The Perfect Italian Cycling Holiday
Take a memorable trip through breath-taking Italian scenery in the beating heart of cycling. An Italian cycling holiday doesn’t have to mean training for the Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy race). The key to the Italy’s heart when it comes to cycling is enjoyment with perhaps just a sprinkling of deep, soaring passion!
Slow and gentle, or exhilarating and thigh-burning, cycling in Italy is always a passionate affair. Whether pedalling through olive groves, sunflower fields and vineyards, meandering through medieval villages or puffing through spectacular mountainous scenery glimpsing sparkling seas far below, the mantra is bello in sella (beautiful in the saddle) on an Italian cycling holiday.
It’s no secret that many operators name Italy as the numero uno destination for cycling holidays nowadays. Our specialist tour operators will transport your bags, mercifully freeing up panniers for your own rich pickings, allowing you to drink in the landscape and pedal (or push) to your heart’s content.
A self-guided tour allows you to cycle at your own pace, with high-quality bikes, route notes and maps supplied on a tried and tested route, safe in the knowledge that at the end of the day you will relax in a warm, welcoming hotel and be treated to a sumptuous dinner. All the tours give the option to choose between shorter and easier or longer and hillier itineraries.
Check out our tour operators offering the perfect Italian cycling holiday
Piedmont is high on the gastronomic trail where dappled woodland and the gentle, rolling hills of Le Langhe beg to be explored on two wheels. Crenellated castles and towers gaze down over medieval hilltop villages set among vineyards, hazelnut groves and truffle troves, with plenty of opportunities for tasting’s. And Alpine ascents in Piedmont at over 2,000 metres will test the most hardcore of cyclists – no surprise that they’re often part of the Giro d’Italia. Perfect for those who yearn for pedale forte, mangia bene (ride hard, eat well).
In Tuscany, endless opportunities for two-wheeled parades await. Pisa’s Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) is the starting point for discovery tours along quiet country lanes past Vinci, home of the famous Leonardo, past the wetlands at Fucecchio where you have a bird’s eye view of countless winged species, then onwards to Florence. You also have the opportunity of enjoying two days out of the saddle exploring the beautiful walled-city of Lucca.
Ferrara is also a wonderful, walled town and is one of Italy’s most cycle-friendly destinations. You could saddle up and visit here as part of a Guided Bike and Boat holiday to some of Northern Italy’s most enticing cities including Mantova, following the great River Po and ending up in the unique floating city, Venice. By day picnic by the riverbank, by night re-join the boat in your en suite cabin, and, after a gastronomic feast, be lulled to sleep by the rhythmic lapping of water.
Riccione in the Adriatic is becoming a biking mecca with exhilarating routes running by the sparkling Adriatic sea and meandering off into the green, lush hinterland. Here you could be based in one hotel with sociable group rides organised every day – suitable for all abilities, from families to slow and steady leisure cyclists, to fast pedallers and those on the club circuit.
Farther south, the land of the ‘Mezzogiorno’ (midday sun) starts, as the Romans say, at the first petrol station south of the capital. The refreshing countryside of Lazio, known since ancient times as an extension of the Eternal City, is the perfect escape for immersion into a tapestry of olive groves, vineyards, volcanic lakes, gardens and reminders of the proud Etruscans.
In Puglia, at the tip of Italy’s ‘heel’, a cycling tour here takes you past vineyards, golden beaches, castles and ‘trulli’. Truly unique, the conical dwellings around Alberobello are mysterious and magical in their lovely, picturesque setting. And, after a gentle ride along pathways through wheat-scented hills, the spectacle of the ‘sassi’ houses built into the rocks at Basilicata’s Matera, is nothing short of breathtaking.
In Sicily you could follow the trail around the flat coastal plains and vineyards around Marsala in the west, marvelling at the dazzlingly white salt lakes or attempt the steep ascent to medieval hilltop Erice with its fabulous vistas – or if quads, calves and thighs are burning, just take the funivia that whisks you up in 12 minutes. Or plunge into the fabulous Baroque of eastern Sicily and the UNESCO World Heritage sites hewn from honey-coloured stone.
In Sardinia enjoy the best of both worlds in a Boat and Bike Tour, marvelling at the turquoise waters in the north west of the island by day and living aboard a two-masted boat by night. Cycle from the fabled Costa Smeralda to islands within islands – the Arcipelago delle Maddalena and Caprera – the former home of Garibaldi. Keep a watchful eye out for shy goats and wild boar that just might stray across your path. Or head for the south west to ride among empty beaches and abandoned mines in total freedom, in ‘A Mine of Memories’.
They’re all part of the cycle of Italian life and – with the guidance of Love Italy operators – your next Italian cycling holiday could well be the most exciting, enjoyable and memorable ride of your life.