Equal parts soaring mountains, pristine coastlines, vibrant culture, delicious food, and timeless art, Italy crams the best of Europe into one boot-shaped country. Italy is said to be the world's first and foremost tourist destination, and its 20 distinct provinces may have more art and cultural treasures than the rest of the world combined. Once you've cycled Italy, you may never want to cycle anywhere else.
For a cyclist, you have your choice between seaside routes, meandering wine tours, epic mountain passes, urban explorations, and exquisite food, all of which can be found in the same day. The easily accessible and utterly diverse landscapes of Italy are begging to be explored by bicycle, on and off road. Take a week-long gastro-tour through the rolling wineries of Tuscany, or cycle the length of the Italian Riviera; maybe a tour of Lake Como and Lake Garda will suit your cycling desires.
Despite being THE global destination since antiquity, Italy was only unified in 1861 and this can be seen in how the nation’s regions differ. Italians are more loyal to their specific regions, dialects, landscapes, and ways of life than they are to the national Italian identity, which is exactly why Italy is such an interesting country to explore. Each specific region of the country can feel almost entirely different than the others, yet somehow remain quintessentially Italian.
The Mediterranean weather makes cycling Italy enjoyable any time of the year; the many lakes, beaches, and high mountain passes can offer relief from even the hottest Italian sun. Although Italy can be busy with traffic, it has over 1,000 kms (621 mi) of separated cycle pathways that link communities and tourist sights, so don't be too intimidated to jump on the bike and explore.
With more UNESCO World Heritage sites per capita than anywhere else, Italy's cultural legacy can be felt around the globe. Take time to explore the remnants of the Roman empire throughout the country and bask in the beauty of the Sistine chapel. Don't forget to visit Michelangelo's David and Leonardo da Vinci's 'Last Supper' while you're at it. There's no denying Italy's contribution to the world of art, food, culture, and cycling, so why not go explore it for yourself.