Bike Tour the Italian Dolomites and Passo Stelvio

BIKE TOURING THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES AND STELVIO PASS

Photo of Passo Stelvio in the Italian Alps

Bike Tour Italy's Dolomitesisone of cycling most spectacular adventures.  During this Bike Tour I take you on a route that lets you challenge yourself on the TOP Climbs in Italian Cycling History riding in the Dolomites and Italian Alps.  Each day's route plan is organized to be enjoyable rides though one of the World's UNESCO Monuments, with plenty of options to ride extra miles.

Italy's Dolomites Mountains offers some of the best mountain roads in Europe to bike tour on. The Dolomites are well developed, and the region is famous for it’s valleys and towns that come alive with après-ski fever each winter and hikers in the summer.  Offering great rides for all level of cyclist the Dolomites should be a must ride on all bike riders bucket list.  You can go for time or just relaxing rides for stunning views, either way we have a developed program that allows you to explore the area safely.

During the Italian Dolomites and Passo Stelvio Bike Tour week, we ride through the heart of the Dolomite's exploring many of the best know mountain passes that have been used for great races, for years. In addition, we ride 2 of the classic passes of the Alps, Passo Stelvio and Passo Gavia. During the week we enjoy great climbs, good food and wine, and fun company during a week of climbing while exploring the National Monument of the World.

For more information and detailed route information Contact Us.

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Italian Dolomites and Passo Stelvio Bike Tour DETAILS
 
Length 8 days 7 nights (7 riding days)
Mileage base routes are 40 - 60  km, Average Elevation Gain per day 1200 meter, Average % Grade -7%

Single supplement
Meals: All breakfasts, 3 dinners
Start - Venice Marco Polo Airport

Finish -Milano Airport

This trip can be organized as a private trip or a Self Guided Tour.  Contact me to schedule a trip date.

BIKE TOUR ITALY - THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES AND ALPS AT A GLANCE

  • Saturday - Pick Up at Venice Airport and move to Agordo at the base of the Dolomites
  • Sunday - Passo Duran- Passo Stalunza - to Selva di Cadore (68 km, 2000 meters)
  • Monday -Passo Giau - Passo Falzarego - Covara (52 km, 1900 meters)
  • Tuesday - 4 Passes of the Sella Mountain Group -Covara (50 km, 1904 meters)
  • Wednesday - Passo Gardena - Passo Sella - Passo Costalunga (72 km, 2100 meters)
  • Thursday - Passo Stelvio - Bormio (48 km, 2100 meters)
  • Friday - Passo Gavia - (Optional Passo Mortirolo) - Bormio (74 km, 2100 meters)
  • Saturday - Arriverdici ( Transfer to Milano Train Station)

Each ride can be lengthened, or shorten based on rider preference.  All routes are on secondary roads.

Flying to Italy

FLYING TO ITALY

Airports in Italy

Italy has more than 130 airports throughout the entire peninsula and islands, services have gotten better and with the cost of gas and train tickets, there are several great options to connect your travel destinations by air. The two major direct international gateways in to Italy are Rome and Milan, and there are several other airports that serve as primary hubs for their regions many offering limited direct international connections.  Many of the smaller Regional airports can be reached by flying into an European hub first, this gives you many more options on ticket prices.

The list below is of the major airports in Italy, this is a working list so it is not 100% complete and there is constant change of services that I can not keep up with.   Depending on where you’re coming from and where you’re going in Italy, there may be a smaller regional airport that would also be a good option for you (you can often find these by looking at Google maps and zooming out a bit until you see an airplane icon, or by consulting the official website for the city you’re visiting).

For each airport listed below, there are also a few airlines listed that serve that airport – that’s also not an complete list, so be sure to check all your options for whatever airport you’re considering.

Airports in Italy Listed by Region

Abruzzo, Italy

  • Abruzzo Airport (PSR) – Located near Pescara; served by Alitalia, Air Transat, Ryanair

Aosta Valley, Italy

  • Aosta Airport (AOT) – Located in Aosta; served by Air Vallée

Basilicata, Italy

There are no commercial airports for tourist use in Basilicata. The closest airport for most visitors is Bari Airport in Puglia.

