Cycling in Italy 2012

This year I decided to be a little bit lazier: during the five weeks I’ve spent around Italy I managed to cycle properly just for a few days. But the plan for the next year is big, even bigger! Also this time I manage anyway to see really wonderful places, surrounded by both fresh and salty water.

A huge technological help was given by sports-tracker. It existed already two years ago, when I did the Tour of Finlande. If I only knew, I would have spent less time in drawing all those maps for the various stages of the journey. The app works on most mobile phones (even in my old Nokia E52, I don’t like smart phones without buttons) and it uses GPS information to track your route, altitude, time and so on. The only drawback is that you cannot track the real cycling time unless you pause the app each time you stop, which is a burden if you just cycle for fun. However the overall is quite impressive, like having your own big brother who tracks you from the sky.

I spent a few days in Puglia, where I manage to cycle with over +30 degrees, which is not the best, generally, and especially for me. But the countryside is very unique, surrounded by big old olive trees and in front of the wonderful Adriatic sea. And on top of it, the idyllic town of Polignano a Mare, literally built on a cliff in front of the sea. To be visited both during the day and during the night, the scenery is amazing.

San Vito – Tre Pile (Apulia):

 

Later on during July I had the chance to reach the sea again, this time the Tyrrhenian one. The journey started from my home town, about 30 km west from Florence and it took me to through Collodi, the village where Pinocchio’s writer spent part of his childhood. You know you’ve reached the place once you end up in front of the statue here on the right (it’s 15 metre high). Then through the fortified town of Lucca, where you can cycle also on its fortified walls. And finally towards sea, after a short uphill to cross the only reasonable hill of the journey (Quiesa).

Pistoia-Viareggio:

 

And finally the big surprise: cycling around Lake Garda. As my flight left from Milan, I decided to spend some days on the lake before getting back to the north. I hadn’t plan to do any particular cycling: I knew there are many tracks for mountain biking, but being my bike a hybrid one, I didn’t thing they would have been suitable for me. Well, they were!

The temperature wasn’t too bad, 25-26 degrees, although climbs were sometimes quite harsh. Lake Garda is at about 60 metres of altitude above sea level, while the highest level I’ve reached was in the small village of Campi, at about 750 metres. Where, as a matter of fact, I almost got stuck in a thunderstorm: I have to quickly climb down to Garda Lake on a rocky off-road, which brought me back from 750 metres to 60 metres in less than 5 km. That was also cool, looking the houses from the top getting bigger and bigger while in the forest I was cycling downhill, running away from the thunders behind.

Rovereto – Riva del Garda:

Riva del Garda – Lago di Tenno – Riva del Garda:

Riva del Garda – Lago di Ledro – Riva del Garda:

Riva del Garda – Dro – Riva del Garda:

Pictures:

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