Bike Riding and Touring in Italy means climbing, most bike riders; as you start to understand how to use the bike gears and your fitness level increases it is natural to migrate toward the mountains and want to challenge their skills on some of the Classic Bike Climbs. In Italy, there is no shortage of passes and mountain roads throughout the country, however, it is in the Dolomite's that most cyclist come to ride. The Dolomite's, the Prealps, and the Alps all have a special appeal and unique setting of their own, this is a guide to help you to plan your next adventure in the mountains and find a few great routes off the main tourist route, get out where the locals ride.
Most American cyclist know about the Dolomites but other than the 4 passes of the Sellaronda, few other well known routes. Classic climbs in folklore of Italian Racing and utilized in the major Gran Fondo's include: Passo Duran, Passo Giau, Tre Cime di Laverado, and Passo Falzerego. There are several other climbs to enjoy and planning the right sequence you can work your way through most of the best of the best in 7 to 10 days.
The Alps are long isolated climbs to altitudes about 2500 meters. Running across the entire east and west region of the Northern border the Alps offer some classic routes for bike touring. Well known routes include the Passo Stelvio, Passo Gavia, the Mortorola and others. Riding should be planned between the months of July and August for stable weather.
The PreAlps are the foothills of the Alps and are mostly located in the Veneto, Friuli Venezia, and Lombardy regions. The mountains are not tall with most being just over 2000 meters but most of the roads are steep and follow old migration paths or resupply routes from the First World War. These are great early season climbs and perfect for mixed fitness levels, ride the wine roads and stop in a walled city then after challenge yourself on some of Europe's hardest climbs while your travel partner enjoys the hotel and local area.