Best motorcycle road trips in Italy
Traveling by motorbike in Italy: 12 tips and 16 ideas for all seasons
In Italy, the particular geographic conformation allows us to imagine and create a wide number of itineraries for motorcycle tourism , even very different from each other in terms of characteristics and contexts.
From the Alps to the Apennines, from the lakes to the sea, from the boot to the islands. Thanks also to the climate that distinguishes it, our peninsula is the best place where traveling by motorbike all year round.
Motorcycle itineraries in Italy for all seasons
I will show you some motorbike itineraries in Italy, my personal advise about what to visit by motorbike in my country, in all seasons. A personal selection of motorbike itineraries from north to south, from east to west, a list of places and roads not to be missed, sixteen ideas for different periods of the year and with different timetables, a starting point for creating your favorite itinerary in places you do not know or in moments of the year that you have never experienced, for those who have never traveled for many days or for those who do not know where to ride on Sunday. A collection of basic information for those who do not live in Italy and want to visit our country by motorbike.
So let's get to the point ... Where to go by motorbike in Italy? Here we are: 12 tips and 16 ideas for you! Tips and itineraries that you will find here are affected by the fact that my main base-camp is in Veneto region, in Padua, nearby Abano Terme, but you will find here interesting places to visit all around the country.
|Tuscany - Chianti|
|Asiago: Monte Corno - Giro delle Malghe|
Motorcycle road trips during spring: 3 useful tips
Spring is probably the most beautiful season of the year to experience in Italy by motorbike. It is not too hot, it is not too cold, there is not too much traffic. The weather, however, is particularly uncertain, and the roads are not always in the best conditions. The three tips for traveling in spring by motorbike:
- always carry your rain jacket and rain pants with you, even if the sky seems to be totally clear of clouds and the weather apps do not provide rain. It can always be useful to protect you from the cold temperature that drops suddenly if your motorcycle ride lasts until late in the evening.
- often spring is the time when you put your bike back on the road after a few months in the garage. Check the tire pressure and verify that the tire surface is in good condition, check the liquids levels and the battery.
- pay particular attention if you are traveling by motorbike in the mountains, in spring, with the snow thaws, the road surface can be treacherous: gravel, streams of water that cross the road, holes and cracks in asphalt typical of this period. Attention also to temperatures, the difference on different altitudes can be very important, do not forget to use clothing suitable for facing the heat and at the same time the freezing air and cold temperatures that you might find on the mountain passes.
Spring: where to go by motorbike in Italy
1. Motorbike ride in spring in one day: it is the best season for a motorbike ride on the lake or to the sea. It is useless to name specific places, choose a destination close to your base-camp, preferably without having to use the highway to reach it. Spring is the best time to enjoy these places with little traffic and perfect temperatures. Among my favorite seaside trips in the north-east I recommend two quite wild places far from the usual tourist destinations: Boccasette beach (with its boat-bridge) and Brussa beach.
2. A weekend on a motorbike in spring: having a couple of days available, it is possible to organize a motorbike itinerary to discover the most beautiful flowers blooms in Italy. Among the most evocative is that of lentils in Castelluccio di Norcia. Obviously we cannot fail to mention Liguria and its entire coast, in the north-east I point out the splendid Sigurtà Park. For those wishing to enjoy a corner of Provence in Italy, the flowering of lavender can be seen in different locations such as Sale San Giovanni, a small village in the lower Langa of Cuneo, Morano Calabro, or in Rodiano near Bologna.
3. A week on a motorbike in spring: in April, May and June there are often holidays that allow you to imagine a long weekend or, for the lucky ones, an entire week of vacation. At this time of year, if I have a few days available, my favorite destination in Italy is undoubtedly the area of Orvieto and Umbria. With one week at your disposal, you can also think of crossing over to the Marche, Tuscany or upper Lazio. You can find a lot of old ancient villages in this part of Italy, my favorite is definitely Civita di Bagnoregio.
