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Northern Italy - summer hols & climbs

durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,235
edited February 2012 in Tour & expedition
Anybody been cycling in Northern Italy? im looking for a couple of le Grand Bornand style places where the kids could swim in a pool, nice scenery and some mountains to be climbed.

2 places i have looked at are Oulx (close to Torino and the Col de Sestriere) and Breuil-Cervina (climb that will be used in this years Giro)

Anybody been or have any tips for other places meeting the requirements?

Cheers
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  • eedeeede Posts: 58
    Have you thought about the great lakes? Lovely circuit around Lake Garda. Flat at the Southern end, Dolomite mountains at the northern end. Easy trips to Venice and Verona for the family, lake cruises a plenty.
    Friend of Herne Hill Velodrome: http://www.hernehillvelodrome.com/friends/
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    You are spoilt for choice. Can you narrow things down a bit? Are you planning to fly? Are you planning to camp?

    If say you fly with Ryanair you could fly to Milan for the eastern lakes, or Verona for the western lakes and Dolomites, or Treviso (Ryanair's Venice) for the eastern Dolomites.

    If you are planning to camp then there are lots of campsites around the lakes and in the Alto Adige/Sud Tirol. Swimming pools are pretty much standard in Italian campsites.

    You might find the book Mountain High worth a look.
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,235
    We are planning to drive around in a motorhome, 14/16 day trip from leaving Durham!

    I really want to get my soon-to-be 2yr old daughter up the Ventoux, so we will be heading to Bedoin for 4 nights i think, and then into Italy. That only really gives us the Turin area and up to the Swiss border i would say. Col du Grand Saint Bernard is another one i have now thought of.

    So yep, we will be camping, so will be looking for a couple of sites for 3 or 4 nights each, preferbly with pool.

    (Last year we did Dijon-le Grand Bornand-Reims with a similar theme of cycling and kids!)
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    I don't know the Piedmont region so I can't offer any specific help - hopefully someone else can. The Gran Paradiso national park is supposed to be very beautiful.

    Coming down through France and then back through Switzerland (or the other way round) might be an option that's worth considering. I've no idea about the ins and outs of whose motorways are cheaper. My impression is that the lake district has a greater choice of campsites (partly because of the lakes themselves partly because of the Dutch/German market).

    If you're a 'camperisto' then you probably already know about ACSI and the eurocampings.eu website. It's probably the best website for researching campsites (although alanrogers.com is not far behind).

    It's also worth knowing that Italy has lots of 'area sosta camper' - places where campervans can stop for the night. Many have electricity and water and maybe even a toilet. There are lists around and there's even an iPhone app.
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,235
    Cheers for the help, kinda leaning towards staying in France now, as the campsites look so much better and pretty much all have pools. Briancon looks a favourite, as from there we could do the Col D'Izoard, Col Agnel, over the Col de Montgenevre and drop into Italy for Sestriere.
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • Garda, Garda, Garda............every time.


    I love it there, you can probably tell :D


    BTW you're 2 yr old daughter is doing Ventoux, is that without stabilisers? Chapeau, indeed.
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    durhamwasp wrote:
    Cheers for the help, kinda leaning towards staying in France now, as the campsites look so much better and pretty much all have pools.

    I'm not sure which sites you've been looking at. IME the better Italian sites are among the best you'll find anywhere. And the large majority have pools.

    You can find some that aren't so good - these are generally the ones with lots of permanent caravans - but if you look at the eurocampings.eu site or alanrogers.com they tell you how any places are available for tourers, so you can avoid the ones that have too high a proportion of permanent pitches.
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,235
    Yeah ive had a massive search on those sites and the better sites still dont have pools, not around the specific area i want to be in (Oulx/Sestriere). Theres about 8 campsites in that area, one looks lovely, but no pool and its quite a big "must have" in our situation. If you can find me one with a pool there, i'd be grateful for it.

    Briancon looks fantastic, loads of climbs to do and a campsite with loads of kids activities and a big pool.

    @thecrofter! No, she's still go stabilisers, if she can do it in under 3hrs i'll be happy!.... haha no! She'll be on the back of my bike again. I got her up the Col de la Colombiere, Col des Aravis and Col de la Croix Fry last summer :) But Ventoux is the one i really want to get her up!
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    durhamwasp wrote:
    Yeah ive had a massive search on those sites and the better sites still dont have pools, not around the specific area i want to be in (Oulx/Sestriere). Theres about 8 campsites in that area, one looks lovely, but no pool and its quite a big "must have" in our situation. If you can find me one with a pool there, i'd be grateful for it.

    I suspect that the reason why you can't find a campsite you like is because of where you're looking - Sestrière and Sauze d'Oulx are mass-market winter sports destinations (and I suspect places people don't go for summer holidays).

    You need to be more flexible: if you want to limit yourself to Piedmont then look towards the Lago Maggiore. there's a reason why so many of the posters to this thread have been recommending the lakes.

    Here for example is the results of the search for 'piedmont' on alanrogers.com. Plenty of choice.
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,235
    Yes i am being very specific, as i am already driving over 2500km in 14 days on my own in a motorhome, i cant really go too far out of my planned route - Bedoin to Lago Maggiore is more than 500km. I realise they are winter areas, just like le Grand Bornand and The Alpe, both of which have campsites with swimming pools, so i was hopeful somebody might have known a campsite there with a pool.

    Thanks for your help though, those sites have been useful and if during another holiday we head to Italy we can certainly use that. But, for this time it looks like France is going to be a better bet all round for us.
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • Hi, how about Bormio? That too is a ski resort in winter but caters fantastically for cyclists in summer, and appears big enough to have other things to do (not that I really looked around too much).

    On your doorstep you've got the Passo Dello Stelvio, the Umbrail, Gavia, Mortirolo, Bormio 2000, Passo Foscagno and Passo d'Eira, along with a load of lesser known climbs.
    Beyond the Passo D'Eira, you can drop down to Livigno, with it's duty free shopping (missus will like that !!).
    Plenty of nice lakes for walking around (eg Lago di Cancano).
    And off over the Umbrail into Switzerland is very very nice (typical of Switzerland).
    "There are no hills, there is no wind, I feel no pain !"

    "A bad day on the bike is always better than a good day in the office !"
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,235
    cheers for that! Sounds class! Will certainly look into it, and if not this year, its the leading contender for 2013!
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • hi , a quick query re the taking of kids on the long europe trip in a camper , would you recommend it on the overall cost of purchase / hire against the standard dig around the interweb / travel agents ?

    thanks
    Enigma Esprit Di2 - Go tI ! Summer !
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,235
    Definitely! I reckon we did our summer hol last year for about £1300 all in (tickets, travel, tolls, fuel, campsites, food n drink) for 14 days away. Be pretty hard to beat that with most package holidays.

    Our hols was mostly in Grand Bornand, loads for kids to do, and even more cycling to be done.
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • nice one , thanks for the reply , food for thought and some discusion points with other half !!!
    Enigma Esprit Di2 - Go tI ! Summer !
  • I love the place. Love the place in summer!
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