia where they speak Castillian Spanish. Our most recent Spain trip was to Catalonia and no hablo Catalan.
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Old 01-11-19, 07:00 PM
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Verona, or lake Como and then head for the mountains...
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