2015 and 2016 Italy and Swiss
The year 2015 was earmarked for reconnaissance about cycle conditions in Italy, as we aim for 2016 to reach Sicily. Besides, we finished the circle around Bodensee (Lake Constance) and did a bit of Swiss. The conditions we enjoyed were from superb to average. In North Italy, we had very good cycling conditions along the “Via Augusta”. The year 2015 was also the first year I switched over from paper maps to digital navigations. The following year, 2016 we travelled down to Sicily. More about the trips are below the map.
The first day, short tour along the lake, fine cycling. Done in August 2015.
The first part to Bodman good cycling afterwards is the cycle lane near the main road. There is more possible.
Good riding, very fine Swiss quality lanes
Following the Thur cycle lane, and other cycle lanes, partly moved on streets, quite OK.
This short tour brings as to Chur and with the Abula Train up to Bergun this includes the visit of the train museum.
Chur - Bergun - Sargans with Abula Train.
Mostly on cycle lanes, over Reschenpass only the street possible.
Perfect cycling on "Via Augusta" down to Bozen.
Again perfect riding down to Pass S Giovanni, 118 km, from there to Riva del Garda a bit more difficult.
boat from Riva to Peschiara
None of the sides of the Lake Garda offers good cycle environment, I advise taking a ship, enjoy the lake. From Peschiera to Mantova overall good cycling conditions.
Some very good sections and quiet lanes made cycling very enjoyable. Unfortunately, I have had some problems with recording the trip.
First along minor roads and cycle lanes, later following SP 62 over Pass Cisa to the very nice village Pontremoli.
Obviously not the best planning and execution, mostly my fault have not found an alternative to the main street.
We enjoyed two days of rest and visited Chinque Terra back with the train to Aulla.
Following the street SP21 SP24 SP 25, moderate traffic, beautiful landscape good cycling.
Again a day for reconnaissance, and digital navigation. In 2015 the idea was to set just the destination for the day in advance but plan the details for cycling in the evening before the travel. This didn't work out.
Very good cycling environment, navigation failure and insufficient planning was the reason to change the destination to Ferrara.
We have taken the train to get back to planning.
Ferrara to San Donna we have taken the train to get back on track after my planning failure. I have made a mental note to plan every day in detail. A short cycling day to improve my digital navigations skills.
Good cycling in flat areas, with the aim of reconnaissance and learning how to handle digital navigation.
How to use the trains in Italy, general cycling environment and signs seen, digital navigation skills developed.
67 km very good cycling on purpose build cycle lanes, partly not finished. Done in August 2016.
74 km riding along minor roads and the last section on cycle lane FVG3 from Grizzo to Aviano.
These remarkable 69 km were done in August 2016. Mostly stunning nature, especially from Codogne down to Negrista.
The first part to Mestre average cycling, through Mestre surprisingly good. Afterwards along canals excellent riding. Overall a good day in beautiful nature, 83 km.
Done August 2016, very good cycling day. The section along the canal near Monselice exceptional. Short tour with 57 km.
Mostly on well-built cycle lanes. First we have chosen the "Po sinistra" and from Polesella the cycle lane "Po destra". Perfect cycling.
Flat and nice riding in the Italian countryside. We have chosen the bike route CSA and some own creation, 73 km.
Along "Ciclopista del Sole" and later in the Tuscano area there is only the main street with limited or moderate traffic. Marvellous landscape.
Break down of digital navigation, at this time, August 2016, I still had had some difficulties to get the most out of it. We used the main street and later before Firenze the local signs.
The hilly Tuscany prevents from finding good alternatives to main streets with moderate traffic. Average cycling day with 97 km in August 2016.
Perfect riding along "Il sentiro della Bonifica" mostly following canals on traffic-free lanes. Very nice day.
Have taken the train down to Orvietto.
Mixed environment, very good sections and as well as average riding. My preparation for this trip was not exact enough. For the first time a bit of rain in the afternoon.
The last day to Rom in bright sunshine. Good cycling conditions from Labaro to Rom centre on cycling lanes. The first part ends with a few days rest in Rom.
2016-09-05; on cycling paths along river Tevere down to Vallanero, from there using small roads and quiet lanes reaching Nettuno. Fine cycling!
2016-09-06; Mainly using cycling path "Strada da sole", although there are no signs and goes mostly on streets. Very good conditions, cycle path, in towns and villages. Good cycling.
2016-09-07; Average cycling on quiet roads and lanes, partly on streets with moderate traffic. The village of Mondragone is very nice, from there to the train station at Cancello. We used the train to the centre of Napoli.
In and out of Napoli with the train
2016-09-10; Napoli to Salerno with the train, and following the road along the coast. There are cycle paths on some sections. In sum nice to good riding.
2016-09-11; It getting hilly, many Italians using this environment for cycling. Some very nice sections, and a marvellous view of the sea.
2016-09-12. The idea to take a ship from Palinuro to Sapri was not possible, no ships. Therefore back to Palinuro and with the train to Sapri. Excellent cycling along the coast on quiet roads, although very hilly, to Scalea.
2016-09-13. A long beautiful trip along the coast, mainly good cycling. a bit a shame that the marvellous environment is spoiled by garbage deposits.
2016-09-14. On minor streets and main streets to the final destination Vibo Marina. From there wit the train to Palermo and back with the ferry to Genua.
With the train to Palermo and the Ferry back to Genua
Around the Lake Constance and Swiss was mostly fine cycling, From Chur to Bergun and over the Abula Pass we used the train. The train museum in Bergun is worth to see. The next section was certainly the highlight especially from Reschenpass to Gardesee and down to Parma perfect cycling on built cycle lanes. The final section was partly ok, the last part from Pontremoli to La Spezia is a bit beyond the average cycle conditions.
Back from La Spezia to Aulla, we have taken the train, started with cycling in Aulla and moved over Pass Lagastrello through Toscana and further following the River Po. This was also earmarked for learning and testing digital navigations. With some lessons learned, errors made and riding some extra km, I improved the skills. Once you handle digital navigation, you never go back to paper maps.
2016-Italy Holiday – from Tarvis to Palermo – yellow marker
The Italy holiday 2016, roughly 1500 km, worked out according to planning. All daily tours have been prepared in advance on bikemap.net. and apart from some minor changes, we were following the individually created routes. Cycling conditions differ from north to south. As there are down to Rome some good cycle lanes, further south they ceased to exist. Even so, there are superb sections on quiet roads, for example along the coast from Palinuro to Scalea. But you have to accept riding now and then on main roads with moderate traffic. In summary a very good holiday with beautiful cycling conditions, perfect weather and friendly people. The ending in Vibo Marina, instead of Palermo, was due to the timetable. I simply ran out of time to complete the final km to Sicily.