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Biking in Italy

Italy is the country where mountain biking is one of the most widely-practiced sports. Almost every region offers fabulous cycling trails and scenic mountain biking routes, crossing hills and mountains, vineyards and fields, charming towns and deep mountain valleys. The terrain and landscape are unmatched, alternating from flats to steep climbs, in practice there is everything a biker desires and trails for any kind of abilities. The history, art and secluded villages will offer you every day a new surprise during your biking tour. From the Northeast regions in Italy, where is the Mecca for bikers (at the Dolomites and alongside the Lake Garda) through the hills and plains of the Central regions you can reach to the South, where the natural beauties and Mediterranean exotics will make you fall in love with this land.

Italian Regions, offering biking tours

Like many other regions in Italy, the Piedmont offers a scenic variety of flora and fauna, ancient architectures and great cultural traditions. This is the perfect destination for the mountain bike enthusiasts, who can take a tour through the alternating hills dotted with castles, vineyards and Roman ruins. Gastronomy and famous wines are a splendid part of the biking tour and you can explore towns such Barolo, Barbaresco, and Asti where wine is none-to-one.

Liguria is called the Riviera dei Fiori, as it is a very picturesque and attractive area for exploring. There are many possibilities for open air activities such as trekking and mountain biking; quiet itineraries and stunning views; natural and historical-cultural sites. Do not miss the chance to take a tour in the Ligurian Alps where to see precious plants and rich animal diversity, including foxes, alpine hares, wild boars, marmots, chamois and golden eagle. You can ride on ancient tracks and ex military roads, which are both panoramic and adventurous.

As one of the largest regions in Italy, Lombardy will amaze you its with natural beauties and great works of art. On the saddle of the mountain bike you can discover charming hills, beautiful lakes and a gorgeous scenery right in the foothills of the Alps. Valle del Ticino Park is amongst the areas with plain terrain, where cycling tours in the woods alongside the river are an unforgettable experience. If you have time, there is a list with must-sees to be visited, including monuments and churches, palaces, castles and villas everywhere in the cities of Lombardy.

Since many years the Veneto region has been a valuable cycling heritage with many traditions. The landscape is very scenic with the verdant hills, secluded villages and vibrant cities, where are the splendid villas created by the prominent architect Palladio. In this area around Venice there is a vast network of cycling tracks and mountain biking routes at different levels to suit everyone’s preferences.

Trentino Alto-Adige
Situated at the northern part of Italy, the region of Trentino Alto-Adige represents a completely mountainous territory where the nature is still untouched and unpolluted, with splendid opportunities for sports activities. This is a true paradise for bikers, with scenic valleys and lakes, part of the famous Stelvio National Park and the magnificent Dolomites. On the roads or cycling trails, bikers from many countries come to devote themselves to the passion of the paddling. The majestic alpine passes alternate with green hills and steep areas to provide the biking enthusiast with an extreme emotional experience. Mountain biking has become so popular sport in Trentino that you can meet small or large groups of bikers while walking near the cycling tracks. The sport is being strongly promoted in the region and a network of protected cycle paths has been established to offer the cycling tourism as a new alternative for an enjoying holiday.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Despite being one of the smallest Italian regions, Friuli-Venezia Giulia boasts high and scenic areas with attractive plains, beaches and karst areas. A bicycle ride can be a truly diversified experience when passing along the sandy shores, through the fragrant pinewoods and the lagoons. The hiking paths are well-marked to provide a secure tour to the hiking fans but the mountain biking tours reveal the wild heart of the mountain with its roads and black-road itineraries. 

Emilia-Romagna stands for “Via Emilia”, the ancient Roman road straining from Rimini to Piacenza and from the Adriatic Sea to the wide plains in north. Biking trails run through marvellous nature and charming marine villages, as well as old medieval towns with number of cultural-historical sites. The cycling activity can be diversified with a gourmet break to try out the famous Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, Tortellini and Lasagna.

Tuscany is the appropriate region for those that love to combine mountain biking or cycling with nature, history and culture. You can enjoy a visit to the cultural and historical treasures of the area through the cycling tour from the Tyrrhenian coasts to the age-old woods of the Apennine Mountains. There you will find infinite hills and splendid mountain areas to explore and enjoy local life – the small churches in the villages, the work in the fields, the thick forest, or the turquoise sea.

