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Update on the via Appia/Italy bike tour

Last week I had a conference call to hash out some bike tour details with my fellow riders. If you're on my email list you'll get a message about this. If you're not, but you'd like to be on the list, just shoot me an email: jacob "at"

An actual road sign in Puglia, Italy. Which way to Corato? I asked a farmer, and he said "straight ahead."
An actual road sign in Puglia, Italy. Which way to Corato? I asked a farmer, and he said "straight ahead."

We're going to be touring from  May 16 through June 1st, 2010. On June 2nd we'll be driving a rented van with our bikes back to Rome.

This is longer than originally planned because we're not ending the tour in Brindisi. We'll head south to Lecce, which is a beautiful city with a rich history down in the very heel of the Italian boot. I've never been there, but an Italian I met on the plane during my last trip told me it's "The Florence of Southern Italy."

The longer schedule is also going to give us a lot of time for a long, leisurely trip, with a couple extended stops along the way for rest and laundry.

I'm hoping to arrange a group ride with the Terracina Cycling Club, and a couple of archeologists in Itri and Aeclanum may give us special tours. We're also going to stopover for 2 nights in the Venosa/Gravina/Matera area so we'll have plenty of time to see the sasse (beautiful caves that were used as homes and churches for centuries) and several other amazing sites that are off the usual tourist path.

After talking it over with a few people, it seems to make sense not to camp on this tour. We won't save a whole lot of money by camping, because the areas where camping is available tend to have the nicer and less-expensive lodging options.  We'll be staying in agriturismo spots most of the time.

Expect to spend an average of 60 euro per evening for lodging. This will usually include breakfast and sometimes dinner. (Keep in mind that the portions will be very small by bicycle touring standards!)

You can save money by sharing a room. I'm willing to take on a room-mate, as long as you don't snore! Let me know if this interests you.

It looks like there won't be enough people to get group discounts on anything, so I'll leave it to you to take care of your own plane tickets and bikes.

If you bring your own bike, we will have a van so you can carry it back to Rome at the end of the tour. I'm planning to either rent a bike there or buy a cheap one at the Roman flea market, Porta Portese. I'll help you with this, if it's what you prefer.

That's it for now. Keep in touch, and I'll see you in Italy!

3 thoughts on “Update on the via Appia/Italy bike tour

  1. Jim Pollard


    I'm planning to do a cycling trip in Italy but I'm not sure on how to go about it. I've recently done a trip from Canberra to Sydney 10 days just camping where I want and eating where I want. It was great fun so I want to do something similar in Italy. Any tips would be helpful.

    Jim Pollard

  2. Jacobbear

    Hi Jim! That's my preferred mode of travel, too, even though I'm trying my hand at organizing a more structured tour. You'll find more campgrounds along the coast of Italy than you will further inland, but stealth camping is always an option. As long as you don't make a mess, nobody will ever bother you. Once you know roughly where you want to go, I suggest you buy a Touring Club Italia map for each of the regions you'll pass through (the full map on Italy won't have enough detail), and then plot a route along the secondary roads. Be sure to talk to the locals along the way, because they'll suggest the best roads to take and things to see and do along the way. Good luck, and let me know how it all turns out.

  3. Ashrafuzzaman

    I just took a look at all of your photo work here Looks really good. I just wish my black pick-up was a llitte bit older so I could take it to the shows. Maybe I could still have you put it in a photo of some interesting place I've never actually been. Anyway, you have a very cool idea going here. I'll tell others about it for sure!!

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