Bike touring in Italy

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Apr 12th, 2016, 04:18 PM
  #1
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Bike touring in Italy

Hello fellow travelers,
I am planning a bike tour from Florence to Bary or Brindisi through Siena, Rome and Naples. l don't have a lot of time for sightseeing since I will be mostly pedaling for 100 to 120 km per day so what time I have left is rather precious to spend wandering around. What I am looking for is places along that route besides the cities I've mentioned which are worth the time to stop, explore or even spend the nigh t.Places with historical signicance, traditional architecture or places of any importance whatsoever. I have already read in another thread something similar but that was to be done by car and I dont have the freedom to deviate that much from my main course do to the small time frame, just 8 to 10 days max for the whole titalian part of the tour.

Thank you all in advance
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Apr 12th, 2016, 06:58 PM
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"Places with historical signicance, traditional architecture or places of any importance whatsoever."

It would be easier to list places that have none of these attributes.

Since you're cycling, the autostrade is out, so we'd have to know what route you plan to take in order to make suggestions. Have you factored in possible rain and heat when calculating your average daily distance?

Have you studied the different Italian road classifications and know which are bike legal (and friendly) and which are not? Where the many roads with (many) tunnels are? Do you need to end in Bari or Brindisi?

This site has a ton of info:

http://italy-cycling-guide.info/plan...g-which-roads/
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Apr 12th, 2016, 11:57 PM
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Hi Jean, I've not seen that link before looks interesting.

ck you might find this useful http://www.trentobike.org/ I use it for longer distance planning.

I guess Bari or Brindisi for a ferry?
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Apr 13th, 2016, 12:02 AM
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There are an awful lot of routes missing having just checked a few on their maps.

These might help
http://www.piste-ciclabili.com/
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Apr 13th, 2016, 02:31 AM
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Thanks for the links guys . @bilboburgler yea ferry to Patra southern Greece.

I have used strava and garmin since they both have cycling options for course plotting , and they both avoid main highways were bikes are not allowed. Used both to find any discrepancies between them, I thought this would be an easy way to find out which one is not updated with banned routes. I don't know if they have other country specific info about roads where bikes are banned . I'll check all your links and come again with new info and more questions if you are still willing to answer.

@Jean Since the tour is planned for late July-early August I have considered both heat and rain. We usually travel at 15-20km/h depending on weight so something around 6 hours pure riding gets you close to 100-120km. Stamina and weather permitting of course.
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Apr 13th, 2016, 03:09 AM
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This is what Strava was plotted.
Florence to Siena via SR-222 through Chianti region (I guess that stands for strada regionale so bikes allowed )
Siena to Rome via SR-2 through Buonconvento, San Quirico, Viterbo ( still regionale )
Rome to Naples via SS7-SP217-SR148-Via Domitiana (stratale, provinciale are not highways yes ?)
Naples to Bari via SP109-110 and SS-16 through Orta Nova and Andria.

I never gave too much thought on specific roads sides the SS's with small numbers, which almost always tend to become highways as the cities around them evolve since they belong to the very first network of each country. Since the strava route did not involve A's or AS's, whichever is used for autostrade, I thought we were safe to say we are not going to be banned from any other road
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Apr 13th, 2016, 05:17 AM
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if you haven't cycled in italy, it is an experience. mostly 2 lane roads with a lot of traffic. the drivers tend to be very polite and patient unlike many in america. good luck
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Apr 13th, 2016, 06:22 AM
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That's very helpful toledodd thanks. First time in Italy and driver behaviour was something I was eager to find out. Thanks to Jean's post I also found out through michelin maps that most of the roads I'll ride on have heavy traffic.
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Apr 13th, 2016, 06:29 AM
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I would avoid any SS roads completely.

Yes Italian drivers are good but... you really don't want to find the one Romanian/German/Brit who is not

The SR and below are more the basic thing

It goes

SS
SR
SP
Municipal (I like riding on Municipal)

The names are more to do with who maintains and builds them than size of traffic
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Apr 13th, 2016, 11:27 AM
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The SS are small parts outside Rome and Andria. I can bypass them adding a couple of miles more no biggie
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Apr 14th, 2016, 12:30 PM
  #11
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Now that you know the route which places would you flag as must see ?
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Apr 14th, 2016, 01:55 PM
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Most of my recommendations would require detours.

