Cycling to Italy

Tiesetrotter Posts: 432
edited June 2018 in Tour & expedition
I did the rather mad UCI Cambridge Fondo and qualified for the UCI event in Verasi.

A small mad idea has entered my head of cycling there (and not back). Anyone know of a good route to Italy from the UK. I am sure there must have been people between me and Hannibal that have thought of this.


  • whoof
    whoof Posts: 756
    It would depend on where you were riding from in the UK. Plymouth and you would probably get the ferry to Roscoff and the SE possibly Calais and they are 400 miles apart. Also what countries you want to go through or avoid?
    If you head North from Varese you would go into Switzerland, very beautiful but the drivers are idiots and it's expensive.
    I've ridden from Milan (Malpensa) Airport which is 20 km south of Varese over the Alps to Lyon via Aosta and the Petite St Bernard pass and it's really nice. This takes you into France where other than July and August places in hotels and campsites should be easy to find and relatively (compared to the UK) cheap with no need to book in advance.

    This is a great route planner.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,093
    It's also true that outside July and August, it might be problematic to cross the Alps... high passes will be open in September... October you might be already chancing it
    left the forum March 2023
  • whoof
    whoof Posts: 756
    I've been to the Alps and Pyrenees a few times and always chosen the last two weeks in June to try and avoid both passes being closed and crowds on the roads and in accommodation. Only closures I've experienced are the Col d'Iseran (2764 m) which we when around and Col du Grand St Bernard (2469 m) which is why we over the Petit St Bernard (2188 m) which was completely clear and almost traffic free.

    As above September probably the best choice but if you are going to a sportif you're stuck with that date.
  • darkhairedlord
    darkhairedlord Posts: 7,180
    How much water will you need to carry?
  • culverwood
    culverwood Posts: 256
    I've ridden from to Rome on a slow tour over the Great St Bernard. You would probably be much quicker.

    This is the section till the Po Valley
    Day 1 Canterbury to Guines. 55km Terrain: hilly in the UK, flat in France.
    Day 2 Guines to Arras. 100km. Terrain: hilly.
    Day 3 Arras to Vendeuil. 87km. Terrain: relatively flat.
    Day 4 Vendueil to Reims. 96km. Terrain: varied.
    Day 5 Reims to Chalon. 54km. Terrain: flatter than yesterday.
    Day 6 Chalon to la Rothiere. 80km. Terrain: basically flat but not quite.
    Day 7 La Rothiere to Langres. 96km. Terrain: a little hillier than yesterday.
    Day 8 Langres to Cussey sur Ognon. 90km Terrain: similar to yesterday
    Day 9 Cussey sur Ognon to Pontarlier. 75km. Terrain: mountainous but worth it.
    Day 10 Pontarlier to Yverdon. 45km. Terrain: up and down.
    Day 11 Yverdon to Lausanne. 65km. Terrain: gently rolling countryside.
    Day 12 Lausanne to St Maurice. 62km. Terrain: flat.
    Day 13 St Maurice to Bourg St Pierre. 65km. Terrain: flat then rising.
    Day 14 Bourg St Pierre to Aosta. 58km. Terrain: steeply up then down.
    Day 15 Aosta to Pont St Martin. 53km. Terrain: generally downhill.
    Day 16 Pont St Martin to Vercelli. 72km. Terrain: flat.
    Day 17 Vercelli to Pavia. 81km. Terrain: flat.
  • andy9964
    andy9964 Posts: 930
    There's a good write up of a ride here ... msg2238337
    Although there is a chunk of the journey by train, there seems to be a decent route from Munich to Venice
  • mtb-idle
    mtb-idle Posts: 2,179
    a mate of mine has cycled from Cheam (south west London) to Milan twice and he is a master route maker. I am sure i could get a copy of his routes if you want.
    FCN = 4