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I'm going to travel in Italy by bike for 1 month, from the north (Venice) to the south (Sicilian) and back to Rome.

I'm not professional, but also not a beginner. I need some help information about my route.

  1. Can you recommend some popular routes and camping stations in Italy?
    • In northern Italy (Verona, Venice, and so on)
    • Near Rome, the capital of Italy
    • Route from east to west side of Apennines
    • On Sicilian
  2. Are there any sites with roadmaps you recommend? Can you recommend some specific map creators (not GPS, unfortunately), and where can I buy such maps.
  3. Is there any preferred way to travel with bicycles then we are not using them (on train, on bus or something)?
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This question would be better if it were more specific. Please see Good Subjective, Bad Subjecive. –  Neil Fein Jun 9 '11 at 15:23
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@Neil Fein I'll try to rephrase that soon, thank you –  VMAtm Jun 9 '11 at 18:00
    
With all these stairs on bridges, cycling in Venice would be a big challenge. –  mouviciel Jun 23 '11 at 9:40
    
I meant the Venice region. –  VMAtm Jun 23 '11 at 9:49
    
what month are you talking about? In my opinion that's the most important choice –  Alessandro Cosentino Jul 13 '11 at 19:55
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

ad 1 and 2: I'm not really aware of any completely researched cycling routes from Rome to the South. These guys (in dutch) have almost all guides that I know about. (click "Zuid europa" and then "Italië" to get to their italy selection). The "fietsgidsen" section has some books in dutch and german that are reasonably easy to follow just from the maps without working knowledge of dutch or german. They also carry a very comprehensive selection of maps suitable for cyclists. The European Cyclists Federation also has some nice routes, I don't know how far into the south though.

ad 2: The Touring Club Italiano maps are by far the best for cycling in italy.

ad 3: The train is by far the best option for alternative transportation. Italy has a pretty extensive train network. Take the time to buy tickets, make sure you tell them you're taking bicycles. Sometimes you'll have to buy a bicycle ticket, sometimes you won't, they are not very expensive. Busses usually don't have the cargo capacity for bicycles, but this may vary by locality. This looks like a good site to get an idea of the italian train system.

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Let me start by saying that May/June is the best period to visit Italy, imo.

Alas, I need to warn you that the bicycle culture in Italy is not as advanced as in other European countries, such as Denmark or Netherlands.

Nevertheless, some useful links below.

In the following link, you find a description of the network of cycling paths in Italy. http://www.bicitalia.org/cakebi/ (the page is in Italian, unfortunately only some of it is translated, http://www.fiab-onlus.it/english/bicitale.htm)

Here is a page about hotels, campings and B&Bs that are cyclists-friendly: http://www.albergabici.it/ (again, a reduced English version here: http://www.albergabici.it/albergab/ingindex.htm)

P.S.: I am going to edit this answer with more info when I will have free time.

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What do you mean by "not as advanced"? Do you mean that cycle infrastructure is primitive, or is this more about attitudes towards cyclists? –  Neil Fein Jul 14 '11 at 1:06
    
I was talking about both. –  Alessandro Cosentino Jul 14 '11 at 1:49
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These guys come to London bike shows to pedal their wares and have been in business for years:

http://www.riccionebikehotels.it/en/

There are also their competitors:

http://www.italybikehotels.it/en/

Check out what they have to offer, maybe a bit too organised for you, but they have probably worked out routes that work. I have not been with them myself, however, a 'bike hotel' sounds fun to me.

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