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Italy bike touring idea

Old 03-21-14, 11:04 AM
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Italy bike touring idea

Hey everyone,

June 23 - June 30 I will do a bike tour somewhere in Europe. I have to plan at least 4 - 5 routes because I'll be flying "stand-by" with a major carrier that flies from North America to Europe. That means that at the last minute (and based on weather) I will hop on the first available flight and start my tour from there. Italy is on the map for sure, due to its great weather. Any ideas for bike touring?

This is what I came up with for Italy:

Rome - Perugia - Montepulciano - Cortona - Siena - Florence - Pisa

I also have some tours planned in France, Switzerland and England...

Thanks
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Old 03-21-14, 11:59 AM
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sounds like a good idea . I land somewhere then buy a paper Map

and start talking to the locals and learn something about the place..
EU-Rail passes still sold ? you can jump on the train if the route is too far or treacherous to ride.

the passes dont start their use time until you start using it
bought in 7day-week per , or 30 days per and so forth .

from the US ahead of time ..

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Old 03-22-14, 08:35 AM
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I've cycled in Italy a couple of times but not enough to give you advise on routes, however, you may also find that posting on some UK forums such as CTC and Bike Radar will yield some good suggestions (on Italy and Europe in general as the Brits are over there all the time!). For UK, Sustrans website is a good start. Have a great trip wherever you go!
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Old 03-22-14, 08:52 AM
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This map might help you with your plans: Networks

Also see: https://www.bicitalia.org/cakebi//cycleways/ciclovia/51

Just copy-n-paste the text into a Bing translator. The map is the main benefit.
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Old 03-22-14, 01:23 PM
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My wife and I spent three weeks touring in Italy in approximately the area you mention (Florence-Lucca-Asciano-Montepulciano-Orvieto-Todi-Spello-Cagli-Florence, and lots of towns in between). Your route seems like a lot of ground to cover in only a week. We tried to include trains in our itinerary, but the Italians train people in the Marche region weren't helpful at all, but riding back to Florence over several days was delightful.

I would strongly suggest orienting your tour through the smaller cities and towns, and enjoy the smaller roads that connect them.

You might get some ideas by looking at tour reports on the Trento Bike Pages.
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Old 03-22-14, 02:01 PM
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Here are 27 links to information about bike touring in Italy.

While not all of them will be of interest to you, some of them will provide maps, local information, routes, and other useful tidbits.

Have a great time.

Last edited by raybo; 03-22-14 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 03-22-14, 05:39 PM
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If you can get into Milan then the lake region is worth seeing. Como has the Madonna del Ghisallo. Which maybe one day when I am there, it won't be raining (was in the region twice already and both times it was pouring that day).

If you can fly into Venice or Innsbruck then there is the Imst and Adige bicycle paths. If you really feel adventurous you could ride the Stelvio.

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Old 03-24-14, 01:35 PM
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Thanks for your great advice everyone. I should've mentioned that from Rome to Perugia I am planning to take a train and start my tour there. I'm trying to average about 400 km in 1 week. I think that's more than reasonable. Last year I did a 5 day tour from Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria along the Danube River. That's about 300 km


Great links and advice...

Thanks again
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Old 03-24-14, 05:44 PM
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I highly suggest ending your bike tour in Lucca. It's a MUCH more interesting town than Pisa and the road from Florence is more scenic. If the leaning tower is a must or if you need to fly out of there, then I suggest taking the train to Pisa from Lucca. It's just half hour away and the train fare only costs €3.30.
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Old 03-24-14, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by B200Pilot View Post
Thanks for your great advice everyone. I should've mentioned that from Rome to Perugia I am planning to take a train and start my tour there. I'm trying to average about 400 km in 1 week. I think that's more than reasonable. Last year I did a 5 day tour from Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria along the Danube River. That's about 300 km


Great links and advice...

Thanks again
Only the Regionale trains allow bicycles unboxed. Perugia is about 174km from Rome ao I am thinking that is at least two trains but could be one.

You can get the schedule here:

Trenitalia - HomePage

The little bike symbol means bikes are allowed. Remember to stamp your ticket at one of the boxes (yellow if I remember) around the station, before you get on board.

Look for the car that has a bike symbol on the side, there will be racks inside. If the bike car is locked then you can put you bike the companionway between cars.

The bike car is usually the last car on the train but not always. If you are not certain you can lift you bike up 3-4 feet loaded then be prepared to drop your bags. But you also need to be ready to move your bike and bags to another part of the train so don't drop them right away.

Also be very mindful of the announcements. They will be both verbal (in Italian) and on the signs. Italians love to change tracks then back again. And do not cross the tracks. Use the tunnels. In smaller stations you might be able to get the assistance of a guard to cross the tracks. It really helps if you can speak Italian a bit.
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Old 03-24-14, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
I highly suggest ending your bike tour in Lucca. It's a MUCH more interesting town than Pisa and the road from Florence is more scenic. If the leaning tower is a must or if you need to fly out of there, then I suggest taking the train to Pisa from Lucca. It's just half hour away and the train fare only costs €3.30.
I second that for Lucca. It is a wonderful town.

And if you take the train into Pisa, do not get off at the main station. Get off at Pisa San Rossore. You can pretty much see the tower from the station. It is a non - manned station with a funky ticket machine that has confusing rules on payment / change. So it might be a good idea to get round trip tickets before you depart in the morning.
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Old 03-24-14, 06:20 PM
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I would like to qualify my comment on bikes on trains in Italy. You can take your bike on pretty much any train, it just will have to be boxed.

Regionale is pretty much the only train you can take them unboxed. You can get almost anywhere on a Regionale from anywhere else. It is just going to take longer with a lot more train switches depending on the distance. I have never tried a long distance train. IMHO, unless you are going more that a 300 miles or so, I would stick with a Regionale even if it took all day. With hassles of getting a box, checking baggage, worrying if it will get there, worrying about strikes. It just is not worth it.
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