Experience Italy’s finest roads with Rapha Travel

Allow Rapha Travel to take you on a journey of discovery in one of the most exciting cycling locations in the world. You will ride spectacular roads, uncover the country’s rich cycling heritage and sample the best cuisine.

The focus of the cycling world is firmly fixed on Italy this month, as the first grand tour of the season offers a detailed insight into the incredible riding available to a visitor on two wheels. This is a country of vastly varied terrain, from the steep and challenging Dolomites mountain range in the north down through the lakes to the wine growing regions of Tuscany and Umbria and the sun-baked south, with its ancient ruins and spectacular coastal roads.

Best of all, you don’t need to be in a professional peloton to explore the wonders of Italy by bike. Rapha Travel’s range of holidays caters for cyclists of all abilities, often travelling along the very same roads as those ridden in the big races and taking in the best regions for cycling.

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Tuscany

The green heart of Italy has spectacular scenery, hilltop towns, rolling terrain and is the producer of celebrated Chianti wine. Tuscany also has miles of white gravel roads, upon which the Strade Bianche race takes place each spring, starting and finishing in Siena. These roads play host to another cycling event in the autumn, when thousands of cyclists mount vintage bicycles for the annual L’Eroica sportive that honours the heritage of Italian cycling.

Rapha Travel offers trips that run alongside the Strade Bianche each March, allowing you to ride and watch the racing. For more relaxed cycling we run a Vintage Retreat that includes entry to L’Eroica on Sunday 1st of October. We can even provide the vintage bike to ride on.
Our second end-of-season Retreat trip in October offers a truly relaxing Tuscan cycling experience that will take you through the country’s best wine making region.

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The Lakes

Flanked by mountains and edged by waterfront villages, the five vast lakes in the north of Italy offer breathtaking riding opportunities. Here you will discover some surprisingly testing climbs, the most famous of which rises above Lake Como and summits at the church of Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of cycling. It is a regular feature on the Tour of Lombardy.

Rapha Travel offers the Ascent Varese in May (now fully booked for 2017) and Ascent Lombardia in October, which coincides with the last Monument of the season, the Giro di Lombardia. The trip includes entry to the Gran Fondo Il Lombardia, meaning you will be able to watch the racing and then ride the course yourself over some of the most spectacular roads the Italian lakes have to offer.

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Dolomites

The great mountain range of northern Italy, and the setting of some of the most awe inspiring stories from the history of Italian cycling. The Dolomites are where you will find the mighty Stelvio, Gavia, Mortirolo, Giau and many more must-climb mountains for cyclists.

Rapha Travel offers a number of trips to the Italian Dolomites, each delivering a unique experience. Our Randonnee in May will ride you out to see the peloton on a Giro stage and our July event provides the chance to experience the roads ridden by the pros. The testing Cent Cols Challenge Dolomites runs in June.

Trips to the Dolomites have now sold out for 2017. Contact travel@rapha.cc to register your interest for our 2018 schedule.

Appennini

Appennini

The jagged peaks of the Appennini run 1,200km up the length of the country. This is where you will discover tiny hamlets perched precariously on the side of mountains and unspoilt tree-lined climbs that rise thousands of feet. The Appennini are a regular feature on the Giro d’Italia and offer a gentler climbing experience to the Dolomites but are no easy option.

Rapha Travel offers a Cent Cols Challenge through the Appenni each June, taking in 100 cols over ten days for one of the toughest tests known to cycling.