Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cycling the length of Italy

Having had such a great time cycling the length of Spain last year it’s about time for a new challenge. Time to hit the road and start pedalling across another favourite country of mine. Italy is the next country in our sights!

Like Spain, Italy is a stunning country, with a great climate, stunning scenery, amazing history and culture. And a host of great places for us to explore on route. I had a great taste of cycling in Italy last Autumn when cycling in the stunning Lake Como region.

And our initial research also shows a few bonuses when comparing it to the length of Spain ride:

1) We will be starting in the Alps, at somewhere like the top of the Brenner Pass, so a big downhill start! Starting the in the North of Spain is a big climb on the first day!

2) Pasta will be easier to get hold off! Italian Restaurants are not that easy to find in the smaller towns of Northern Spain!

3) Its further – 1400km as opposed to 1200km across Spain. OK I’m not so sure this is a benefit but let’s keep positive – there is more of the ride to endu – enjoy

We had planned to do this ride in May 2014, but then I watched this year’s Giro d’Italia bike race which took part about May time this year. Wow was it wet – Mmmm maybe not! So we have switched our draft planned start date to around September 2014. Which means the peak of my training will again be in July/August in the south of Spain – I guess at least it’s unlikely to be raining!

We are at the very early stages of planning, so any advice would be greatly appreciated from anyone who has ridden in Italy:

How busy will the roads be?

How are the road surfaces? - I'm not hearing great things on this one!

Is it better to ride down the East or West coast?

What are the gems we need to visit?

Any great historic and quirky places to stay?

Etc!

During the ride through Spain we stayed in some real gems – monasteries and, palaces and visited stunning places like Avila, Cordoba and Tordesillas. Our research will hopefully start to throw up similar Italian offerings.

Then the bike – do I stick with my trust 2012 Trek Madone which has been superb?, or is it a good excu time to buy a new bike ;-)

More pedalling to do and more reports to follow!

Ciao


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