Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Tour of the Italian lakes in 2022

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Tour of the Italian lakes in 2022

Old 12-26-20, 12:55 PM
  #1  
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
Thread Starter
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Posts: 12,281

Bikes: Ridley Helium SLX, Canyon Endurance SL, De Rosa Professional, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Schwinn Paramount (1 painted, 1 chrome), Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Raleigh Roker, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 854 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 106 Posts
Tour of the Italian lakes in 2022

I'm considering a tour of the Italian lakes in 2022. The tour would include the floating bike path of Lake Garda. Has anyone done a similar tour? I would make use of the many ferrys that transport bikes and passengers from one town to the next. Please use all the links ;-)

https://vimeo.com/278996876



Cycling day one: Arona to Baveno, 30 miles & 3550 ft of climbing. This route takes in Logo d' Orta, one of the most scenic small lakes in northern Italy. It would be easy to add a rest day here and visit the Borromeo Islands.

https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/3848512579

Cycling day two: Luino to Menaggio, 33 miles & 2700 ft of climbing. After taking a ferry to Luino, the route passes into Lugano and terminates at Menaggio on Lago Como. It would be tempting to add a rest day here and visit the Bellagio and Varenna.

https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/3859795864

Cycling day three: Lecco to Isola, 46 miles and 3500 ft of climbing. After taking a ferry to Lecco, the route crosses north of Bergamo and terminates at Sarnico on Lago Isola.

https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/3848740339

Cycling Day four: Lago Iseo to Lago Garda. The route crosses north of Brescia and terminates at Maderno on Lago Garda

https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/3860411923

Cycling day five: The floating bike path of Garda. Please see the link below.

https://www.italymagazine.com/news/e...lys-lake-garda
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-26-20 at 01:10 PM.
Barrettscv is offline  
Old 12-26-20, 02:07 PM
  #2  
raybo
Bike touring webrarian
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,973

Bikes: I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 78 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 32 Times in 19 Posts
In April 2015, I did a route of northern Italy including several lakes. I rode a loop route from Milan. I rode east to VIcenza via the southern edge of Lakes Como and Garda. Then, I headed north to Trento and started west via the northern part of Lake Garda and went by Lakes Ladro, Idro, and Iseo. I then went north into the Dolomites turning back at Bormio and riding to the north end of Lake Como. From there, I went to Lake Lugano and then Lake Maggiore before returning to Milano. A truly fabulous trip! I wrote a detailed journal, as I always do, if you would like more information.

Some random thoughts:

Bormio is a very pretty place at the base of the Stelvio Pass. It is a challenge to get to but I really liked it.

Be sure to check if the passes are open before trying to ride over them!

Expect haze in the Po Valley.

The bike trail from Bassano del Grappo to Trento was fabulous.

Don't assume that Swiss National Bike routes are good biking.

Check that the ferries you are planning to use take bicycles.

The Italian Lakes are a pretty part of the world. You will have a great time, if the weather cooperates!
raybo is offline  
Old 12-26-20, 03:20 PM
  #3  
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
Thread Starter
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Posts: 12,281

Bikes: Ridley Helium SLX, Canyon Endurance SL, De Rosa Professional, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Schwinn Paramount (1 painted, 1 chrome), Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Raleigh Roker, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 854 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 106 Posts
Originally Posted by raybo View Post
In April 2015, I did a route of northern Italy including several lakes. I rode a loop route from Milan. I rode east to VIcenza via the southern edge of Lakes Como and Garda. Then, I headed north to Trento and started west via the northern part of Lake Garda and went by Lakes Ladro, Idro, and Iseo. I then went north into the Dolomites turning back at Bormio and riding to the north end of Lake Como. From there, I went to Lake Lugano and then Lake Maggiore before returning to Milano. A truly fabulous trip! I wrote a detailed journal, as I always do, if you would like more information.

Some random thoughts:

Bormio is a very pretty place at the base of the Stelvio Pass. It is a challenge to get to but I really liked it.

Be sure to check if the passes are open before trying to ride over them!

Expect haze in the Po Valley.

The bike trail from Bassano del Grappo to Trento was fabulous.

Don't assume that Swiss National Bike routes are good biking.

Check that the ferries you are planning to use take bicycles.

