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tremre 09-20-16 03:13 AM

pisa-rome italy tour
 
Hi,

I want to make a tour on June 2017 through Pisa florence siena Rome. Also I want to visit small villages and towns. Is there anyone has done this tour or like this? If someone share his/her rout and road condition experience ı would be glad.

CliffordK 09-20-16 03:51 AM

It sounds like a lot of fun. In the past, Italian trains were relatively cheap, and you might choose to do a mix of train + cycling. I believe the area around Siena was rather mountainous.

The Apennine mountain range runs through central Italy, and you may end up crossing it to get between North and South. I remember crossing the Abetone pass, which had a lot of intense up and downs.

Fortunately, with electronic route planning, you should be able to get an estimate of hills and elevations to your preference.

English is widely spoken in the more tourist areas (Rome, Pisa, Florence, etc). Some knowledge of Italian will be helpful if you stray from the beaten path.

Stadjer 09-20-16 04:36 AM


Originally Posted by CliffordK (Post 19068309)
English is widely spoken in the more tourist areas (Rome, Pisa, Florence, etc). Some knowledge of Italian will be helpful if you stray from the beaten path.

Certainly that will help, numbers, basic politeness like greeting, say thank you and making the effort to speak their language. But for Italians language is more like a beautiful soundtrack while they are communicating with their hands, voice and faces. Usually for them not speaking the language is not a reason not to have a conversation.

spinnaker 09-20-16 01:19 PM

I have not been to Rome but I have been to Pisa. I stayed in Viareggio and then took the train to Pisa because I did not want to deal with riding in Pisa nor worry about the bike while I toured the tower area.

Later I got there accidentally by taking a wrong turn. :) I found that riding in Pisa is not that awful bad. Nothing like Genoa which is horrible.

The shore roads tend to be pretty busy. Lots of fast drivers but most people are courteous. I would take interior roads a lot more pleasant though the coast can be very beautiful.


You can get on and off Regionale (Regional) trains with your bike. You can only got to the next town on Regionale but being creative you can go some s\distance. The bike car is marked with a bicycle symbol. It is usually the last car. If the door is locked then just place your bike between and two cars. If the conductor inquires (they usually don't) just tell him La porta non si apre. The door will not open.


Be sure to stamp your ticket at one of the little boxes. By no means should you cross the tracks. At smaller stations, you may be able to convince a station worker or police officer to help you cross the tracks. Be sure to watch for announcements. Italian trains are notorious for two things. Strikes and changing platforms minutes before train arrival. It is awful fun to drag your bike down the stairs through the tunnel and up the stairs again. ;)

Almost all Italians under the age of 50 speak some English. But not all will admit it as their English (in their opinion is poor). If you learn just some
Italian and try, they will open up and speak English.

CliffordK 09-20-16 01:41 PM

I rode in Rome. But I've been riding in traffic for years (and was younger and more foolish then). The only thing I remember is that the Roman Cobbles trap glass like something crazy.

I'm glad to hear about the bicycle train cars. I was kicked off of a train in the middle of the night (last train for that station) because I was carrying my bike with me (disassembled and compacted down as much as it would go. Should have covered it with a garbage bag and it would have been fine.

Some towns/regions like cinque terre are beautiful. Good paths between the towns, but I think mainly for walking. Perhaps make sure you are comfortable pushing your bike up and down mountain paths. I'm not sure how MTBs have impacted the region. There are also apparently some winding auto roads between the towns.

spinnaker 09-20-16 02:09 PM


Originally Posted by CliffordK (Post 19069662)
I rode in Rome. But I've been riding in traffic for years (and was younger and more foolish then). The only thing I remember is that the Roman Cobbles trap glass like something crazy.

I'm glad to hear about the bicycle train cars. I was kicked off of a train in the middle of the night (last train for that station) because I was carrying my bike with me (disassembled and compacted down as much as it would go. Should have covered it with a garbage bag and it would have been fine.

Some towns/regions like cinque terre are beautiful. Good paths between the towns, but I think mainly for walking. Perhaps make sure you are comfortable pushing your bike up and down mountain paths. I'm not sure how MTBs have impacted the region. There are also apparently some winding auto roads between the towns.

To be clear. Only Regionale allow bike unboxed. Anything log distance will require your bike to travel as luggage.

