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Italian Climbs?? Which book???

DTHDTH Posts: 303
edited October 2010 in Tour & expedition

i've been researching a trip we are putting together next year Innsbruck-Venice via as many climbs as possible.

I'm after a book on the Giro or Famous Italian climbs.. Can anyone recommend one?you can only look at a PC screen for so long.

if it\'s not dripping of your nose, your not trying!


  • AGuppyAGuppy Posts: 44
    No book.....but have u checked out Ritchiboys blogs on Sportive central
    He has wriiten about two trips to Italy......Stelvio area and the Dolomites....climbed many of the famous Giro climbs
    Guppy :D
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    I couldn't work out how to search on sportivecentral (no doubt not enough patience). But a quick Google threw up a really useful-looking set of routes on Bikely:


    The ideal would be to get one of those plastic maps which give you a 3D view. Alternatively try Google Earth.

    Basically you have two/three river valleys:

    - the Piave valley runs north (and then curves west). To the east and north you have the eastern Dolomites centred on Cortina. to the east there's Friuli. To the south there's the Grappa massif, and the Prealpi Bellunesi (I'm going from memory so excuse me if I get the names wrong).

    - the valley of the Adige which runs north-south - more or less. To the east you have the Stelvio pass and lots more - but you are heading towards Venice so it's a bit out of your way;

    - the valley ('canale') of the Brenta which runs south-east befor heading south. To the west you have the Altipiano di Asiago. To the east the Massiccio di Grappa.

    The geography/topography is big, deep, steep-sided, flat-bottomed valleys and some big massifs.

    I think you've got two main options once you cross over from Austria:

    - head towards Cortina d'Ampezzo and concentrate on that part of the Dolomites possibly basing yourselves in one or two places and doing circular day rides - as RichyBoy seems to have done - before heading for Venice;

    - or plan a route based on the main massifs. eg one option might be head for Trento then climb up to the Altipiano di Asiago via Lavarone. Then go down to Bassano and climb the Grappa massif. From there you could either head north from Seren del Grappa along the SS50 or, follow the Luga via delle Dolomiti via Pedavena to Sospirolo, and then take the road along the Lago del Mis from there you can pick up the RichyBoy routes. From Cortina I'd pick up the ciclabile on the old railway a few kms outside Cortina and then from Calalzo follow the Lunga via delle Dolomiti back down the Piave valley (definitely follow this and not the main strada statale!) before turning off towards Venice. I don't know how feasible this is in the time available, but something to think about.

    You do need some decent maps. The most useful map I had of the area was the 1:75,000 Tabacco map of the provincia di Belluno don't have it listed but they seem to stock a range of other Tabacco maps - so they should be able to get it for you, if you don't want to order direct. (Kompass maps are good - and they do indicate cycle maps, but I found they were less reliable than the Tabacco maps when it came to distinguishing between surfaced and unsurfaced roads.)

    PS there's now a new law in Italy that requires cyclists outside urban areas to wear a high-viz gilet at night or in tunnels (the last bit is probably most relevant to you) - although personally I'd rather rely on a decent set of flashing lights.

    PPS the Lonely Planet book on cycling in Italy has a chapter on the Dolomites which might be worth a look.
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