A Guide to Road Cycling in Northern Italy’s Mountain Ranges
For anyone on a quest for the most picturesque, rewarding landscape that’s perfect for a road cycling holiday, we can think of few places to recommend more highly than northern Italy’s mountainous regions. Of particularly spectacular scenery are the Italian Alps and Dolomites, where exhilarating climbs and descents make for thrilling rides and the close proximity of passes offering uniquely breath-taking panoramic views provides memories that will last a lifetime.
Road cycling in the mountains offers the ideal terrain for those of us that relish the opportunity to add challenging climbs to our list of cycling achievements. The rewards of each epic pass that northern Italy boasts are second-to-none; awe-inspiring scenery, welcoming hospitality, world-class food and drink plus a wealth of bike facilities make the Italian Alps and Dolomites the ultimate destination for any avid road cyclist.
How the Giro d’Italia Paved the Way
These cycle-friendly mountain ranges are frequent backdrops of the Giro d’Italia, one of the most important and popular bicycle races and lauded as the world’s most beautiful bike race. Since the inaugural Giro d’Italia in 1909, this iconic tour has gone ahead without fail every year except during the two world wars. With the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 Giro d’Italia, it’s more important than ever to remind ourselves of the impact this multi-stage race has had in bringing people together in Italy and the world over.
The fist Giro d’Italia was dreamt up in order to increase sales of La Gazzetta dello Sport. The ‘maglia rosa’ pink jersey, worn by the overall leader of the Giro, was chosen to represent the pink paper of La Gazetta. Today, the race is run by RCS Sport, a subsidiary of that newspaper’s owner. As well as the Giro, RCS Sport organises the Milan – San Remo and Tirreno Adriatico road cycling events, as well as the Milan Marathon.