Most of Cinque Terre can be traveled by roads but last I was in Italy, there is at least one tunnel where bicycles are prohibited though lots of people still use them. Just like the law requires both helmets and bells but a lot of people ignore both,

axolotl 09-20-16 03:47 PM

I biked between Florence and Pisa. It's a fairly easy ride because it's in a river valley. There are little roads you can take which mostly stay close to the Arno river. I'm still a fan of detailed paper maps over electronics. It's hard to get an overview by looking at a small screen. The Touring Club Italiano 1:200,000 series are excellent maps.

I haven't biked between Florence and Rome. That will be challenging due to the topography. I did bike within Rome and I mostly enjoyed it, but I'm accustomed to urban riding.

phoog 10-10-16 07:45 AM

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x...g/IMG_1259.jpg

This was me this time last week :)
a great place to tour, The Chianti region (the triangle between Pisa, Firenze and Siena is really stunning (and a bit hilly )

Inpd 10-10-16 08:09 AM

You bike is the only thing not leaning in the photograph
 
Makes we want to get on my bike ...


Originally Posted by phoog (Post 19113233)
http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x...g/IMG_1259.jpg

This was me this time last week :)
a great place to tour, The Chianti region (the triangle between Pisa, Firenze and Siena is really stunning (and a bit hilly )


eshrider 11-04-16 04:26 PM

Parma to Rome - Italy is Bike Touring Heaven....Do it Now..!!!
 
We just got home Monday from a month long ride thru Italy..Parma to Rome...incredible ..! we followed [ with a few diviations and detours ] the Via Francigena. Check it out, read about it. It's a ,1000 year old pilgrim route. Many people walk it, from Canterbury England to Rome, a few [ such as my wife and I on our tandem, ride the route. Stayed nights at pilgrim hostels or small B& B's. We are now more convinced than ever that there are no level spots in Italy, just ups and downs, short choppy hills or day long ramps and 15 k downhills.

Over the last 4 summers we've pedalled a total of 10 weeks in Italy...during those 10 weeks, never, not once, not a single time did we ever receive a nasty look, remark or comment, no hand gestures or fingers. there were times when we'd be slowly climbing a long hill, narrow road, lots of twists and turns...I'd glance over my shoulder to see 3-4 or 5 cars stacked up waiting to get around us...when they 'd get a chance or I could pull over they'd pass us...never a mean comment or gesture, more often than not they'd smile and wave as they drove past....try doing that here in the USA.

Riding Italy is like going to bicycle heaven....you are respected and made to feel welcomed. One of the most fun moments of the whole adventure was riding in Rome. I don't usually enjoy city riding on a fully loaded tandem but doing laps around the Coliseum in Rome, " Let's do that again " my wife said after our third lap..." who knows when we'll be here again !! " It was a blast ...after that we went over and rode around the track where they used to race the chariots...Circus Maximus....

Bike riding in Italy..wear a helmet and have a bell, the louder the better...people will get out of your way if they know you're coming, jing jing , they'll make a space for you..

The Po River Valley is flat , hot and boring....avoid it. Some of the coast roads on the Med side reminded us of the worst of Florida's Atlantic coast, over developed, flat, one motel / beach club after another for miles and miles. The hills and small villages / medium sized cities are where it's at...

Recommendation...look on your map of Italy , find the state roads , the major non-freeway roads and then get as far away from them as you can...find the sections of Italy where there are large swaths of country side without any Major roads or "toursit attractions " and then ride for a week in any direction stopping in small towns for meals and a bed at night.

Ride Apennine mountain range ...don't avoid it...seek it out....it's a chance in a life time to ride some of the most painful climbs, wonderful roads, switchbacks, hour long downhills and then more switchbacks...and we did it all on a fully loaded tandem...!!!

Gear - GPS and maps, have both, you'll need them.., waterproof panniers, Ortlieb. Bring what you need...o
nce you leave the major cities, reliable bike shops are , surprisingly , hard to find.

Trains, once you figure out the system and routing, pricing, ect you'll have all of Italy to play with and ride. Italian train system is good, not anywhere even remotely as good as the German or Austrian system but pretty good none the less..

Italy...ride it all, don't wait...it's bicycle heaven....!!!!!

thumpism 11-05-16 08:15 PM

When I was there long ago it seemed to be the law for drivers to honk when overtaking, and the sound of the horn was inversely proportional to the size of the vehicle. I've ridden in the areas you mentioned and can't recall anything unpleasant, and I didn't use the trains.


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