Calabria, Italy

  • Lamezia Terme Airport (SUF) – Located near Catanzaro; served by Air One, Alitalia, Blu-Express, easyJet, Ryanair
  • Reggio Calabria Airport (REG) – Located near Reggio Calabria; served by Alitalia, Air Malta, Trawel Fly
  • Crotone Airport (CRV) – Located in Crotone; served by Alitalia Express, Danube Wings

Campania, Italy

  • Naples-Capodichino Airport (NAP) – Located in Naples; served by Air France, Alitalia, Air One, British Airways, easyJet, Germanwings, Lufthansa, Meridiana Fly, Spanair, Transavia.com, Vueling, Wizz Air

Emilia-Romagna, Italy

  • Bologna-Borgo Panigale Airport (BLQ) – Located in Bologna; served by Aer Lingus, Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Czech Airlines, easyJet, Germanwings, Iceland Express, Jet4you, KLM, Lufthansa, Meridiana Fly, Royal Air Maroc, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines
  • Forlì Airport (FRL) – Located near Bologna; served by Belle Air, Wind Jet, Wizz Air
  • Parma Airport (PMF) – Located in Parma; served by Belle Air, Ryanair, Wind Jet
  • Rimini-Miramare Airport (RMI) – Located near Rimini (nearest airport to Republic of San Marino); served by Air Vallée, Albanian Airlines, Ryanair, VIM Airlines, Wind Jet

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia Airport (TRS) – Located near Trieste; served by Alitalia, Belle Air, Lufthansa Regional, Ryanair

Lazio, Italy

  • Rome-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) – Located near Rome; served by Aer Lingus, Aeroflot, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Air Malta, Alitalia, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Baboo, Blue Air, Blue1, Blu-Express, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, easyJet, EgyptAir, El Al, Emirates, Finnair, Iberia, Jet2.com, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Luxair, Malaysia Airlines, Meridiana Fly, Niki, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airways, Swiss International Airlines, Transavia.com, United Airlines, US Airways, Vueling Airlines, Wind Jet, Wizz Air
  • Rome Ciampino Airport (CIA) – Located near Rome; served by easyJet, Ryanair, Wizz Air

Le Marche, Italy

  • Ancona-Falconara Airport (AOI) – Located near Ancona; served by Alitalia, Belle Air, Lufthansa Regional, Ryanair

Liguria, Italy

  • Genoa Airport (GOA) – Located in Genoa; served by Air France, Air Italy, Alitalia, Blu-Express, British Airways, Lufthansa Regional, Ryanair
  • Villanova d’Albenga Airport (ALL) – Located in Albenga; served by Air Vallée

Lombardy, Italy

  • Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP) – Located near Milan; served by Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Air Algérie, Air Berlin, Air China, Air France, Air Italy, Air One, Alitalia, American Airlines, Atlasjet, Austrian Airlines, Blu-Express, Blue Air, Blue1, bmi, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Bulgaria Air, Cathay Pacific, Continental Airlines, Cyprus Airways, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, easyJet, EgyptAir, El Al, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Finnair, Flybe, Germanwings, Gulf Air, Iberia, Icelandair, Jet Airways, Jet4you, KLM, Korean Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Meridiana Fly, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Sky Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airways, Swiss International Airlines, Syrian Air, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways International, Transavia.com, Turkish Airlines, Twin Jet, Ukraine International Airlines, Uzbekistan Airways, Vueling Airlines, Wind Jet
  • Milan-Linate Airport (LIN) – Located in Milan; served by Aer Lingus, AirBaltic, Air France, Air Malta, Alitalia, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Carpatair, easyJet, Iberia Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Meridiana Fly, Scandinavian Airlines, Wind Jet
  • Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport (BGY) – Located in Bergamo; served by Air Arabia Maroc, Air Italy, AlbaStar, Alitalia, Amsterdam Airlines, Belle Air, Blue Air, Carpatair, Danube Wings, Eagles Airlines, Meridiana Fly, Pegasus Airlines, Ryanair, Wind Jet, Wizz Air

Molise, Italy

  • There are no commercial airports for tourist use in Molise. The closest airports for most visitors are the ones in Naples (Campania), Foggia (Puglia), or Pescara (Abruzzo).

Piedmont, Italy

  • Turin-Caselle Airport (TRN) – Located near Turin; served by Air France, Air Italy, Albanian Airlines, Alitalia, Blue Panorama Airlines, Blu-Express, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Darwin Airline, Iberia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Meridiana Fly, Royal Air Maroc, Ryanair, Turkish Airlines, Wind Jet
  • Cuneo-Levaldigi Airport (CUF) – Located near Turin; served by Air Arabia, Belle Air, Blue Air, Ryanair, Wizz Air

Puglia, Italy

  • Bari-Palese Airport (BRI) – Located in Bari; served by Air Berlin, Alitalia, British Airways, easyJet, Lufthansa, Meridiana Fly, Ryanair, Spanair, Wizz Air
  • Brindisi-Casale Airport (BDS) – Located in Brindisi; served by Air One, Alitalia, easyJet, Ryanair
  • Foggia Airport (FOG) – Located in Foggia; served by Alidaunia, Darwin Airline