4. Two weeks on a motorbike in spring: I really believe that my region, Veneto, could be the ideal destination for a ten-day (or more) motorbike holiday in spring. From the Adriatic sea to the peaks of the Dolomites, from Garda Lake to the historic centers of cities, from hilly landscapes to the countryside, from nature to culture, Veneto offers many itineraries by motorbike with different possibilities and types of places and roads, ideal for not never get bored. Wanting to be even more detailed, you can choose Abano Terme and the Euganean thermal places as a base-camp for your holiday, to add a good dose of spa and relax, back from your day on motorbike.
Motorcycle road trips in the summer: 3 useful tips
Never forget this when you want to plan your summer motorcycle itinerary in Italy: hot temperatures and traffic. The three tips for traveling by motorbike in the summer:
- the choice of your clothing is fundamental. Even if it's hot, don't give up on safety. Choose technical motorcycle underwear or breathable sports underwear to face the hot situation. Never give up on protections. Never without: gloves, long pants, long sleeves.
- choose places and destinations that are not too touristy, take the opportunity to discover lesser-known locations, do not follow the crowd, open your mind to creativity.
- in Italy sometime you will find wild traffic moments... take advantage of the flexibility of your vehicle, but never exaggerate, slalom between cars and risky overtaking should be avoided. In any case, be patient.
Summer: where to go by motorbike in Italy
5. Motorbike ride in summer in one day: the main aim of summer daytime motorcycle rides is to avoid traffic jams, avoid crowdy situations, avoid hot temperatures. It is difficult to avoid all three of these annoying situations at the same time, so give a priority scale and organize the itinerary of the day accordingly. Personally, I can stand the heat but not the traffic and the crowd. The ideal would obviously be to decide to start to ride very early in the morning and return late in the evening, but I prefer the sufferings of the hottest hours to get around by motorbike if it can be useful to avoid some traffic. My favorite destination is the mountains, where you can enjoy some coolness. To be more independent, I always prefer to bring my lunch from home and put down a blankets to picnic at my leisure. Favorite destinations for a day tour in summer: Passo Vezzena, Passo della Raticosa and Passo della Futa or Giogo del Maniva and Passo Crocedomini if you want to experience some off-road immersed in a lunar landscape.
6. A weekend on a motorbike in the summer: the best way to spend a Saturday and a Sunday on a motorbike in the summer in Italy is ... to go abroad! Seriously, when I have a weekend available in the summer I like to move towards the borders and cross the Alpine passes. My favorite weekend tour is undoubtedly the Passo Rombo, or Timmelsjoch if you prefer.
7. A week on a motorbike in the summer: in this season I always prefer the mountains. Having a week available for your motorcycle trip, I recommend that you organize an itinerary in the Apennines. You will not be able to totally escape from the heat, but by organizing your roadtrip well, you could wisely avoid much of the traffic and confusion. This is an area full of curves, views and places of interest. The road surface in the Apennines is not always the best, but at the right tourist pace these places give emotions, especially at sunset.
8. Two weeks on the motorbike in the summer: you won't be able to completely avoid traffic and confusion, but if you organize yourself well you could cross the entire Alps from east to west, or vice versa, giving you cool air and breathtaking hairpin bends. Our Alps are spectacular and know how to excite as they change from one region to another. In my opinion there is no better motorbike holiday to do in the summer in Italy, perhaps trespassing borders here and there, crossing Alpine passes to reach other unique places to add to your travel memories.
Motorcycle road trips in autumn: 3 useful tips
A season that is often a little snubbed but which can give great satisfaction. With the vehicle in order and with the right clothing you can do great things. The three tips for traveling in autumn by motorbike:
- the typical foliage of this season can offer unique landscapes and glimpses. But beware of the leaves we meet on the asphalt, they are very insidious if combined with the humidity that distinguishes this time of year.
- never as in this period of the year is the rule of onion-clothing valid. Bring everything you need with you to be able to dress and undress quickly if necessary with changing weather conditions.
- if some places are prohibitive in spring and summer due to mass tourism and traffic, in autumn these same places could be much more livable and in any case always fascinating. Take this into account when planning your motorcycle tours in Italy.
