Culture, food, rural landscapes and people come to life in the countryside when you slow down and observe the details on a bicycle tour.
From the snow-capped peaks of the towering Dolomites and the vine-covered ridges of Piedmont, to the olive groves of Tuscany and Umbria and the blue coastal waters of Puglia, Sicily, and the Cinque Terre, Italy has a wealth of different landscapes. Each little valley has its own dialect, culinary traditions, and architectural styles. There is a strong-rooted sense of hospitality, and a commitment to good living and the convivial appreciation of food and wine that ties Italians together on a deep level. Whether you are exploring Roman ruins, admiring Renaissance frescoes, or relaxing by an alpine lake, a plate of homemade local pasta and a glass of red wine served with pride are never far away. Here are the best Italian bicycle destinations.
- Tuscany. Tuscany often serves as the setting for famous films due to its beauty. Its cities like Siena and Florence are rich with history, and as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance it is rife with spectacular artwork and architecture. Tuscan steep hills are a popular training grounds and home base for professional cyclists from around the globe. Its cuisine is no less renowned, featuring Chianina beef, pici pasta, pecorino cheese, and cinghiale (wild boar), while its wine is outstanding to match it, from Brunello to Chianti Classico to Vino Nobile.
- Puglia. Puglia is a picturesque coastal region in southeastern Italy, bounded on either side by the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Its bright white sunlit cliffs, ancient fishing villages, Moorish architecture, spectacular coastlines, and thermal waters make it a place of immense natural beauty and an unforgettable place for cycling. Enjoy artisanal olive oils, fresh mozzarella cheeses, grilled lamb, handcrafted specialty breads, and fresh pastas like orecchiette married with powerful regional red wines including Salice Salentino.
- Veneto. Veneto is home to the vine-covered hills of Valpolicella, the pristine Lake Garda and the Renaissance wonder of Mantua. And that is not to mention Verona and the incomparable Venice. From cycling the vineyard-clad ridgeline in the Bardolino wine region to attending the opera in Verona’s Roman amphitheater, Veneto is full of incredible culture experiences.
- Piedmont. Piedmont is the vine-covered, truffle haven of Italy. The region is the birthplace of the slow food movement. Eat homemade plin pasta, white truffles, Bagna Cauda, Cardi alla Bagna Cauda, and much more. Wash any outstanding meal down with an equally incredible Barolo, Barbera, or Barbaresco, all after cycling through Piedmont’s gorgeous, vineyard-strewn Langhe Hills.