Sardinia, Italy

  • Cagliari-Elmas Airport (CAG) – Located near Cagliari; served by Alitalia, British Airways, easyJet, Edelweiss Air, Germanwings, Luxair, Meridiana Fly, Ryanair
  • Olbia-Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB) – Located in Olbia; served by Air Alps, Air Berlin, Air Italy, Alitalia, easyJet, Edelweiss Air, Helvetic Airways, Iberia, Jetairfly, Lufthansa Regional, Meridiana Fly, Transavia.com, Welcome Air
  • Alghero Fertilia Airport (AHO) – Located in Alghero; served by Air One, Alitalia, bmibaby, Meridiana Fly, Ryanair, TUIfly Nordic

Sicily, Italy

  • Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) – Located near Catania; served by Air Berlin, Air Italy, Air Malta, Air One, Alitalia, Blue Air, Blu-Express, British Airways, Cimber Sterling, Eagles Airlines, easyJet, Germanwings, Lufthansa, Meridiana Fly, Transavia.com, Smart Wings, Trawel Fly, Wind Jet, Wizz Air, XL Airways France
  • Palermo-Puna Raisi Airport (PMO) – Located near Palermo; served by Air Berlin, Air Italy, Air One, Alitalia, Blu-Express, Darwin Airline, easyJet, Iberia, Jetairfly, Lufthansa, Luxair, Meridiana Fly, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines, Tunisair, Vueling, Wind Jet
  • Trapani-Birgi Airport (TPS) – Located near Trapani; served by Air One, Meridiana Fly, Ryanair

Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

  • Bolzano-Dolomiti Airport (BZO) – Located in Bolzano; served by Air Alps

Tuscany, Italy

  • Pisa-San Giusto Airport (PSA) – Located in Pisa; served by Air One, Albanian Airlines, Alitalia, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, easyJet, Elbafly, Germanwings, Jet2.com, Meridiana Fly, Ryanair, Transavia.com, Vueling Airlines, Wind Jet, Wizz Air
  • Florence-Peretola Airport (FLR) – Located near Florence; served by Air Berlin, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airways, Baboo, Brussels Airlines, Cimber Sterling, Lufthansa, Meridiana Fly, Swiss International Airlines

Umbria, Italy

  • Perugia-Sant’Egidio Airport (PEG) – Located in Perugia; served by Belle Air, Ryanair, Skybridge AirOps

Veneto, Italy

  • Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) – Located near Venice; served by Aer Lingus, Aeroflot, Air Berlin, Air Corsica, Air Europa, Air France, AirBaltic, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, bmibaby, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cimber Sterling, Croatia Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Eagles Airlines, easyJet, Emirates, Finnair, Iberia, Jet2.com, Jet4you, KLM, Lufthansa, Meridiana Fly, Qatar Airways, Scandinavian Airlines, Spanair, TAP Portugal, Thomson Airways, Turkish Airlines, US Airways, Vueling Airlines, Wind Jet
  • Treviso-Sant’Angelo Airport (TSF) – Located in Treviso; served by Air Arabia Maroc, Belle Air, Germanwings, Ryanair, Transavia.com, Wizz Air
  • Verona-Villafrance Airport (VRN) – Located near Verona; served by Aeroflot, Air Dolomiti, Air France, Air Italy, Air Malta, Air Moldova, Alitalia, Belle Air, bmibaby, British Airways, easyJet, Lufthansa Regional, Meridiana Fly, Mistral Air, Neos, Royal Air Maroc, Ryanair, Transavia.com, Vueling Airlines, Wind Je

Tips on Using the Major Carriers—Alitalia and other major airlines

There are two ways to fly into Italy:

  • Using any major U.S.airline, Italy's Alitalia (or one of its code-share partners), or a major European airline like British Airways, Air France, or Lufthansa
  • Using the low-cost carriers and doing lay-overs in hub cities.

This is the old-fashioned and still standard way to fly to Europe: on some major airline you've already heard of. Most major U.S. airlines offer flights to Italy—direct from the East Coast and other major cities; if not, at least connecting through· New York. Then, of course, there is Alitalia (www.alitalia.com), Italy's national airline. Alitalia is no better or worse than any other major airline out there, and, as you'd expect, tends to have the largest number of direct flight from the U.S. to Italy:

Alitalia flies direct to Rome from New York, Boston, and Toronto daily, Chicago six times a week, and Miami regularly, as well as from Buenos Aires, Caracas, and Saõ Paolo.
Alitalia also flies direct to Milan from New York and Saõ Paolo, Brazil.
Alitalia also code shares with Continental (if you book an Alitalia flight that leaves out of Newark rather than New York's JFK airport, you'll almost certainly be aboard a Continental jet), is now a strategic partner with KLM/Air France, and is a member of the Sky team alliance (www.skyteam.com), which includes Delta.