The Italian Lakes are a pretty part of the world. You will have a great time, if the weather cooperates!
I will study your journal in detail, Thanks'
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
Barrettscv is offline  
Old 12-28-20, 08:17 AM
  #4  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 30,269
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13304 Post(s)
Liked 5,942 Times in 3,048 Posts
I spent a couple of days cycling while based along Lake Maggiore back in Ď95. Quite nice. Did some of the trail near Bassano mentioned above. Also very nice. That was in 2013.

Nothing else to add except to say Italian drivers are not as scary as some think. But you do need to follow the rules. A couple people in our group almost got creamed one day outside Bassano. In typical Philly fashion, they did not properly yield to a vehicle when entering a traffic circle.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 12-28-20, 10:10 AM
  #5  
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
Thread Starter
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Posts: 12,281

Bikes: Ridley Helium SLX, Canyon Endurance SL, De Rosa Professional, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Schwinn Paramount (1 painted, 1 chrome), Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Raleigh Roker, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 854 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 106 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I spent a couple of days cycling while based along Lake Maggiore back in ‘95. Quite nice. Did some of the trail near Bassano mentioned above. Also very nice. That was in 2013.

Nothing else to add except to say Italian drivers are not as scary as some think. But you do need to follow the rules. A couple people in our group almost got creamed one day outside Bassano. In typical Philly fashion, they did not properly yield to a vehicle when entering a traffic circle.
I recently purchased a residence in Meina on Lago Maggiore. One of the many motivations for the purchase was to have a place near Malpensa airport that would prove a base for short tours in northern Italy and beyond. It will also be a nice gathering spot for friends and family along with a retirement destination.



__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-28-20 at 10:31 AM.
Barrettscv is offline  
Old 12-28-20, 11:05 AM
  #6  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 30,269
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13304 Post(s)
Liked 5,942 Times in 3,048 Posts
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I recently purchased a residence in Meina on Lago Maggiore. One of the many motivations for the purchase was to have a place near Malpensa airport that would prove a base for short tours in northern Italy and beyond. It will also be a nice gathering spot for friends and family along with a retirement destination.



Jealous!

BTW...If you do ever get to Bassano there is a cool WWI museum underneath a cafť at the old bridge over the Brenta. Lots of stuff actually used in the war including a Bianchi infantry bicycle complete with rifle rack.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 12-28-20, 01:35 PM
  #7  
fourfa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 182
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 28 Posts
Not sure if there’s a question here or if it’s more of a brag thread? Anyway Orto San Guilio is one of the most beautiful small towns I’ve seen in Italy, though hardly undiscovered. I happened to camp there and take a rainy zero day or two. Shortly before dinner time the tour bus people got on their buses and left the town quiet and timeless and a bit magical, so it was a lovely place to watch the evening change and wander the darkened streets. I’m sure the towns are similar throughout this region - ie a bit swarmed in the daylight hours - but unless you’re staying in town in expensive hotels or get lucky with a campground just outside the centro storico you might miss the magical quiet evenings and mornings. Upper Bergamo was similar. I’ll second a recommendation for Bormio and ride up and over Stelvio if you can, just for the accomplishment - but with such a short trip I’m not sure it’ll be worth the time. I spent 4-5 days in Bormio and just rode all the passes and Giro stages around there.
fourfa is offline  
Old 12-28-20, 01:48 PM
  #8  
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
Thread Starter
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Posts: 12,281

Bikes: Ridley Helium SLX, Canyon Endurance SL, De Rosa Professional, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Schwinn Paramount (1 painted, 1 chrome), Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Raleigh Roker, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 854 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 106 Posts
Originally Posted by fourfa View Post
Not sure if thereís a question here or if itís more of a brag thread? Anyway Orto San Guilio is one of the most beautiful small towns Iíve seen in Italy, though hardly undiscovered. I happened to camp there and take a rainy zero day or two. Shortly before dinner time the tour bus people got on their buses and left the town quiet and timeless and a bit magical, so it was a lovely place to watch the evening change and wander the darkened streets. Iím sure the towns are similar throughout this region - ie a bit swarmed in the daylight hours - but unless youíre staying in town in expensive hotels or get lucky with a campground just outside the centro storico you might miss the magical quiet evenings and mornings. Upper Bergamo was similar. Iíll second a recommendation for Bormio and ride up and over Stelvio if you can, just for the accomplishment - but with such a short trip Iím not sure itíll be worth the time. I spent 4-5 days in Bormio and just rode all the passes and Giro stages around there.
Actually I'm looking for input on routes. The report raybo provided was very detailed and helpful.
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
Barrettscv is offline  
Old 12-29-20, 01:21 AM
  #9  
raybo
Bike touring webrarian
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,973

