Cycling is more than just a great way to get to work, stay fit and keep your household’s carbon emissions low… It’s also good for the soul. It allows us to feel at peace and content, working wonders for our mental health and personal wellbeing as we pump
The good news, however, is that there are a multitude of incredible cycling destinations all over Europe. These places offer passionate cyclists an opportunity to hone or even test their skills while also enjoying some of the most staggeringly beautiful views in the world.
In Italy they’re as passionate about cycling as they are about food, fashion and… Well… pretty much else to which the Italians turn their hands. Home to a great number of natural and architectural marvels, Italy also has some of Europe’s finest cycling routes…
Most popular cycling areas in Italy
You’ll find no shortage of wonderful places in which to pump those pedals in Italy. Some of the most famous cycling destinations for Italians and tourists alike include;
Lake Garda- Within striking distance of Venice and the beach resort of Lido di Jesolo, Lake Garda has no shortage of stunning scenery, nestled as it is between the Dolomites and the Alps. There are plenty of flat cycling trails here for beginners as well as more mountainous terrain for veterans.
Tuscany- One of the most famously beautiful regions of Italy has a lot to offer cyclists of all levels of experience and proficiency. Some of the best can be found in the walled medieval town of Lucca where motor vehicles are largely banned. Easy riding, stunny architecture and few cars? Sounds like bliss to us!
Sardinia- Known for its sandy beaches and rugged, yet verdant terrain Sardinia offers a wealth of unique challenges for cyclists. Cycle along the coastline if you feel like an easy ride or venture up into the mountains if you feel more like an adventure.
History of cycling in Italy
Like most of Europe, Italy fell in love with cycling at the end of the 19th century and when motorised vehicles came to the region the humble bicycle came to represent the nobility of the Italian working class. Perhaps Italy’s most famous cyclist was Enrico Toti, the First World War volunteer who cycled with just one leg and became a national hero after his death on the front.
Famous races in Italy
Italy plays host to a wide range of well-known cycling races. Chief amongst them is the Giro d'Italia (Italy’s equivalent of the Tour de France). However, there are a multitude of other famous races including the Giro de Medio Brenta, Milano Torino, Gran Piemonte and Coppa Agostoni - Giro delle Brianze to name but a few. The amateur scene is also big with a whole host of events in the Gran Fondo sporting calendar including the Nove Colli, Strade Bianche, Granfondo La Fausto Coppi, Eroica and the Gran Fondo Prosecco to call out just a few.
When to Visit
July and August can be punishingly hot in Italy, not to mention extremely busy due to the influx of tourists. September is still fairly busy, although not quite as bad as August and offers far more clement weather.