Biking in Italy is a fantastic way to see the sights, but it’s important to keep safety in mind. After all, with hilly roads and new surroundings can lead to confusion and it’s important to keep aware of local customs. With that in mind, we’ve collected some tips that will help you keep safe (and on the right side of the law) while biking in Italy.
Cycle paths are mandatory – Italy has some fantastic bicycle paths and not only should you make use of them, you have to. If a bicycle lane or path is available and a cyclist opts for the roadway instead then they are breaking Italian law and can be subject to a fine. While our cycling trips are for road bikers, this is still important information to keep in mind.
Lights and reflectors – In order for a bicycle in Italy to qualify as road-ready it must sport yellow or white lights on the front and red lights on the rear, as well as a rear reflector, wheel reflectors and pedal reflectors on both sides of the pedals. It may seem strict to some but it is Italian law, and for your own safety.
No cycling on the Autostrade – The main system of motorways in Italy, also known as the Autostrade, is for cars only. So if you’re biking you’ll have to find an alternate route. This is actually a good thing, as the smaller roads tend to hug picturesque farmlands, vineyards and pass enchanting medieval towns.
Watch out for tunnels – In Italy it is against the law to ride your bike through any low-visibility tunnels without some kind of reflective gear or illumination device. Be aware of the heat – Italy gets quite hot in the summertime, so it’s important to stay hydrated. While the country has plenty of water fountains, you never know when you’ll get stuck on a stretch without some, so bringing along a water bottle is best. For long stretches we suggest a camelback or two water bottles. And don’t forget to slather on the sun block!
Don’t forget the basic road rules – While Italy may be a different country, most of the basic road rules still apply: stay on the far right side of the road, ride in single file, let other cyclists know you’re coming as you pass and obey all road signs.
Never bike without a helmet – This should go without saying.
Italy is an absolutely beautiful country for biking, full of breathtaking views and varied terrain; just make sure to keep safety in mind when you explore it. Traveling with a group and a local guide is a great way to ensure that you are informed about all the road rules in the area.
Eviactive offers a variety of biking tours that show off some of the best that Italy has to offer, with a team of experts who know all about biking safety. Visit http://www.eviactive.com/category/trips/italy-trips/biking-italy/ for more information.