Autumn: where to go by motorbike in Italy
9. Motorbike ride in autumn in one day: this season I mainly prefer daytime motorbike rides on the hills. In my region, Veneto, there is a lot of hilly groups: the Euganean and Berici Hills, the Asolo and Montello Hills, the Prosecco Hills UNESCO heritage, the Veronese hills of Soave and Valpolicella, but also all the area that goes down towards Mantua and along the Mincio river. In my opinion, the hilly landscapes are among the most evocative at this time of year, also because of the colors that the vegetation of these altitudes can give in autumn.
10. A motorcycle weekend in autumn: when I have a free Saturday and Sunday in the autumn, what I like to organize is a food and wine itinerary. The climate becomes colder and more humid but it is not yet as rigid as in winter, it is nice to stay outdoors on the saddle of your motorbike but it is also pleasant to take refuge in places where you can taste typical dishes of the area. All regions of Italy have extraordinary foods to offer, choose the one you prefer. I prefer Tuscany and the Chianti areas, perhaps even driving along the white-roads of the Eroica by motorbike ...
11. A week on a motorbike in autumn: they do not have extreme slopes such as Alpine passes or the Apennine passes, they have a milder climate than mountain resorts with high peaks and altitudes, the plateaus can be an interesting choice to spend a week of vacation on motorbike in autumn. Personally, for geographical proximity but also in an absolute sense, the places I prefer are undoubtedly the Asiago plateau and the Lessinia, in both cases in addition to the roads with the curves on asphalt you can also enjoy some beautiful off-road, very fun and not too much challenging, such as the road of the Giro delle Malghe and the Trans-Lessinia.
12. Two weeks on the motorbike in autumn: if you have many days available, there is nothing better than a cultural tour of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Beautiful streets to mix with extraordinary historic centers. Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, or vice versa, a perfect itinerary to spend two unforgettable weeks on a motorcycle.
Motorcycle road trips in winter: 3 useful tips
Many of us park their motorcycles in the garage during winter. Especially in the north it is an understandable choice, as the weather is difficult and the temperatures are often prohibitive. Others, like myself, hold on and brave the cold to never miss the time to devote to their passion. The three tips for traveling in winter by motorbike:
- we assume that those who ride a motorbike in winter pay particular attention to clothing. Jackets, gloves, windproof trousers, raincoats, why not, even electric-heated. However, never forget to bring a change of underwear with you, even for the day's motorbike ride. Especially for beginners: the hot parts of your motorcycles are excellent points to warm up your gloves during stops. Do not exaggerate in keeping the gloves in contact with hot parts for too long, the glove materials could be damaged if exposed to high temperatures for too long.
- this season the conditions of your bike must be perfect. Keep an eye on all fluids and warm the tires well before letting yourself go at a faster pace. However, always be delicate when driving.
- do not forget that in Italy it is forbidden to drive motorbikes in case of snow. It doesn't matter how good you are and how well equipped your bike is for bad weather. In case of snow and ice on the road, in Italy you simply cannot drive your motorbike...
Winter: where to go by motorbike in Italy
13. Motorbike ride in winter in one day: This season, having to dress up for a short daytime ride, could be annoying. The best way to plan a daytime motorbike ride in winter is to combine it with something interesting to do outdoors. Personally in winter I like to visit seaside, especially if they have a nice historic center where you can spend a few hours walking or eating in some typical little places and trattorie. In the north-east I recommend Caorle and Grado, my favorites. Other places around Italy that I also enjoyed in winter: Albenga and Senigallia. Going south obviously there is no need to list anything, there is plenty of choice, but I would like to point out Salento: Otranto and Gallipoli.
14. A weekend by motorbike in winter: our peninsula is full of lakes and during the winter it could be interesting to visit them. Weather permitting, the lake always knows how to offer beautiful atmospheres and unforgettable views, which in the winter we can enjoy away from the crowds and tourists who animate them in the summer and spring. From Lake Garda to Lake Como, from Lake Trasimeno to Lake Bolsena, there is plenty of choice.
15. A week on a motorbike in winter: winter is treacherous, it is better to organize a motorbike itinerary in the places with the mildest climate. There is nothing better than a motorcycle tour on the coasts of our peninsula. You choose which one!
