The 5 best places to cycle in Italy

From gentle rides from one vineyard to the next, up to spectacular mountain climbs, Italy offers something for cyclists of all levels … and inclinations!

Insider Secrets
21 May 2016

1. Tuscany

Tuscany offers something for cyclists of all levels. Beginners, or those wanting to set a leisurely pace can hire bikes in many of the small towns, such as Lucca where cars are largely banned. Cyclists can do a short circuit around the town’s medieval walls, which takes about one hour.

Cycling through sunflowers in Tuscany (Shutterstock.com)

Further outside of the town, serious cyclists can head towards the Apuane Mountains where the terrain is marked by steep hills and valleys and criss-crossed with challenging routes for mountain bikers.

Alternatively, Crete Senesi, in the south of Tuscany, offers trails for all levels among its lunar-like landscape.

2. Puglia

Puglia, in the south of Italy, is well known for its sunny weather, pretty white-washed towns and villages and incredible food and drink. It offers visitors miles of unspoilt countryside and some of Italy’s quietest stretches of coastline to discover by bike.

The road to Ostuni in Puglia (Shutterstock.com)

Less well-trodden than Tuscany, Puglia in southern Italy, can be a slightly more peaceful alternative Lke the Chianti region, it is a popular wine destination and it’s possible to cycle from one vineyard to the next. Or, for the more hard core cyclist, the Grand Tour of Puglia, starting in Lecce, gives a flavour of everything the region has to offer.

3. Lake Garda

The Italian Lakes offer some of the most stunning scenery in the country, combining views of snow-capped mountains with picturesque lake-side towns and of course the deep, sparkling waters.

Lake Garda offers something for everyone; located between the Alp and Dolomite mountain ranges, it enjoys diverse scenery ranging from low-lying countryside in the south to pine-covered cliffs to the north. There are many flat cycle trails around the lake and more complex paths further towards the mountains.

Cycling along Lake Garda (Shutterstock.com)

Hill cyclists will want to head to the spectacular Dolomites that overlook the lake. The Dolomites (West-East) cycle route has a variant that includes a stretch along Lake Garda, including a spectacular descent on the old Strada del Ponale.

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