Bikes: I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 78 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 32 Times in 19 Posts
Another great resource is https://italy-cycling-guide.info/
raybo is offline  
Old 12-30-20, 07:38 AM
  #10  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 11,567
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2085 Post(s)
Liked 498 Times in 423 Posts
Barretts, seems to me you havent been on here for a long time no? Ive never been to Italy, but its always fun to see trip ideas, especially in these strange times.
I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but go to youtube and look up the Stan Rodgers song, Barretts Privateers, a great song from a Canadian folk musician who died in a plane crash in the early 80s. Some of his better songs

Barretts Privateers
Northwest Passage
The idiot
The field behind the plow
Make and Break Harbour

ciao
djb is offline  
Old 12-30-20, 09:54 AM
  #11  
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
Thread Starter
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Posts: 12,281

Bikes: Ridley Helium SLX, Canyon Endurance SL, De Rosa Professional, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Schwinn Paramount (1 painted, 1 chrome), Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Raleigh Roker, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 854 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 106 Posts
Originally Posted by djb View Post
Barretts, seems to me you havent been on here for a long time no? Ive never been to Italy, but its always fun to see trip ideas, especially in these strange times.
I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but go to youtube and look up the Stan Rodgers song, Barretts Privateers, a great song from a Canadian folk musician who died in a plane crash in the early 80s. Some of his better songs

Barretts Privateers
Northwest Passage
The idiot
The field behind the plow
Make and Break Harbour

ciao
Hi djb,

Yes, my cycling declined for a while due to a relocation in 2018 and time given over to a sailboat purchase in 2019. I'm ready to get back on the bike and traing for a 2022 tour should be a good motivator!
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
Barrettscv is offline  
Old 12-30-20, 11:34 AM
  #12  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 11,567
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2085 Post(s)
Liked 498 Times in 423 Posts
absolutely, planning a trip is always great to really get your arse in gear and put in the hours, knowing that you'll enjoy yourself more if in reasonable shape with reasonable saddle time put in.
djb is offline  
Old 01-04-21, 10:21 AM
  #13  
JaccoW
Overdoing projects
 
JaccoW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Rotterdam, former republic of the Netherlands
Posts: 2,155

Bikes: Batavus Randonneur GL, Gazelle Orange Excellent, Gazelle Super Licht, Gazelle Grand Tourist, Gazelle Lausanne, Gazelle Tandem, Koga-Miyata SilverAce, Koga-Miyata WorldTraveller

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 696 Post(s)
Liked 814 Times in 491 Posts
The floating cycle path is beautiful... just expect it to be filled with pedestrians and families with baby strollers so it won't be a relaxed ride on an empty path with great views. That was my experience in 2019 at least.
I only did about half of lake Garda in a day and accidentally climbed 2100 meters (~6900 feet) when I took the MTB trail at Riva del Garda instead of the main road.

One thing to note though, you seem to be riding from lake to lake but hardly through the small towns along it. I found the towns themselves to be some of the best parts there. Beautiful old homes with ancient cypress trees.

Also, bring lights for the tunnels you will cross. I found Italian drivers to be very courteous if you used lights but also saw plenty of people on road bikes in the pitch black who were invisible and were passed with minimal distances.


Last edited by JaccoW; 01-04-21 at 10:30 AM.
JaccoW is offline  
Old 01-29-21, 04:37 PM
  #14  
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
Thread Starter
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Posts: 12,281

Bikes: Ridley Helium SLX, Canyon Endurance SL, De Rosa Professional, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Schwinn Paramount (1 painted, 1 chrome), Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Raleigh Roker, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 854 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 106 Posts
Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
The floating cycle path is beautiful... just expect it to be filled with pedestrians and families with baby strollers so it won't be a relaxed ride on an empty path with great views. That was my experience in 2019 at least.
I only did about half of lake Garda in a day and accidentally climbed 2100 meters (~6900 feet) when I took the MTB trail at Riva del Garda instead of the main road.

One thing to note though, you seem to be riding from lake to lake but hardly through the small towns along it. I found the towns themselves to be some of the best parts there. Beautiful old homes with ancient cypress trees.

Also, bring lights for the tunnels you will cross. I found Italian drivers to be very courteous if you used lights but also saw plenty of people on road bikes in the pitch black who were invisible and were passed with minimal distances.

Fabulous!
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
Barrettscv is offline  
Likes For Barrettscv:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.