Italy! One of the cultural capitals of the world, surrounded on nearly all sides by the Mediterranean Sea. It consists of the distinctive boot-shaped peninsula and a series of several islands, each known for their stunning sea views and Mediterranean architecture.
While not the largest country in the world, it still covers an area of 301,230 km2, which is a lot of ground to explore. A tour of the country is the best way to get the most out of Italy. But how are you going to get around?
Well on a bike of course!
Read on to find out some of the best places in Italy for a bike tour from the team at Hooked On Cycling.
Why Go On A Tour Of Italy While Cycling
Italy is a top-rated holiday destination, with hundreds of thousands of tourists descending on the country each year. Here are some of the best reasons to visit:
When thinking of Italy, most people will instantly think of the food. The divine cuisine draws people in, with the excellent selection of pasta and pizza. The first slice of pizza ever was created in Naples. Neapolitan pizza is a classic style of pizza made with a thin crust at the base, topped with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
Italian pasta reflects the simplicity of its cooking style, using fresh, seasonal ingredients that highlight taste and enjoyment. A proper tomato sauce is a delicacy that you can only get in Italy.
Italy is home to a variety of amazing cities you can visit, full of stunning architecture, delectable restaurants and a buzzing atmosphere. Here are a few to check out:
- Naples – As mentioned before, Naples is where the first pizza was made. Apart from that you can expect stunning landscapes surrounding the city and extravagant architecture such as the Royal Palace of Naples.
- Rome – Rome is the capital of Italy and is full of top-rated attractions that bring millions to visit yearly. Highlights include The Colosseum, built during the Roman Empire for gladiators to fight. Other big draws include the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.
- Venice – Venice is one of the most visited cities in the world! It is also known as the City of Canals, mostly due to the water that flows through it. There are over 400 bridges in this city and many are a marvel of classic Italian architecture.
Of course, this is only a small selection of the fantastic cities to visit. Bologna, Florence, Verona, Milan and much more are also all stunning to visit while on your holidays.
Italy is full of the most outstanding culture, often regarded as some of the best in the world. One big element that people love to visit is the museums. The Uffizi is world-famous for its outstanding collection of sculptures and paintings. Some of the most valuable pieces of art there include The Birth of Venus and Woman With a Veil. Other great museums to visit include the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo’s David and the Museo Egizio to see a collection of Egyptian art.
If you’re heading around Italy, be sure to check out some of the Renaissance artwork. Italy was one of the hubs of the Renaissance and is still home to some of the most beautiful and significant pieces of art. One of the most iconic, The Last Supper, can be seen on display in Milan.
Italy is also famous for its music. Iconic composers such as Vivaldi, Rossini and Puccini have impacted culture deeply, with many able to recognise their music without even realising it. One of the genres Italy has made the biggest contribution to is opera, with many operas performed entirely in Italian all over the world. Some of the most famous you might’ve heard of are The Marriage of Figaro and Madama Butterfly.
Locations To Visit
While there are plenty of places to visit in Italy, here are a few regions and highlights to consider. The Ortler Alps are a mountain range split between Italy and Switzerland. It is a popular region for skiing, but in the less snowy areas, it can make a great destination to cycle, with great views all around.
Lake Maggiore is a massive lake located on the South side of the Alps. It is a popular route to cycle around, with plenty of small towns and villages on the lake to visit as you journey. If you prefer the sea to the lakes, head to Puglia. The Southern region is known for hundreds of kilometres of Mediterranean coastline and hill towns.
Another hidden gem of a region is Umbria. Here you can find olive and wine vineyards, rolling hills and mediaeval towns. The best part is, because it is a hidden gem you can have it all to yourself, unlike some of the more popular regions! Finally, we also recommend the Amalfi Coast. Here you can expect off-the-beaten path farmland with views of the sparkling Mediterranean as well!
Cycling Holidays In Italy With Hooked On Cycling
Here at Hooked On Cycling, we believe the best way to explore Italy is via a bike tour. This is why we have a great selection of cycling holidays in Italy for all abilities, so you can head out with your family on a casual holiday or go on a more intense ride.
Our cycling holidays can take you all over the region, from the scenic region of Tuscany to the popular Lake Garda. Our self-guided holidays allow you to experience Italy on your own, providing you with routes, places to stop and accommodation. Apart from this, you have the freedom to explore as you see fit.
We have something for everyone, so explore some of our bike tour options below:
Cycling Around Lake Garda
This cycling tour will take you to the site of the largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda. It will take you around the numerous historic towns around the lake, all with breathtaking mountain scenes while you ride.
It is a seven-day tour that will leave from Bussolengo and take you to Verona, Salò, Limone, Malcesine, Monte Baldo, Garda then back to Bussolengo. Included are 7 nights of bed and breakfast in great accommodations, an information pack and luggage transfers.
It is a fairly accessible cycle tour on cycle paths and side roads with little traffic, perfect for the whole family! Find out more about this Lake Garda trip here.
Coast to Coast By Road Bike
This holiday will take you across Italy from the Adriatic in the East to the Tuscan coastline. We recommend this holiday for experienced cyclists, as although the daily distances are never too extreme there are a lot of climbs to navigate that may overexert a beginner.
But for your effort, you will be rewarded with some of the best Italy has to offer, from the Tuscan mountains and Umbrian Hills to the stunning sea on both sides of the country. This trip can be taken as either an 8 or 10-night trip, with stays each night in hotels and guest houses so you don’t have to worry about sourcing accommodation.
Find out more about this trip here.
Venice to Florence Cycle Tour
Brand new for 2023 is our Venice to Florence bike tour. As the name suggests, this tour will take you between two of Italy’s highlights, Venice and Florence. It is a 7-night trip and between the cities you will journey through some hidden gems of Italy.
This includes seeing world-famous ceramics in Faenza and architectural wonders in Comacchio. All this is set against stunning views, such as cycling along the river Po or through plantations. The region you will explore is well known for its peaches, melons, kiwis and grapes, so you will be able to sample the freshest Italian fruits as you go on your travels.
If you’d like more information about this trip, such as a breakdown of each day, click here.
Book Your Bike Tour In Italy Today
While we’ve just highlighted a few of the tours we offer, it is not an exhaustive list. Hooked On Cycling has plenty more bike tours in Italy for you to go on. As well as this we have cycling tours in many European countries, so you can find the holiday of your dreams. As well as biking, we also offer hiking tours, so whatever your preference we have something for you.
If you have any questions about any of our tours, get in touch today.