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Biking in and around Itri for the price of a capuccino

Somewhere between Terracina and Formia, you'll find it. There's a stark pillar along the side of a winding mountain road. I assume it's either a milestone or the remains of one of the many monuments that line the Appian way.

Italy bike tour Appia milestone ItriThe bike ride to this pillar is phenomenal, and there are at least three good reasons to make the trip. First is the "Tomb of Cicero" at one end of the bike route. Most experts agree that this isn't the really the tomb of Cicero, but it's near the spot where he died and that's enough for most people.

Better than Cicero's tomb, the bike ride from Terracina to Formia passes through a park which includes the original remains of the via Appia, as well as several ancient Roman and Medieval buildings.

In fact, if you're riding your bike on the main road, you'll pass through the park several times. The road winds up the mountain in endless switchbacks, while the Appian Way shoots up in the classical straight line, defying gravity just as easily as she defied the Pontine marshes. You can ride your bike up this way if you choose to. I didnt.

But my favorite thing about this section of the Appian bike tour is the town of Itri. I hadn't meant to stay there, but I was intrigued by the scenery, the friendly locals, and the castle. After taking a long hot shower and stuffing my gullet with fresh pizza, I spent hours wandering around the dark, twisting alleys of the immense fortress on the hill overlooking Itri.

I can't tell you much about the history of the castle, but I'll introduce you to someone who can. On our next bike tour through southern Italy, one of my local contacts has offered to hook us up with an archeologist in Itri who can give a tour of the place. I asked him how much something like that would cost and he said, "some cafe in a bar, I assume, but not more..."

So if you're up for an expert tour of Itri for the price of a cup of coffee, not to mention a zillion other great experiences that you can read about all over my blog, get in touch with me and join us on this trip. The dates are May 15th-June 1st 2010, approximate cost is $1500 plus airfare and bike (rental, purchase, or transportation of your own rig), and I'll be happy to answer your other questions by phone or email.

5 thoughts on “Biking in and around Itri for the price of a capuccino

  1. MariaL

    We are so fortunate to now live close to ITRI.

    We are an English couple who came on holiday several times to this beautiful area of SOUTH LAZIO. In fact, we liked it so much that we decided to completely change our life, sell up in the UK, and we decided to make Italy our home. We have a new website all about this lovely region of SOUTH LAZIO:

    http://southlazio.shapcott-family.com
    http://itri.shapcott-family.com

    You can read about our new life in Italy at: http://trecancelle.wordpress.com

  2. Jacobbear

    Thanks Maria! Your websites are beautiful (I love the photos). I'll try to follow your blog and look for the two of your when we pass through Itri this spring.

    Jacob

  3. Garrett

    I would love to join you for a day or two between Rome and Naples. If you are still checking this just post some info here as to your schedule. I plan on doing the Roma - Napoli ride in August. I am aware of how hot it is but I live in Napoli and this will be my only chance to have the time.

  4. Hi Garret,
    I generally do this trip in May, so I won't be there in August. It's going to be hot, as I'm sure you're aware, but if you stay near the coast and focus on riding early in the morning you'll probably do ok. How is it living in Naples? (I've visited many times and loved it) Good luck with your bike tour!

  5. Garrett

    Sorry for my lack of clarity. What I meant to say was that I would like to join you for a day or two now, in May, and would like to find out what your rough schedule would be in the area between Roma and Salerno so I could meet up with you. Also, I plan on doing the ride from Roma to Napoli in August.
    Napoli is great, not always the cleanest city to live in but beautiful none the less. I always have a great time exploring the many treasures of the area and sharing them with visitors when we have the chance.

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