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The southern Italy bike tour: How much will it cost?

A lot of people have been asking what it's going to cost to trek across the via Appia from Rome to Brindisi next spring.

I posted this on a separate page that I thought would just be for touring Italy by bicycle, but I'm still learning WordPress and the FAQs page is hard to find, even for me.

So I'll be putting up answers to the questions I get every couple of days. If you have another question, just leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Anyway, the money thing. The good news is southern Italy is cheaper than the north.Italy bike tour Capua repairs

When a mechanic in Capua charged me 5 euros to replace a bunch of broken spokes on my last trip (check out the picture!) I misunderstood and thought he said twenty-five. As I handed him a few bills, he shook his head and said, "No, non siamo a Roma." (We're not in Rome.)

Everywhere I went, I was surprised at the low cost (compared to Rome and Florence) of most things. But if you happen to remember the bargain days of the weak lira seven or eight years ago, prices are going to be a disappointment.

The most expensive part of this bike trip, of course, will be food and lodging. A double room at a hotel or bed-and-breakfast will usually be 30-50 euros in most towns, and twice as much in a big city like Rome. In some of the really remote villages you can get a nice room for 25 euros.

Campgrounds are usually 10 euro or less per person, but there aren't too many of them away from the coast. Luckily, Italians tend to have a more enlightened attitude towards stealth camping, as long as you keep the area neat and make it clear that you're not planning to stay.

Personally, I'd like to mostly stay in B&Bs on this trip. It's a great way to meet the locals, who will often tell you about their town and the local countryside. (I could write another gigantic post just on stories about these sorts of encounters).

But I'm willing and able to camp, too. Depending on what people want to do, we might have a "camping" bike ride in one direction, and a hotel/B&B going the other way. What I recommend is a mix of camping and hotels, with hostels in Rome, Lecce, and Brindisi.

Bottom line, if you can budget about 150 euros for biking and camping, or 500 euros for hotels, you should have enough. In U.S. dollars, that's about $200 to $800 for lodging.

This is a long post, so I'll talk about food in the next one.

2 thoughts on “The southern Italy bike tour: How much will it cost?

  1. Robert

    I came across your site. I'm just now toying with that very idea; however,
    it would be in late summer. My thought was to ride from the Italian Alps to
    the southern tip of the mainland. I've come across several resources with
    maps, but they seem old, and in Italian. Do you have any places for maps
    that identify road bike routes?

  2. Jacob

    Your best bet is to hit the book stores every time you're in a decent-sized city, and look for the local region's Touring Club Italia map. These maps are meant for cars, but you can see where the principle low-traffic roads are, and get an idea of the surrounding terrain. This will usually be enough to find the best route. In a worst-case scenario, use the books that are in Italian. You can still read the maps, and you can probably find someone to translate for you along the way. Good luck!

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