Stunning Italian villas, impressive ancient architecture, and some of the oldest roads in the world are just waiting to be explored. There is no better way to take in the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the Italian countryside than from the seat of a bike. Imagine stopping for a picnic in a field overlooking vineyard, or the smell of the sea as you coast toward the Italian coastline.
Climate and Terrain
Italy offers a wide variety of climates and terrains which will make the bicycling novice feel comfortable or challenge even the most experienced bicyclist. Some of the easier tours can be found along the coastline and within the various cities of Italy. As the tours move into the piedmont they become slightly more difficult with rolling hills which lead to amazing views. By far, the most challenging terrain is found along the Apennine Mountains which divide the Italian peninsula in two.
Bike Tour Buzz has specific guides for four of the most popular regions here:
Locations and Regions
If the food and wine of Italian culture are the main motivation of a bike tour, Tuscany has got to be the destination of choice. This region is full of classic Italian beauty, green pastures, vineyards, and endless olive groves. On the way though, it is important to take a moment and taste the fruits of this region – Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, and Brunello di Montalcino. You can understand why Tuscany is probably one of the top 5 places in the world for a bike tour (or any type of vacation). Click here for our more detailed guide to taking a bike tour in Tuscany.
Those looking for a Tuscany experience without all the tourists may want to consider a leisurely week-long ride through the Italian piedmont. This tour begins in Milan and travels through rolling hills full of vineyards and speckled with castles. Stops in the Piedmont region of Italy include towns known for their wine (Gavi), cheese (Roccaverano), and truffles (Grinzane Cavour).
Fly into Rome and spend a couple of days touring the city before beginning this bike tour in Abruzzo. From here, the tour spins through forests of beech wood trees, along side cliffs topped with castles, and descends into Gran Sasso/Monti della Laga National Park. The lifestyle and vistas of this region have not changed in centuries and can only be described as classic Italian.
Florence City Tour
Should you find yourself in Italy, in search of a bike tour, and without a week to spend cycling, you may want to consider a day tour of the city. Florence, in particular, is a wonderful place to visit by bike. This is, at least in part, due to the importance of Florence during the Renaissance and the possibility the bicycle may have first been thought of, right here in Florence, by Salaì. Although this claim is quite debatable, it's still a fun notion to consider while riding through the medieval district, past artisan shops, and around an historic piazza.
The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Sicily is located just at the tip of the boot that is Italy. People have been visiting this island for the past 10,000 years and they show no signs of slowing down. The climate is mild in the winter and hot, yet dry, in the summer. This makes for perfect bike touring weather. Click here for our more detailed guide to taking a bike tour in Sicily.
The Umbria region of Italy is located in the center of the country. This region is dominated by the Apennine Mountains and is the only landlocked region on the Italian peninsula. As such, this region is idyllic for cyclists looking to test their metal against some of the more challenging road ways in Europe. These mountains give way to some of the most spectacular views of the Italian countryside and the villages scattered across it. Click here for our detailed guide to taking a bike tour in Umbria.
Situated between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas is where you find the peninsula Puglia. Divided up in to six exceptional provinces, Puglia (Apulia) remains a delightful holiday destination in Italy. This is especially true if you enjoy cycling vacations filled with adventure, culture and awesome terrain. Click here for our Puglia bike tour guide
Take a quick trip along ancient roads, built by the Romans, connecting the east and west coast of Italy. This route will take travelers over the Apennine Mountains from the Adriatic Sea to the Mediterranean. Along the way, there are stunning vistas, natural wonders, art, and architecture from medieval times through the Renaissance. Not to mention the amazing food and wine Italy has to offer.
Bike Tours Through Italy
Bike tours of Italy are quite popular and many people flock here from around the world each year. There are city bike tour operators such as I Bike Italy, which operates tours in Florence and Chianti. Additionally, there are companies which operate tours along the whole of Italy, which include Great Cycling, Cycle Italia, Bike Tours Italy, and Ciclismo Classico. Each of these tour operators have routes which can accommodate the novice through the advanced cyclist.
The two biggest airport in Italy are located in Rome and Milan. However, there are other major airports in Catania, Naples, Venice, and Alghero. In addition to several other airports scattered throughout the country, Italy has many bus and train routes which can get you to your destination.