We have seen many itineraries and many places to visit in Italy on your motorbike. If you want some advice on how to organize and plan your motorcycle road-trip, you can go on reading my short guide...
How to create the perfect motorcycle itinerary
There are many tools to plan a motorcycle itinerary and to organize the stages of your motorcycle tour, from the timeless paper notepad and map to google maps, from specialized apps for smartphones to specific digital navigators for motorcycles.
I will give you some advice to choose the places and routes to make the most of the time you have available to devote to your passion for motorcycles. I will therefore speak of method, of the whole phase that precedes the executive preparation of your motorcycle itinerary. You choose the tool that best suits your needs to plan your trip. I will tell you how to best organize a one-day or long-term motorcycle ride, alone, with a passenger, or with other motorcyclists!
Traveling by motorbike: alone or in good company?
Choosing the right travel companion is not a trivial thing, and heavily influences the definition of a motorcycle itinerary. Unless you decide to travel alone, if you want to share your trip with someone and plan a motorcycle itinerary you have to assume that it doesn't matter where you want to go, how much time you have available and what bike you have. Underlying everything is the absolute need to clearly define the rules. It happens, even among people who know each other well, to leave implicit some aspects of the journey that at first sight seem secondary. My advice is to identify a common travel goal and draw up a handbook with the main travel rules. Some like to travel for hours non-stop, others prefer to stop more often, some like to drive essentially, others like to visit the places they meet on the way, some don't care where they will sleep that night, others prefer to plan and have the certainty of a bed and a shower at the end of the day, some prefer to save money to decide to travel a few more days, others prefer to let themselves go and enjoy the few days available to the maximum ... the possible combinations are endless! My advice is to first define a trip goal, such as reaching a specific destination or dedicating a specific number of days to the trip, then define a daily average of kilometers and hours of travel, define the number of possible stops, an indicative budget for overnight stays and common activities, and above all decide together the preferred travel method (I list 4 on this page but the variations and declinations can obviously be many).
Traveling by motorbike in company basically means sharing the experience with a passenger and / or with other motorcyclists. In both cases, define the priorities and the main travel rules, even if you are traveling with only one motorbike with a passenger. In summary: do not take anything for granted, it will simplify your life while traveling.
If you are traveling with other motorcyclists, from the moment of planning the trip, share the approximate mileage with a full tank of fuel for each motorbike, and clarify any personal problems on specific travel arrangements (some examples: on the motorway with or without telepass, I prefer to go further or take a ferry, it creates problems for me having to deal with stretches of dirt road, we exchange to make the pace at the helm of the group or appoint a more experienced line-up, as a common signal we encode in case of need or minor inconveniences while we are on the road, etc.). Clarifying these aspects of the trip not only before departure but already in an initial phase of defining the trip, allows you to create itineraries on the motorbike without worries. Personally, I recommend traveling in two or three motorcycles at the most to be able to have fun sharing your experience but without risking too many complications.
The best way to organize a carefree dead-end itinerary is to decide to do it alone. Traveling by motorbike alone obviously simplifies life, I have done it often in the past and will continue to do so. But even if you plan a motorcycle itinerary just for yourself, still define a goal and some small rules. Whatever happens, if you don't respect them, you can then be indulgent with yourself. But by leaving for your motorcycle ride without setting yourself a goal and rules, you risk not living your freedom to the fullest, superficially risking going into disarray and not having fun at all.
How to organize a one-day motorcycle itinerary
The first question you have to answer is: how much time and how many kilometers am I willing to devote to move from home and reach a location by motorbike? Take a compass, real if you use paper maps, virtual if you use digital maps and apps, and define three or four circles of different sizes that are increasingly wider, placing your starting point in the center. You will have concentric circles with three or four distances that will help you intercept the locations that you can reach in a given time and making a given number of kilometers. It will be easier to choose from time to time which motorcycle ride you want to do in the day, compared to the time that you will have at that moment. This method is particularly useful for beginners but can also be used by the most experienced motorcycle travelers to simplify the choice of the day's itinerary. In fact, it can be used simply starting from home, but it will be even more effective if you apply it to a motorcycle trip in which you have defined a base camp, as we will see below.
