Italian Coast to Coast Bike Tour

 


 

For years, I’ve had a strong vision of my ideal road. It’s a pothole free ribbon of tarmac descending to a turquoise, ocean shimmering in the sunlight. There are bends – everything from tight hairpins to perfectly cambered corners – and several straights with good lines of sight, where you can fly. The road passes through a couple of villages. Naturally, it finishes beside the sea at a café that serves superb coffee.

 

By Jamie Paterson

Monday 30th April 2018

That vision became a reality last summer, on a spectacular coast-to-coast ride across Southern Italy on a Italian coast to coast bike tour. Following a route less-travelled, we pedalled from the small, medieval town of Conversano (near Bari airport), across Puglia, Basilicata and Campania, to the Amalfi Coast – from the Adriatic to the Tyrhennian Sea.

It was a journey through the heart of old Italy. We rode through fields of fennel and ancient stands of olive trees. We pedalled past Greek temples. We were cheered and welcomed in the villages. In places, the landscape looked untroubled by the 20th century. The historical highlight was the town of Matera, a place of extraordinary antiquity.

It was hard crossing the Apennine Mountains, but you have to earn your 25-mile descents. We ate sumptuous dinners cooked by pioneers of the ‘Slow Food’ movement and drank punchy local wines. Everywhere, there was a smiling barman holding a cold Peroni or a macchiato or a piece of pizza – in Italy, they understand cyclists’ needs well.

The final day and a half, following part of the 2014 route of the Giro d’Italia along the coast, through Cilento National Park, was glorious. The sheer beauty of the sea was enough but we also rolled through wild mountain valleys, deep gorges, vineyards and villages with bustling trattorie.

The last few miles from Salerno were along the Costiera Amalfitana, one of the most famous coastal roads on earth. This was my ‘ideal’ road, the road I had been dreaming about riding along for years. 

Love the idea of cycling in Italy? Click here for our Road cycling holidays and here for our leisure holidays.

 

Adriatic Coast (FRL,RMI)
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