Cycling in Umbria you will have the opportunity to cross through a scenic region, full of green terrain, truffle-abundant forests and large fields of grain. The towns will reveal you astounding medieval architecture and Renaissance art, as well as remains from the Umbrian Romans and Etruscans. Stop at the vineyard-covered valleys or relax at the rolling pastureland to take the best from your route.

The landscape in Abruzzo offers something for everyone – flat cycling trails along the beautiful seaside or steeper terrain at the mountains. You can take advantage of the both alternatives and start from the sea coast to cross the gently rolling hills and reach the fascinating Dolomites. Abruzzo is ideal for cycling, since there is a wonderful scenery and not so busy road traffic. Test your physical stamina at the slopes of Maielletta and Campo Imperatore or at the passes of the majestic Dolomites and you will keep yourself fit.

Choosing Campania for your cycling tour, you can visit the ancient lost cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, see the remains of Paestum and Velia and enjoy the beauties of the islands of Ischia, Capri and Procida. There are plenty of biking tours, "classic" ones going through the islands and coasts, as well as trails of medium difficulty just a slight move aside from the sea, through the Sele plains. If you belong to the category of the fittest bikers, there are also extremely difficult routes crossing amazing mountain areas.

The landscape of this region blends uniquely beautiful nature with almost 800 kilometres of coastline with splendid beaches and challenging mountainous areas. Cyclists will find endless opportunities to practise their favourite sport in Calabria. There are little roads along the coastline and small paths that climb the hills and mountains, cycling along them means you will be stupefied by the picturesque scenery and tranquility far from the crowdy areas.

Sardinia boasts the second biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea and is famous for its mild weather and unspoiled beauty of its beaches. This is a perfect place for the cyclists and bikers since it is sunny all year-round, except in winter when it rains. The mountains in Sardinia are not very high with the maximum altitude of 1842 m., but the soil is rocky at the most areas. Aside the biking trails you will see a very typical Mediterranean vegetation with bushes and low plants, which will lead you to almost wild areas. Besides the magnificent scenery, what you will remember from the biking tour in Sardinia are the none-to-one hospitality, the splendid Italian food and wine, as well as the impressive historical and cultural heritage.

Biking itineraries

Mountain Biking from Corvara to Cortina D'Ampezzo
This biking tour goes across some of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the Dolomites – Sella and Tofane massifs. Magnificent rocky forms, nice colours and unbeatable landscape are very typical for this Dolomites area and will amaze even the sceptics. Alpine meadows alternate with evergreen woods and there is a unique lunar-like terrain with high altitude rocky walls to offer an unbeatable experience to hikers, climbers and mountain bikers. There are charming hotels located in the panoramic valleys to offer a base camp to the adventure seekers. Choosing to undertake this biking tour will take you seven days and give you the excellent chance to visit the Venetian town of Cortina D’Ampezzo and the South Tyrolean town of Corvara, to see the best of the Dolomites’ massifs, as well as the Dolomiti Ampezzane Natural Parks. 

Uccidere di Ruota (Sicily)
This trail is situated on the island of Sicily, in the area of Mt. Etna and the city of Motta. It is definitely for dare devils that are mad about adventures on the dirty road. It includes approximately 20km of terrain at elevation of 914m, very steep at times and rocky at the bottom. After passing the rocks you will enjoy a mild track where to witness the splendid scenery of Mt. Etna. The tour will challenge you with the steep uphills until you reach the top of Motta and will meet you with the awesome Castle of Motta.

Lake Garda
Lake Garda is regarded by many as the best mountain biking destination in Italy and maybe in the whole world, as the lake is certainly one of the most astonishing places anyone could imagine to explore by bike. The area is surrounded by marvellous peaks, which rise over the lake and feature superb tracks and trails to provide a challenge for mountain bikers, regardless their abilities and skills. At this marvelous place you can bike along the beach and at your break get into the lake or visit the restaurants and bike shops. The landscape allows combining both paddling at the lake and in the mountain by using various trails to explore the beautiful area.