How to create a motorbike touring itinerary
If you have a few days available, you can create a more structured touring itinerary. In my opinion there are three main ways of embarking on a motorcycle trip. Simplifying, we can in fact identify these types: itinerant, with base camp, on the road.
Obviously it is possible, even during the same journey, to mix these different ways to adapt to your expectations and the needs of each of you.
1. Motorbike traveling trip: it is the most common way of traveling. The various stages of the journey necessary to reach a destination and then return (or to create a sort of circuit) are planned, trying to visit as many places as possible, covering as many kilometers as possible on scenic or beautiful roads to drive. The stages must be chosen by selecting places that, especially in the evening, can give us interesting services or activities, or traditional foods to discover. This travel method, also thanks to the characteristics of our territory, allows you to change the type of landscapes, roads and experiences every day. Recommended for those who have many days available and for those who want to breathe always different atmospheres. The ride & hike motorcycle travel mode could be defined as a small variant to this travel mode: the itineraries and roads to be traveled in the saddle are planned with equal importance, but also the excursions to be made on foot, in the city centers, in the museums, paths and nature walks, alternating time spent on a motorbike with time dedicated to culture or trekking.
2. Motorbike trip with base-camp: a place of particular interest is identified, the trip to reach this place and the return trip are planned. Then we focus above all on the most interesting part of the itinerary: the stages are organized around the place we have chosen as base camp. This travel method allows you to get to know a territory or a specific geographic area in depth, fully experiencing all the possible tourist and cultural resources that it can offer. Recommended for those who do not want to miss even a piece of what the place we have chosen for our trip can offer, knowing that they can return home in the evening, always in the same accommodation. This mode of travel also has the advantage of being able to leave most of the fixed luggage in our base camp, it does not waste time in packing and unpacking, above all it allows us to ride lighter motorcycles, for the benefit of practicality and fun. . Also in this case you can decide to add a small ride & hike variant to your trip. A few kilometers less then on the saddle of your motorbike, and more kilometers on foot (or by renting a bike, why not).
3. Motorbike trip on the road: the motorbike trip is planned with particular attention to the roads that will be traveled and to the time we have available. Our goal will be to put together as many curves, landscapes, hairpin bends, panoramic stopping points and situations to capture in the best moments of our journey. Many hours to spend in the saddle, identifying from time to time, when the late afternoon approaches, interesting places to spend the night. No final goals, no forced stages, no circuits to go. Pure improvisation. It will be the desire to drive to define your route, with an itinerary that you will build day by day, or even hour by hour. Those who choose this travel method will have to take into account the missing days available to always have a plan to return home in the necessary time. Recommended for those who want to drive a lot and prefer to dedicate only the time of an aperitif and a few photos or a little more to the places where they will stop. Be careful, if you decide to organize a motorcycle trip of this type, you must absolutely travel very light.
How to organize the perfect motorcycle itinerary
Whether it's a one-day motorcycle ride or a long trip, the secret to organizing the perfect motorcycle itinerary is to decide your priorities in advance, plan things just enough and never have too many illusions. Careful preparation is needed, but excessive expectations must also be kept in check. We cannot control the weather, the tiredness, the small or big setbacks, the unexpected detours, as well as the beautiful surprises, the interesting people or the magical places that we will meet on our journey and that we had not planned. These variables are unpredictable, and that's the beauty of traveling by motorbike. Take things philosophically and always make the most of every unexpected detail of every single day.
|Alps: Passo dello Stelvio|
What about you?
I hope you enjoyed this short and very personal guide to motorcycle tourism in Italy and that it will be useful to you. Itineraries, ideas and advices are also a starting point for a discussion. This page is not, does not want to, and cannot be, totally exhaustive, it only collects my favorite motorbike rides and the ones I have not yet done and would like to do.
If you have any advice for itineraries and places in Italy to visit by motorbike, get in touch or write down a comment! The best advices will be selected and published.