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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm planning a trip with the wife to Italy for this October. We'll be arriving in Milan and touring about a bit. I plan on bringing my bike and the wife may bring hers.

I've been to Europe with the bike a few times, but this will be my first time in Italy.

I've researched the forums and read the articles on Pezcyclingnews about great rides in and around the Lake Como area.

Looking for any other advice/suggestions as to where to go, where to ride and where to stay. I'd love to register for the 2010 Giro di Lombardia cyclosportif, but can't seem to find any information on how to do so...and it may very well be too late.

Any information welcome. About the only logistical issue I see is moving 2 bikes (and bike cases) around in the rental car. I've done it with one bike in a mid-sized car in Belgium, but 2 might be a stretch. We have hard cases for traveling, but perhaps cardboard bike boxes would be easier to store....???

Again, thanks for any advice.

mike
 

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duh...
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milano is a busy big city, but the airport is way out northwest. 2 bikes and cases might be tough in a rental- how about a big van? I know folks that have done that, worked well... or see if your hotel will store the cases. or store the cases at a train station. foldable boxes are not a bad idea, but you might find yourself in a tight spot if they get damaged/wet/etc. might be chilly up north in oct, at least in the am
 

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Rocket Scientist
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Last month I was just south of Milan in the Emilia Romagna region. There were some hills that we would ride every morning before racing in the evening and it was absolutely beautiful. Some of the nicest riding I've ever done. It's mostly wide open farmlands but the hills had these old farmhouses and beautiful vineyards. If you can get there and do some riding, I doubt you will regret it.
 

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Couple of years ago I did a tour with Velo Classic tours during the world championships in Varese. We rode each day out of Como. We stayed at Albergo Terminus, I think. There's a lot of beautiful riding around the lake and of course you need to do the Ghisallo climb up to the church. There's a few ways to get to the climb (my trip was guided so I'm a little fuzzy on all the details) but you should go up on the Bellagio side. From Como you could head up the west side of the lake then take the ferry across to Bellagio then up the climb. The scenery is great but I fouund the roads to be a bit busier than I expected. I was there in September and a light windbreaker was the most I needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the information. I did a velo classics tour back in 2006 to see Flanders and Roubaix. It was AMAZING. Since then, I've gone back to Belgium to see races on my own and ride on my own. Doing that tour gave me the confidence and some of the knowledge to give it a try on my own.

For this trip it's looking like we may be able to fly into an airport in the southern part of Italy, rent a large-ish car or possibly a van-ish vehicle and then ride and travel towards the north, ending up and around Lake Como. If all goes to plan on this, we'll be able to drop the rental at- and fly out of- Milan.

I've used my Garmin 705 to download course maps from Spring classics, so hopefully can get a loose schedule of citys/towns and rides and pre-load it all onto the device (and print up maps as a backup).

I expect the weather to be on the cooler/colder side (especially as compared to Fall in Texas!) with rain, especially in the northern part of Italy.

Anyone else with suggestions please let me know! This forum is one of the best out there for collecting other's experiences.

mike
 

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merckxman
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I would only add that the Ghisallo church and museum are both must sees; the museum you can spend quite a bit of time in, especially if you like looking at (famous) bikes in detail.

Magni is often in the museum...when you arrive ask if he is there...you may get to meet him.
 

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duh...
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merckxman said:
I would only add that the Ghisallo church and museum are both must sees; the museum you can spend quite a bit of time in, especially if you like looking at (famous) bikes in detail.

Magni is often in the museum...when you arrive ask if he is there...you may get to meet him.


no doubt... if anywhere near como you gotta go
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Plans starting to come together

Well, the plan is taking shape. We'll have a day or so in Venice, a day or two around Verona (suppose to be some good riding in that area) and then hopefully a day or two to ride the Stelvio Pass before heading to Como for Giro di Lombardia. Only worry I have is if the Stelvio will be open or not. A few websites suggest it is closed after September, but I don't know if that only applys to cars or cars and bikes. I'd like to think it wouldn't be snowed shut in early October.

Anyone with any ideas about Stelvio Pass???

mike
 

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I was a little concerned when I read about you trying the Stelvio in mid-October. I'm not completely certain when the roads become impassable because of snow in the Fall, but I know for certain that in the spring that it is not uncommon for them to be closed as late as Mid-May. I rode it early-June and they had a bunch of snow a few days earlier. Luckily, it seemed to melt in a day or two and we were able to ride.

You might need to call an audible if it is snow covered. Not sure where you are staying but if you are in Bormio, maybe climb west side of the Stelvio up to the Umbrail Pass, which meets the Stelvio road a couple hundred meters below the summit of the Stelvio. The Umbrail is a pretty descent in Santa Maria val Mustair. The west side of the of the Stelvio is not AS nice as the west but its not bad.
 

