Motorcycling in Italy: Amazing Roads for Passionate Riders
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Ah, beautiful Italy! When we think of Italy, we don’t particularly associate it with motorcycle rides. Sure, you will find a lot of scooters in most cities, but motorcycle riders on the highways aren’t a norm. Or are they?
Between mountain road trips and coastal paths, winding roads passing by charming olive groves and spectacular forests, there are plenty of motorcycle tours in Italy that you can choose from.
Follow me as I go through some of the most scenic rides in Italy, one of the world’s best countries for motorcycle rides. As a bonus, I’ve included some suggested itineraries, so make sure you check those out too!
Tuscany: The Chiantigiana
The rolling hills of Tuscany are well-known to anyone who has ever dreamed of visiting Italy. Food and wine lovers will particularly enjoy this Italian region.
There are many options to ride here and endless itineraries to choose from, the “Chianti Road” being one of the most famous. The Florence to Siena part is probably the most scenic ride in all of Tuscany and it also offers the chance to stop – at the end of the day – to taste the region’s amazing wines.
The ride takes you through peaceful scenery, dotted with ancient houses, sleepy farmhouses, vineyards, and olive groves. Going through Greve in Chianti, Panzano, Radda in Chianti, and Castellina in Chianti, the drive takes about 2 and a half hours (without any traffic).
Amalfi Coast: Naples to Salerno
This road takes you from the hustle and bustle of Naples, passing by Ercolano (Herculaneum), Pompeii – and the famous ruins – winding its way on the long twists and turns of the Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast).
It is advised to avoid this ride during summer months when all you’ll get is lots of time spent in traffic as the narrow roads get choked by tourists. It’s a pleasure to ride here during spring and fall. And although the ride takes 5 hours easily – without any traffic – plan to stop and enjoy the amazing scenery and historical sites of one of the best road trips in Italy.
Tuscany: Radda to Volterra
If you want to see some of the scenic towns in Tuscany, embark on a day ride starting from the heart of Chianti. While not as spectacular as The Chiantigiana, you’ll get a taste of central Tuscany and its famous San Gimignano.
Start your ride in Radda in Chianti, go through Castellina in Chianti and follow the road all the way to San Gimignano, the most well-known and enchanting Tuscan hilltop town. From here, head to Volterra, a small town offering enchanting views of the countryside. In total, the ride takes little over an hour.
Italian Lake District: Verona to Trento
Ready for a long ride? Then the Italian Lake District is a perfect choice. Start your trip in Verona and set out on a smooth ride on the highway. The next stop is Brescia where you shouldn’t miss visiting the castle. From here, it’s a scenic drive all the way to Limone sul Garda, located right on the famous Lake Garda. It’s now time to take a detour to Garda and skirt the lake. Travel back to Limone sul Garda and then all the way to Trento.
The total drive takes almost 6 hours but you may want to break it up once you arrive at the lake and spend a night here.
Sicily: Catania to Messina
One of the things Sicily is famous for is, without any doubt, the superb views of the Mediterranean. Add the history and amazing seafood in the mix and you got a destination worth visiting.
An amazing ride in Sicily takes you from Catania all the way to Messina, riding on the coast all the time. Take a detour once you reach Mount Etna – the tallest active volcano in Europe – before continuing to Taormina. The total ride, without any detours and stops, is about an hour and a half.
Suggested motorcycle tours in Italy
The Italian Lake District: 8 Days BMW Italy Motorcycle Tour
This 8 days breathtaking tour of Italy is available in spring and autumn. Comprising a total of 1440 km / 870 miles, it starts in Grenoble (France). Then, you travel to Orta San Giulio, the Borromean Islands, Furka Pass, Lugano, Bellagio, Como, Ivrea, and return to Grenoble.
The daily rides are 200-300 km (120-180 miles) and the tour includes all breakfasts and dinners.
Price: US$4,000 per person
The Apennine Mountains: 5 Days Self-Guided Motorcycle Tour in Le Marche, Italy
This tour takes you around Le Marche, riding from the sea to the mountains. Comprising a total of 770 km / 475 miles, it starts in Bologna, then travels to Pesaro, rides through the ancient villages of Foglia and Metauro Fano, then it’s off to Cartoceto – for olive oil tasting, cold cuts, and cheese! – and continue through March until you get to Umbria. Visit Urbino and its old historical town, then follow the road through amazing Apennine passes. From here it’s time to head back to Pesaro and end the tour in Bologna.
The daily rides are approx. 150 km (90 miles) and the tour includes all breakfasts and dinners.
One of the best ways to travel across Italy and experience its many flavors is on a two-wheeled journey. Embark on a motorcycle tour in Italy for the adventure of a lifetime!