Italy may be a small country but it’s hugely famous for its cultural, historical and environmental aspects, most notably, its art and cuisine. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the most visited places on earth. It’s beautiful coastal towns, classical castles and famous antiquities make it a tourist hot spot for travellers all around the globe. The country can be seen by almost any method with fantastic results, however, Italy’s diverse geography makes it a great country for exploring on your motorcycle. Motorcycle companies such as Ducati and Moto Guzzi were born and have succeeded here for a reason.
The country is quite small, covering only 294,000 sq kms, which means you’re always within reach of the country’s many famous cities such as Roma or Milano. Almost every road is good for riding, from culture-packed back streets to winding country roads through the Alps. Visit vineyards, roll through hill towns or cruise along coastal communities, there’s really a piece of riding for everyone. Riding can take you anywhere throughout Italy, so the choice is really up to you, without the need to find a place to park your rental car, or the restriction of train stops, moving around the country is delightfully simple.
With so much within Italy it’s hard to narrow down just a few places to visit. Most places are a short highway ride away which means planning on the go is a viable option. If you do something along these lines, setting up a VPN for your iPhone is highly recommended. Along with added security, a VPN will help you access the internet as if you were still in your home country, making research and entertainment a breeze.
With all that said, here are some great areas to explore:
The Alps and Apennine Mountains
The mountain ranges, which cover most of Italy, (there’s close to no flat areas) provide some of the best riding. The Apennine Mountains run through Italy’s core. Sometimes described as the backbone, they provide great riding with open, winding roads that will take you from Tuscany to Calabria, to the far south. These parts are generally tourist free which is great for a relaxing ride.
The Central Alps in the countries North are a lot higher than Appennini, and are good for riding through June to August. The Central Alps stretch from Chur and Lake Como in the west to Vienna and Maribor in the east and run through Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Slovenia. The range is 800 km long, and about 60 km wide so there’s plenty of great sections to choose from. The central Alps are situated between the eastern Alps’ two major ranges: The Northern Limestone Alps and the Southern Limestone Alps.
Ducati’s Bologna Factory and Museum
This obviously will be a great place to visit for any motorcycle enthusiast. The museum, which has recently been renovated, showcases Ducati’s 90-year history.
Along with the museum, the Ducati factory is also open to visitors. There are a range of guided tour options to choose from and visits last for about an hour. With reasonable pricing, you’ll have a fantastic experience to go along with your motorcycle tour of Italy.
World Heritage Sites
Of course, there are the historical sites such as the Colosseum in Rome, one of the greatest works of architecture of ancient history, and the Hera Temples in Paestum which are some of the most well-preserved ancient Greek temples in the world. Italy has the most World Heritage sites in the world, with 51 sites, so it’s most likely you will be near one during any part of your trip and a visit is well worth it.
A note on the local drivers and riders
The free winding roads which will take you through Italy’s countryside and up mountain ranges are truly a rider’s heaven. The local Italian drivers have long since realised this. Growing up with Ducatis, Ferraris and Lamborghinis means Italians love to go fast and take seemingly bold moves through traffic. In Italy, the ‘fast’ lane, is for really fast cars only. Stay out of their way and they will pass without issue. Motorcycle riders take riding seriously as well. Ride within yourself and make your intentions clear and they’ll whizz right around you. If you get in the way of drivers or riders, they’ll likely let you know about it.
That should give you some idea of where to start planning your motorcycle tour of Italy. Travelling Italy by motorbike is one of the best ways to explore the country. With so much food, art, history and culture to experience, riding is truly one of the most effective ways to experience it all.