Italian

Travels

We’re in Umbria where you can’t see the sea but where hills, protected areas, beautiful villages perched on promontories... surely don’t lack! It is the year 1926 and it’s an autumn full of news for this area in central Italy: the Spoleto – Norcia railway line, with narrow-gauge and electric traction, is ready to start its short story in the overview of the Italian railways now almost forgotten!
The route of the Valsugana Cycle Path stretches for about 80 km between the Trentino and Veneto region; from Pergine Valsugana, a few bike rides from Lake Caldonazzo, you get to Bassano del Grappa, in the province of Vicenza, after covering all the valley. This cycle path stretches almost entirely in the plains and right for this reason is a cycle-tourism route also suitable for families with children, in addition the Valsugana valley is entirely crossed by the railway line and regional trains can be a comfy alternative to cycling in case of tiredness or to go back to the starting point.
Every time we plan a bicycle tour, before packing the bike and fill the bags there is a time frame in which we think of everything that we must do before leaving. The steps seem to be too many and sometimes we believe of being overwhelmed. But after all the only thing that goes really made it a great breath with which to relax and concentrate on what is really needed. Ok, you made your breath? Perfect! we can now go and think about what you will actually do for starting serene and enjoy the ride! Yes, I know, I started writing diecendo that we will then leave, but we assume that you are about to do so.
Lake Iseo, also known as Sebino, is one of the Lombardy basins. Divided between the province of Bergamo and that of Brescia, it is still unknown to mass tourism and this is also the reason why is excellently appropriate for practicing cycle-tourism. The tour of Lake Iseo can start by any villages on its banks, but for convenience we will start it from Riva di Solto, on the Bergamo bank, where you can park your car and enjoy an ice-cream on your way back to celebrate the venture.
The tour of Lake Iseo runs through the whole circumnavigation of the Lombardy lake in 66 km of cycle paths and mixed secondary roads that during sunny weekends and high tourist season can be averagely busy.
I don’t know if you have ever experienced a travel by bicycle in a foreign country and, to reach it, you had to embark your faithful companion on a plane. Now this situation has happened to me several times, but it has always been the most irksome task to complete during our cycling travels. After many attempts I think I've reached a good "technique" so to be able to complete the packaging and manage to transport my bicycle on a airplane without spending my travel being obsessed with the idea of seeing my vehicle destroyed once arrived at the airport.
How does it feel like to travel 3,200 km by bicycle through the Andes starting from Nazca, the town made famous by the lines traced on the ground in pre-Inca times, and reaching Salta, also known with the nickname “la Linda” (the beautiful)?
It feels like the sweet taste of a steaming coca mate at 4,000 meters, it feels like the intense flavor of the dirty, sandy and stony roads of Bolivia, it feels like the harsh taste of the traits of the Andean campesinos, ageless and with sunburned skin, it feels like a taste that leaves you breathless, like the climbs to reach the plateau and the passes that almost arrive at an altitude of 5,000 meters.
The choice of bike for exploring the surrounding areas of Venice gives us the opportunity to really get to know its magic, its unique landscapes and the Venetian hospitality, offering a very wide range of itineraries, tours and accommodation. Here is what we believe is one of the most striking.
The Parenzana rail was an old narrow gauge railway that connected the city of Trieste to Buje and Poreč, Parenzo in Italian (whence the name Parenzana!). Built by the Austrian-Hungarians in 1902, it was the longest narrow gauge railway on the 760 mm. Ruins of the railway are still visible today and one of the most interesting tourist activity in the area is walking through the track (entirely or partially) by bike!
I had never done a bicycle trip before this one, but I have always been fascinated by those brave bikers I occasionally meet on the road, with their huge bags on both sides of the bicycle, their worn clothes and a little flag indicating their native country. For me they are the most significant image of freedom. I have always admired and respected them. So I had a dream in mind for many years, a solo bicycle tour. The itinerary choice has not been difficult: the classical Way of st. James by bicycle was everything I was looking for, and even more.
