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Cycling in Italy

Italy is blessed with an embarrassment of riches with its beautiful landscapes, rich cultural heritage,  stunning architecture and fabulous food and wine. Considering that cycling is a really popular spectator sport and pastime among the friendly and outgoing locals then Italy is a perfect destination for a cycling holiday.

Cyclists are spoilt for choice, with any number of beautiful regions to discover. From the dramatic Dolomites in the north to the sun-kissed shores of Sicily in the south and the rugged mountainous interior of exotic Sardinia to the west, there are many cycle possibilities for all abilities country wide.

In the Alpine north you can pedal hard amid the granite spires of the Dolomites, an area that always features decisively in the Giro de Italia. You may prefer to take it easier on a dedicated cycle path from the Dolomites down to Lake Garda and on to Veneto. You can cycle between the grand Venetian towns of Verona, Vicenza and Padova, full of Renaissance glory and wonderful cuisine influenced by the ancient spice trade routes from Venice. 

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Piedmont is set in the Alpine foothills with a backdrop of high mountains where you can ride between picturesque towns and sample the local truffles, chocolate and classic wines such as Barolo or Barbaresco. 

A classic cycling favourite is Tuscany where the rolling landscape is punctuated by cypress trees and medieval hilltop towns - perhaps among the most photographed scenes in Italy. Northern Tuscany is home to the Renaissance gem of Florence, the ancient towers of San Gimignano and the vineyards of the Chianti Classico. 

In the deep south you can discover a less visited part of Italy in Apulia, or Puglia as the locals call it. Visitor numbers to the ‘heel’ of Italy are still relatively low but people are catching on fast to its allure. The rolling lowlands receive little rainfall and therefore lend themselves nicely to cycle trips. The area has long been dedicated to producing vast quantities of wine and olive oil and fresh fish is plentiful. Bathed in sunshine you can cycle past crusader castles, superb beaches and between charming towns and villages that have been influenced by Puglia’s strategic location on a cultural crossroads influenced by the Greeks, Romans, Albanians as well as the Ottoman and Spanish empires.

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