All of which means you can probably book a ticket on any of those carriers (and accrue your frequent flier miles) and still fly Alitalia to Italy.

You can also often fly to Italy on a major European airline, usually connecting through a hub in their home country (say, London on British Airways, Paris on Air France, or Frankfurt on Lufthansa). Why bother? Sometimes a European carrier will be having a system wide sale that drops its prices lower than even U.S. ones. It always pays to check.

One of the major benefits to using a major airline is that you can often arrange to fly "open jaws"—into, say, Rome and back home from Milan—which will save you at least several hours of backtracking and probably a day's-worth of vacation.

Tips for finding the least expensive airfare

  • Know where the deals are (E-savers; fare alerts; deals newsletters)
  • Know that timing is everything (high season is summer, X-mas; buy 6–8 weeks out; be flexible)
  • Don't pay retail (airfare aggregators; wholesale consolidators; Priceline & Hotwire - bidding & opaque fares)
  • Deploy insider secrets ( vacation packages; frequent flier miles; the London Switch)

Linosa Island | Islands of Italy

LINOSA ISLAND | SICILY REGION

Lampedusa Spiaggia dei Conigli

A volcanic island comprised of three extinct craters, remote Linosa retains a quiet charm while attracting many more visitors in recent years. The coast has both cliffs and lava beaches and inland there is a certain amount of agriculture. Much less windy than Lampedusa, Linosa is renowned for being very hot.

Area: 5 sq km
Coastline: 11 km
Highest point: 195m (M Vulcano)
Population: 438
Visitor capacity: 485 (2 hotels, 1 campsite)
Access: Sea - Porto Empedocle (3-6 hours)

Pelagie Islands map

Reaching Linosa from Rome is a 24-hour journey -- but it's worth it. This volcanic atoll is closer to the coast of Tunisia than it is to the Italian island of Sicily.

Landing here is like touching down on another planet -- Mars.

The jet-black beach of La Pozzolana has sulfur-yellow and red layers. Its Black Planet bar is popular for sunset aperitifs and private dinners.VSnorkelers dipping their mask into the water are greeted by black crystal-clear scenery. The island is home to loggerhead turtles and there's a hospital dedicated to helping heal those hurt on fishermen's hooks.

At night, under starry skies, the turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.

A hike into the island's center reveals Monte Vulcano, an extinct volcano covered in fluorescent green prickly pears.

The island's main village is a bunch of low-rise pink and green dwellings.

Getting there: Flights connect Rome and Milan to Lampedusa island, which is linked to Linosa by ferry.

Staying there: Casa Faro (+39 3336846636) is a typical island dwelling for rentals.

Eating there: Errera serves traditional cuisine.

Suggested Bike Touring Vacations in Italy

SUGGESTED BIKE TOURING VACATIONS IN ITALY

bike touring italy

Italy is one of the most bike-friendly countries in the world, it should be since half the Bike Industry is located in the country.  The USA has baseball, football, and basketball while Italy has soccer, cycling, and motor sports (and a mixture of other outdoor recreation activities). Any given day throughout Italy there are cycling events, individuals out training or just using the bicycle as a primary means of transportation.  Combine this passion for the bicycle with the diverse historical and cultural diversity, of the Italian Regions, you have a perfect destination for your active vacation.  

In this section you will find suggested bike touring vacations.  Great rides for every level of cyclist that I have conducted thought the years.  If you need additional information or find a program you would like organized for your private group click the photo below. 

 

Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine Bike Tours

WHEN TO BIKE TOUR ITALY

The bike touring season in Italy can start as early as April and finishes in late October.  When planning your bike tour, you need to understand the climate of the region you wish to visit and the tourist flow.

Examples are: riding the Italian Dolomites, you can ride as early as May but you could still find snow in the passes or be snowed on and there are fewer hotels open since this is the off season.  However, if you are an avid rider you will find many of the classic climbs traffic free and save on hotel costs.

Where as the Sicily Region it is best to ride during April and May, or in the fall late September and early November, outside these times you have the heat and beach tourism to deal with.  Any earlier or later you have rain storms and rough seas to contend with, and the road structure is not the best for riding.

Check out each region guide to find the best time to ride.

