Here’s another in the Italy Q&A series. This one comes from Cindy, who is about to go traveling with her friend Tracy. She asks:
I am about to leave for Italy on March 23rd. We are planning on biking for the whole trip. We’ve been trying to decide on the best biking route with the weather being a major consideration for us. Of course biking Tuscany, Umbria and Marche would be excellent but we are concerned about weather especially when we reach any altitude.
Another option we have considered is biking from the east coast around Bari to the west coast and going up through the Amalfi coast. We thought that the weather in the South might be better.
Another option was to bike around Sardinia and possibly Corsica. Any bike tour sites or literature I read about Sardinia says “year round” for bike trips in those areas.
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Do you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions on a trip like this? We would be camping most of the time and staying in hostels if necessary.
Thanks for the question, Cindy! It sounds like you’ve got quite a trip planned – you didn’t say how long you’d be traveling, but biking for the whole trip sounds pretty admirable to me (but I’m one of those people who’d prefer to sit in a cafe and watch the world go by then get my butt on a bicycle!).
Because biking around Italy isn’t something I’ve done, I can’t really comment specifically on how cycling through the different regions would be different. I know that organized cycling tours go through Tuscany and Umbria all the time, and I keep hearing how Umbria is one of the best regions to visit if you’re into adventure sports, but starting in late March does mean you’re running the risk of the weather not being perfect. Even if you’re not in the hills, you could still get rained on, and it could still be chilly.
Generally speaking, the further south you go, the better luck you’ll have with more consistently warm weather, even in late March and early April. I’ve not been to Sardinia, but a woman I know who lives there was recently commenting on how cold it was there in mid-March this year. So, while a biking tour brochure might say the cycling is year-round on Sardinia, that doesn’t mean it’s year-round gorgeous weather! My cyclist husband always says that there’s no bad cycling weather – only bad cycling gear. But if you’re on vacation, you don’t want to be cold and wet every day.
I think that if you’re most concerned about the weather, your idea of staying in the south (Bari to the Amalfi Coast) is a good one, given the time of year that you’ll be here.