Monteriggioni, a medieval city/fortress with an intact wall.

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore (off SP451 near Chiusure), a 700 y.o. working monastery. The shaded grounds would compensate for the short ride up the hill to reach it. It's closed noon-3:00p, so you'd have to time your arrival.

Less of a detour, the thermal springs at Bagno Vignoni.

Much more of a detour, Sorano and/or Pitigliano for the towns and the "Sacred Ways," 2500 y.o. Etruscan paths. This would mean riding to the west of Lake Bolsena and not on the east side and likely missing Viterbo altogether.

South of Rome, we enjoyed driving around Lake Albano.

I would highly recommend get to Pompeii, even if you parked the bikes for a day and went by train from Naples (about 35-40 minutes o/w).
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Apr 14th, 2016, 03:04 PM
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You might get more of a realistic picture of your proposed itinerary and specific tips by breaking your trip into logical components and then doing google searches for things like "cycling Florence to Siena" or "cycling Siena to Rome", "cycling Rome to Napoli" and "cycling Naples to Bari" (or anything you want to identify in between).

The sightseeing destinations people pick when they are driving in an air conditioned car have no regard for what it is like to take a detour that includes cycling up the ziggeraut of a hill town in the heat of the day.

Also, you might even try a few searches for things like "cycling Siena to the Adriatic" to see if it makes any sense to you to try that routing, because of the much flatter terrain of that side of Italy. Many Italians bicycle in the eastern provinces of Italy, just as a way of getting around. Even older people. Very few locals bicycle in Tuscany, Lazio and Campania, through Abruzzo as a means of getting around because of the very very hilly terrain with towns mainly located at the top of hills.

There are fascinating sights of interest all over Italy, so I would pick a route that is quickest -- and therefore allows you time to see things -- which might be the east coast. In fact, were it me, I would take the train from Florence to Bologna and begin the cycling trip there by heading straight to Ravenna, and then hug the coast all the way down, stoppng in places like Rimini, Loreto and seaside towns along the coast like Vasto, plus Trani in Puglia...

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...ly.vasto.beach
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Apr 14th, 2016, 03:11 PM
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Do you have this website? Might be interesting to you...

http://www.robsbikeride.com/?cat=41
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Apr 14th, 2016, 07:50 PM
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Check out crazyguyonabike.com--a repository for bike touring journals. Do a search for Italy and you'll find a number of journals. Perhaps it will give you some inspiration and tips.
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Apr 15th, 2016, 04:51 AM
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@sandralist That was the initial plan flat, fast and sunny but then the friend Im travelling with wondered if it would be nice to see the colosseum, hence the new route. We switched from the more crowded adriatic to the scenic routes of Lazio. Though you are right about the hilly vs flat terrain. I'll check your link for more info.

@Jean I'll check the ones you propose. Pompei is already listed as a priority and I had my sights on Viterbo also. And how about these

Pienza
Bolsena
Orvieto
Siena
Cortona
Montalcino
Montepulciano
Bagnoregio

@indyhiker appreciate that . Checking it right now
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Apr 15th, 2016, 10:16 AM
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Cortona is way off your route. Orvieto as well but to a lesser degree.

Pienza plus Montalcino plus Montepulciano would take up more than one day. Montalcino and Montepulciano are almost 40 kms. apart.

If this is now a cycling trip to particular towns, at least north of Rome, you need to rethink the route and timeframe. How much time did you think you'd spend at all of these stops?
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Apr 17th, 2016, 02:24 AM
  #18
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I was just thinking about replanning the original route so that I can visit these towns. The other option is to find places along the route (10-20km max detour distance) that are also beautiful and worth seeing. Some of them will be overnight stops and other just a stop for coffee and photos. I should check the railways for possible day trips from home bases along the road.
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Apr 17th, 2016, 02:30 AM
  #19
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For example Pienza is roughly 9km from the main route. I have two options . Either make San Quirico my home base for the day and visit Pienza or Montepulciano by train if this is possible or take the detour and spend the night at Pienza with a fast trip to Montepulciano.
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Apr 17th, 2016, 03:00 AM
  #20
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I've missed the last question Jean sorry. I usually travel from 6am to 2pm covering 100-120km if all goes well. If there is no suitable overnight stop I may push it to 4am with a quick stop for stretching and coffee. So roughly I have half a day in each stop.
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