SUGGESTED CYCLE TOURING ROUTES

Veneto Region and Old Venice Republic Bike Tour, Northern Italy

Lake Garda to Venice Bike Tour, Veneto Region

Venice to Trieste Bike Tour, Northern Italy

Bike Tour Trieste and the Friuli Venezia Region of Italy

Bike Tour Venice and the Veneto Region of Italy

 

 

What is an Italian Cafe?

WHAT IS ITALIAN CAFE?

Italian coffee

As you travel in Italy, one of the best energy boosts, prior to tackling a major climb or last few kms of a hard ride, is to stop have a good expresso. In order to get your cafe fix  keep in mind that ordering a coffee in Italy is not quite the same as in the states.  The style and quality of the coffee is much different.  I have written a short guide to help you during your 'pit stop'.  Remember that at autostrada (highway) bars, and newer bars you must go to the cashier to order and pay, then you take your receipt to the bar to get your coffee.

Common methods of preparing caffe

Caffe - In Italy if you are ordering coffee the word "caffè" implies an espresso.·There is no need to specify “espresso” when ordering. You may get the question "lisco" which meansplan espresso. You caffe will be served in a porcelain demitasse cup “Mazzini's” with its own saucer and little stirring spoon. Most Italians drink their caffe at the bar pay in a couple of sips and move on with their day. Caffe at the bar ranges from .80 cents to 1 euro, if the bar is asking more, I would move on along they are just ripping off the tourist.·If you sit at a table you might be asked to pay the "coperto", cover charge, most small bars will not charge this but be careful in the cities centers you may find yourself drinking a 5 to 10 euro caffe.·A true "caffe Oro".

Caffè Macchiato– ·In Italian, macchiare means to “stain” – and this espresso in a demitasse cup is stained with some hot milk, probably frothed, though no attention is placed on serving foam. This is not a mini-cappuccino.

Caffè Macchiato Freddo– An espresso served in a demitasse cup with cold or lukewarm milk on the side. It looks like a normal caffè next to a carafe of milk. It is! Many bars provide a communal container of milk on the bar, so often someone can just order a caffè and add the milk themselves. It’s best to order the caffè macchiato freddo and let the barman direct you. If you absolutely want to add the milk yourself, you can make sure to specify, “il latte a parte”

Cappuccino –Probably the most well-known coffee drink, it has a long history. Espresso and steamed, frothy milk added so that there is a clean layer of milk foam in a larger cup, a tazza. This is considered a morning drink for breakfast or mid morning snack.

Latte Macchiato – Milk “stained” with coffee, and served hot in a glass cup as shown or in a tall glass, larger than a cappuccino.

Caffè Corretto– An espresso with a “shot” of liquor of your choice. Mostly popular is additive is grappa, cognac, or rum.·This is an after meal drink to help your digestion, hence the name "corretto" correction.

Other variations of ordering Caffe:

These drinks are further variations on the coffee itself. Most of these drinks can have milk added to thembut the important thing about ordering these drinks is specifying how it is brewed – doubled, water added, chilled, reduced!

  • Caffè Doppio– Two shots of espresso, served in a larger cup (tazza).
  • Caffè Americano– A shot of espresso with hot water added and served in the larger “tazza.”
  • Caffè Lungo– A setting on most espresso machines, more water is being run through the filter, resulting in a “longer” coffee. The consistency and strength is not the same as an espresso
  • Caffè d’Orzo– Espresso made from barley is a popular alternative to traditional espresso. It can be ordered as a single, doppio (double) or macchiato like a normal caffè. You can see this macchiato has some bubbles because the caffè d’orzo is not as thick as a regular ca
  • Caffè Freddo– Espresso is left to raffreddare or get cool, or is sometimes refrigerated and served cold or lukewarm.
  • Caffe HAG– This the most popular brand of decaffeinated coffee in Italy, it can also be a way to indicate a decaffeinated coffee when ordering. It can be ordered as a single, double or macchiato like a normal caffè.·

Not all bars are the same and there are various influences on the quality of the caffe;·

  • Brand of the caffe: ·Brand of caffe being utilized will be on the bar's outdoor sign or on the cups and bean grinder. ·Illy, Segafreddo, Hag, are a few of the brands found.
  • The ability to use the caffe machine's: ·I have found that tend to stop more at the local and more rustic bar's rather than many of the newer places. ·If there are a few old guys sitting around playing cards you can usually find a good caffe.

Out hiking or biking we tend to stop at bars to use the restroom.  It is more polite to at least buy a caffe during your stop. ·

Did you know that Trieste has been a major port for coffee import for several decades?

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