Active on Holiday Blog What are the best cycling holidays in Italy?

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Exploring the best places to cycle in Italy

Our team has a wealth of experience in cycling holidays and has handled cycling holiday enquiries for many years. We always aim to answer your most pressing questions honestly and openly to find the right holiday for you.

This guide to going on a cycling holiday in Italy provides a good overview of some of the main reasons why a cycle tour in Italy is an inspired choice due to the variety of landscapes to discover.

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Where is the best place to go on a cycling holiday in Italy?

Italy is one of the premier destinations for a cycling holiday in Europe. Few countries in Europe boast as many diverse landscapes that can be explored by bike. You can cycle from Pisa to the coast, traverse challenging mountain passes in South Tyrol, and explore spectacular lakes like Lake Garda on an Italian cycling holiday with us.

Enjoy an espresso in a quaint Italian café before setting off for the next picturesque town. It might sound like a cliché, but getting to know Italy by bike is the best way, and a cycle tour is a way to truly experience what makes Italy special.



Italy offers numerous fantastic cycling destinations, each region presenting something unique. For hills and more challenging rides, Tuscany should top your list. For flatter and smoother cycle paths, northern Italy and the South Tyrol boast some of Europe's best.

The Adige Valley route spans 300 km, connecting Augsburg in Germany to Venice, and is renowned as one of Italy's most popular leisure cycling routes, undoubtedly one of the finest.

Elsewhere in northern Italy, Piedmont is ideal for culinary-based exploration. Venice offers mostly flat routes, allowing you to explore the surrounding towns in this famous region, and no, you won’t need to pedal on a gondola!

For leisure cycling, is Italy good for biking?

Italy stands out as an exceptional cycling destination largely due to the intrinsic relationship between Italians and cycling. The nation's deep cycling culture is evident through iconic events like the Giro d’Italia, where the pink jersey holds significant international acclaim. On weekends, you'll spot cycling enthusiasts donning Lycra, riding along with friends or local cycling clubs. Leisure cyclists, embracing a more relaxed approach, navigate beachfront promenades or towns on hybrid bikes. Summer days at Italian beach resorts reveal a charming sight: numerous retro Italian bikes, adding a vintage flair, securely parked near cafes.

Italy's diverse terrain caters to cyclists of varying abilities. The mountainous challenges of the Dolomites or the undulating landscapes of Tuscany cater to those seeking more demanding routes.


Conversely, flatter paths like Bolzano to Venice, South Tyrol, and Lake Garda are perfect for beginners or those easing into cycling holidays in Italy.

City cycling in Italy poses unique challenges. Italian cities are bustling with mopeds and Fiats, creating a lively but congested environment for cyclists. Nevertheless, several cities, such as Florence, offer dedicated bike paths or routes through parks, ensuring a safer ride away from the traffic. Our planned cycling routes across Italy prioritise avoiding busy roads and intersections, ensuring a smoother and safer journey.

Italy's culinary delights perfectly complement cycling adventures. Lunch breaks offer ample opportunities to refuel with generous servings of pasta or pizza, providing the necessary energy for an afternoon of riding. Once the bike is safely stowed at the hotel in the evening, indulge in exceptional wines sourced from surrounding vineyards. Bike-friendly hotels and restaurants enhance the overall experience, making dining out a pleasurable and memorable part of your cycling holiday.

Focus on: Cycling holidays around Lake Garda

Lake Garda, nestled in northern Italy and situated just around 75 km from Milan Bergamo airport, offers a cycling haven despite the ongoing development of the cycle path encircling the entire lake. Italy’s largest lake remains an unparalleled destination for a cycling holiday across the country.

Exploring the towns and cities that dot the lake's periphery promises a delightful ride. You'll pedal through charming locales and vibrant cities, immersing yourself in the distinct atmospheres of places like Desenzano and Riva del Garda, both popular lakeside resorts.

These towns not only serve as scenic stopovers but also offer a plethora of cultural experiences and historic sites to uncover, both on and off the bike.

Lake Garda isn’t just about cycling; it's a gateway to discovering numerous cultural and historical treasures. Whether you're cycling through the towns or taking a break to explore, there's an abundance of captivating attractions waiting to be explored.

From ancient ruins and historic landmarks to local cuisines and cultural experiences, Lake Garda presents an opportunity to delve into Italy's rich heritage beyond the handlebars.

Featured Italian region: Cycle touring in Tuscany

Tuscany stands as a cornerstone among Italy's cycling regions, revered not only for its scenic allure but also as one of the nation's most sought-after holiday destinations. Within Tuscany, the renowned Chianti region beckons with its famed vineyards crafting exquisite wines and enchanting villages that punctuate the landscape.

Cycling tours frequently incorporate stops along these routes, granting cyclists opportunities to explore these picturesque locales throughout the week.


Cycling through Tuscany presents a more challenging terrain compared to other parts of Italy, making it one of the more demanding tours, particularly for leisure cyclists. However, the trials of traversing these difficult stages reap rewarding experiences.

Arriving at iconic destinations like Florence, Siena, and Pisa becomes a gratifying culmination, allowing cyclists to immerse themselves in the cultural essence of these celebrated Tuscan cities.

Despite the challenges, Tuscany's cycling tours offer an unparalleled chance to engage with the heart of Italy's cultural heritage while pedalling through its captivating landscapes and historic towns.

Electric bike tours in Italy

Hiring an electric bike to explore Italy offers a fantastic experience, especially for tours that might pose more challenges. Take, for instance, the Tuscany Coast and Elba tour, known for its demanding routes and lengthier climbs amid the hills surrounding Livorno.

Electric bikes prove particularly beneficial on such tours, allowing riders to navigate these challenging terrains with greater ease. Similarly, tours in Piedmont and around Lake Garda also lend themselves well to electric bike usage.


While all cycle tours across Italy have been curated to be completed on hybrid bikes, incorporating electric assistance can significantly enhance the overall enjoyment of the cycling holiday.

The advantage of using electric bikes lies in their ability to offer assistance on more demanding sections of the tour, making climbs more manageable and allowing cyclists to cover longer distances with less physical strain.

This added support ensures a more enjoyable and accessible experience, opening up opportunities for riders to explore and appreciate Italy's diverse landscapes and cultural treasures.