Tremalzo is one of the most scenic biking itineraries at the area of Lake Garda and includes 56km of terrain, set at the altitude of 2270m. It requires advanced skills, since there are steep areas, complicated descents and switchbacks that require certain techniques. Starting from Lake Garda, the biker takes the Passo Rocchetta and other passes until reaching the house Garda (Rifugio Garda). Then comes the marvellous Lake Ledro and finally Riva del Garda, a resort that takes part of Lake Garda.

Roman Trails
This is a traverse that reveals you stunning views of the highest passes and peaks in the Eastern Alps. You will enjoy the unique combination of mountain panoramas, cultural diversity, history spanning four millennia and an impressive scenery. This route was established 2 000 years ago by the Romans and remains as a valuable heritage, since the bikers ride across ancient ruins and wagon wheel-tracks. 
The “Roman Trails” route allows the easiest crossing of the Alps but also includes daily rides that will be a true adventure and will challenge anyone’s endurance. Who will enjoy this tour are both individuals and groups; cyclists who appreciate diversity in riding and groups that differ in biking skills. Whatever your abilities, you will have a great experience. 

Trans Dolomiti between Bavaria and Venice 
Maybe there is no other traverse that demonstrates so nicely the beauties of the Eastern Alps like this one. In 10 days the bikers will pass through the famous mountain massif between Munich and Venice to challenge their endurance skirting the usual tourist traps and focusing on authentic sights out of the marked path. The cycling tour follows some of the stages of a race itinerary that take part of classic European MTB competitions, offering you every day a different route – easy or epic. This diversity is appropriate for groups with various biking abilities and gives the separate bikers a chance to take the preferable routes and still meet up at a mutual destination in the evening. Everyone will find something that suits them on the tracks, since there is everything from modern single-track and forest double-track to ancient mule trails along the way. 

Mont Blanc: Grand Circle Route
Chamonix and Mont Blanc are magnets for travellers that come from all over the world to find some of the most challenging alpine regions in Europe. Here the visitor can enjoy both the historic and modern mountaineering, as well as the none-to-one ski slopes and panoramas – no matter if one is skiing, hiking or mountain biking. This is the most popular mountain massif in the Alps with unbeatable MTB loops that will make the cyclists take the best from what Alps can offer.
Summer is the best season to undertake a biking tour in Chamonix, when you can explore the marvellous area without rope and crampons but only with your skills and endurance. The sports XC / DH trail systems will leave you breathless and the magnificent views will make you love this spectacular area that is comparable only to few other destinations in the Alps.

Tuscan Truffle Trails
Tuscany is a wide-known cycling destination and for many it is the ideal variant for an unforgettable holiday. There are mostly roads on the cycling tours, but riders prefer to take the unpaved trails and avoid the busy traffic on the roads. On their way bikers will pass next to medieval hamlets and remains of authentic Tuscany away from the buzzing stream of tourists. The routes pass by pretty olive groves and vineyards, an excellent opportunity to stop by and have a delicious meal from the local cuisine, contemplating the landscape.
The Tuscan Truffle Trails is a comparatively easy tour, which caters to those that prefer the scenic but less challenging setting accompanied by their friends or family. This tour is created to treat you well but not to challenge your strengths and abilities. Particularly scenic, this loop tour takes you into the marvelous Tuscany without making you rush for anywhere but just enjoying the sights. In addition, it is long enough to discover all the wonders of this enchanting area and short enough to give you time exploring other areas of Europe in the end of the tour.

Garfagnana is located in the northern countryside of Tuscany and gives you an excellent chance to take exciting mountain biking and single tracks. Here the Alps are substituted by the Apennines, which foothills are crossed by various paths and trails forming an ideal biking territory. Here are situated some of the most scenic national parks, Apuane and Orecchiella where one can easily reach the biking trails. The unique charm of the hilltop villages, the striking backdrops and ancient forests will provide you delightful experience which you will never forget. In the end of the hard biking day why not take a bath in the glittering lakes and streams or just relax and have a glass of wine at the vineyards and hamlets. 

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