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Molto bene
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The riding in Como is some of the best. Verona is nice, but there are much better rides around Northern Italy. Verona as a tourist attraction is good for a day and no more really. Venice there is no riding obviously, but very cool city. Two different cities if you ask me. Day time is very different from the night life. The Duomo cathedral in Milan is very cool.

I can't wait to get back home from this deployment. I miss Italy.
 

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GeoCyclist
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Stelvio hit or miss on the weather

thebadger said:
I was a little concerned when I read about you trying the Stelvio in mid-October. I'm not completely certain when the roads become impassable because of snow in the Fall, but I know for certain that in the spring that it is not uncommon for them to be closed as late as Mid-May. I rode it early-June and they had a bunch of snow a few days earlier. Luckily, it seemed to melt in a day or two and we were able to ride.

You might need to call an audible if it is snow covered. Not sure where you are staying but if you are in Bormio, maybe climb west side of the Stelvio up to the Umbrail Pass, which meets the Stelvio road a couple hundred meters below the summit of the Stelvio. The Umbrail is a pretty descent in Santa Maria val Mustair. The west side of the of the Stelvio is not AS nice as the west but its not bad.
I rode over the Stelvio last June 12th, and it had only opened the week before I rode it. There was quite a bit of snow at the top the day I went over. I'm goingt to be in the Vecenza area the end of October, and I hadn't thougth to bring my bike as I figured all the high climbs would be snowed out. Thankfully, the weather is much warmer in Sicily!!!
 

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I would ride in the area west of Padova near Abono Terme and west. Nice roads. Even north on the way to Bassano del Grappa, you could wind your way off the main roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay, one more comment on my own thread to see if I can get any more information out of the brain trust that is RBR....

The trip planning for Italy in October is coming together nicely. We'll arrive in Milan and try to make it to a few of the Alpine passes in the north. I know there is a high probability that the passes will be snowed over (and unpassable), but I figure we might luck out.

I'm considering revising the plan away from having a car for the entire trip to either:

a) having a car for the first week in the north/alps/como and then returning the car to Milan and using the trains for the second week

or

b) using the trains for ALL long distance travel, with some riding and sight-seeing in between.

My wife is not 100% convinced we can get everywhere we'd like to get just using the train system. She is very experienced in getting around Europe by train, but is concerned about having the bikes. I've traveled a bit in other European cities with the bike, but always having a car.

The above options would require greatly reducing our baggage. We've read that there is storage at the Milan airport (***can anyone confirm or deny this???***), which will hopefully allow us to store our 'Biknd Helium' travel cases (I plan on posting a review of the cases when we return). If I can convince her that we can get by with just a medium sized backpack each (perhaps a Deuter Trans Alpine bag, each) and get her to cut down from tons of extra clothing to 2-3 outfits and 2 kits plus cold weather layering, I think we can do it.

We will not be riding fully loaded touring rigs, so would plan on covering major ground by train and going to specific locations for a day or two to sightsee and ride.

We'll spend around a week in the north, trying the alps and then Lake Como area before traveling south. We'll have around 10 days to visit Tuscany/Florence and then...???? I'm trying to find a way to get in amazing riding for myself and the wife (shorter distances for her) and see as much of the country as possible. Neither of us is too interested in spending a huge amount of time in large cities. We know from past experience that the smaller towns and villages are much more interesting.

Any advice on any of the above and any suggestions on regions/towns to visit would, as always, be great.

Thanks for reading and I'll post a few ride reports during and after this trip.
 

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I'd rent a car, will give you a lot more flexibility. I've always just used free cardboard boxes and ditched them. Then just find a box later to get it back home (I'm less worried about the bike getting messed up going back, plus I never take my favorite/fanciest bikes). Don't tell anyone but the area around Barolo (in Piemonte--south of Turin) has some great roads... Have fun!
 

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A group of us will be in Como for the Giro di Lombardia. Having ridden in the area for the last 9 years, I'd be happy to help with routes or guiding.

PM me for more info.
 

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morkm said:
Well, the plan is taking shape. We'll have a day or so in Venice, a day or two around Verona (suppose to be some good riding in that area) and then hopefully a day or two to ride the Stelvio Pass before heading to Como for Giro di Lombardia. Only worry I have is if the Stelvio will be open or not. A few websites suggest it is closed after September, but I don't know if that only applys to cars or cars and bikes. I'd like to think it wouldn't be snowed shut in early October.

Anyone with any ideas about Stelvio Pass???

mike
FYI - Here was the Stelvio Thursday at noon. Obviously it still looks open, but the conditions are getting dicey. It was 3 degrees celsius at the summit at noon.


 
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