During the organization of a bike trip, I often ask myself if it worth to buy a bike trailer and fix it behind my bicycle to carry my luggage or if I had to keep using my bike bags, with which I have done my previous trips. In this short article I'll try to explore these two alternatives, itemizing pros and cons, trying to help you bike travelers choosing one of the two solutions.
1600 kilometers travelling by bike from the Anglo-Saxon territories to the capital city of Italy, the Via Francigena is the itinerary that the Archbishop Sigeric traveled in 990 to reach Rome after leaving from Canterbury 79 days before. Sigeric described in detail his long pilgrimage in his own diary and thanks to his precious testimony nowadays it is still possible to follow, at least in part, the ancient Via Francigena by bicycle, together with the thousands of pilgrimscycling travelers and wayfarers every year.
1200 km of asphalt between the highest mountains of the world, the Karakoram Highway is one of the most dreamed by travelers... on foot, by bicycle, by motorcycle, hitchhiking! From Pakistan to China, we'll try to travel on Karakoram Highway, which, since 1978, when it was finished, tells the story of hundreds of workers who lost their lives during the construction and the story of countless travelers that walked, and still walk along it in all seasons and by any transport.
We decide to travel to Slovenia during a long holiday week end. Slovenia is a young state next to Italy and it surprised me by its vitality, but also for its ability to progress while keeping intact its own assets, cultural and natural. The visit began at Postojna Caves, magnificent natural works of art throughout the subsoil of the area, made up of thousands of stalactites and stalagmites that emerge from the rock; we then proceed directly to the quiet capital Ljubljana, and finally, turning to North West, we are back in Italy pausing for a night in the Triglav National Park, on the shores of Lake Bled.
At last we leave! After several days of organization and meetings to choose destination, route and stages of our journey to the tour Year 2005, we get on the camper that will take us first to Copenhagen and then to Amsterdam, to spend the last day of the past year and the first of the tour one. We are six and, since in this period it appears that the Italians have all decided to spend the holidays renting a motorhome, we have to arrange with a 5 +1 (five persons plus one, usually a child). As the saying goes, "The good weather you can see from morning...", and in fact: the morning of December 27 we reach the car parking, jump on the campervan and turn it on to heat it while we complete all burocratic formality (and you know, in Italy there are not few). The problem is that the rear heater does not work properly because the mask that protects the pilot flame comes off lighting the flame off with each breath. The owner fixs the problem and everything seems okay. We lost an hour of time but at least our "home" on four wheels should keep us warm in polar climate of northern Europe.
Argentina's fame is usually linked to tango and gauchos, but much many bike travelers are mostly attracted to its natural wonders that range from northern deserts to the southern Cordillera de los Andes and to the marvelous and desolate landscapes of the land at End of the World, a perfect place for a bike trip, Patagonia.
Just in this extreme land I decided, together with Alessandro, to make my first bike trip.
The enraptured descriptions by Chatwin (the book “In Patagonia” is a must-have for whom is going to make a travel in those lands) have actually influenced me in the choice of my first great adventure on two wheels, although boundless and “free” spaces have always extremely attracted a “prisoner” like me (since I live in the middle of the Alps – gorgeous for other reasons – infinite horizons are not very familiar to me!).
The memories, like photographs, are a bit faded by the time, so I apologize if the description of the raid is not very detailed. What remained in my mind disinclined archiving (the memory has already begun to betray me even though I am still very young ... and considering this i'm a bit worried!) Is certainly the variety of the Tuscan landscape, as well as excellent food eaten in the farm where we were guests. The trip, this time carried out together with friends Alexander and Nicholas, started from the capital region: Florence. After a brief visit to the beautiful city of art, we started from Piazzale Michelangelo to Umbria. After tapping countries of Bibbiena, Monterchi, Anghiari, Gubbio, climbed Mount Pratomagno and visited the shrine of Chiusi della Verna, we reached our destination: Assisi.

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