Cycling in Italy

In response to a couple of comments on my previous blog, I have now reached Bologna, my destination, after 950 miles. Yes, Italy has been a rather different experience. The main roads are very busy and so often are the alternatives. While in France it was easy to find alternatives and really see France Profonde, that has been more difficult in Italy.

The towns, too, are different with several having a really significant number of cyclists. The centers are invariably pedestrianised or have traffic restricted, and that makes it very pleasant to cycle. The cycle lanes on the outskirts are mostly pretty lousy, and there are even examples of the Harlow type cyclists dismount signs where you have a cycle lane broken up several times with signs to say you no longer have priority – at least, though, they do not tell you to ‘bici a mane’, the equivalent of cyclists dismount.

The drivers are mostly pretty courteous to cyclists, though having trucks thunder by at 70 mph a few centimetres away is not an experience I want to repeat too often. Off to take the train a bit further south tomorrow, to Terontola. The four of us have bikes but we were sold tickets without problem. Getting on and off with our heavy pannier will be fun! Will report in next blog.

All in all, cycling nearly 1,000 miles has been a fantastic experience, an utterly new way of seeing two countries that I actually know quite well but I have learnt a lot.  People are always friendly to cyclists, which helps.

  • jeremy symondson

    Christian Good luck on your big bike adventure. My son got back on Monday from Cape Town he met a friend in Victoria Falls and cycled 4500kms with him, mind you his mate cycled all the way from Marble Arch on his own and at 20!

    Saw you on Coast last night, nice to put a face to a name, and what a great program.

    Our local MP David Liddington (Aylesbury) suggested writing to you about HS2. The preferred route 2.3 passes within shootine distance of my home and the preferred alternative route will pass below our Chiltern village which is Speen Bucks. The business case is flawed, the carbon footprint is 2 x emissions of 125 trains and is only less polluting than air travel assuming todays technology in aero engines does not improve.

    We have an active action group and you can access our website by Googling ” Speen website” and click on the HS2 microsite – the website is kept bang up to date and is a mine of info.

    Should your travels ever take you out to the Chilterns or if you are prepared to meet at a place of your convenience, I would welcome the opportunity to canvas your view on HS2 and put our case which may form the basis of future comment by yourself should you think it worthy.

    David Liddington MP who is agsainst HS2 though muzzled as a result of his ministerial role, values the editorial that you produce and believes your views and comments to be influential.


    Jeremy Symondson

  • Dan

    Jeremy – These are not, sadly reasons why HS2 should not be built – see other debates on HS2 blogs / articles on this site for some informed comments by supporters (like me) and others who question it.

    Christian – congrats on making it to Italy – look forward to hearing more about the bikes on trains experience.