Motorcycle Touring in Italy

From a motorcyclist's point of view, Italy is among the best places in the world for riding a motorcycle. Twisty roads, close distances between sea, hills and mountains - you only need to ride a few miles and the landscape changes completely. Excellent food, good weather and reasonable costs make Italy an attractive touring place for bikers.

Riding a Motorcycle in Italy vs. riding in the US

Riding in Italy is not the same as riding in the US. I personally enjoy riding in both countries but I think touring Italy is overall more enjoyable. Some people think that it is 'riskier' due to the Italian way of driving, but I consider it a lot more fun. If you are an experienced driver you will have no problem driving through Italy - and actually there is almost no better place to enjoy a bike. The hills of Umbria and Tuscany for example are really a 'gift from god' on a bike. But it is a really big treat to bike in practically all regions of Italy.

Can you make this up? The green signs are the directions if you take the autostrada (Pay toll) the blue signs are the directions toward the free road.

Riding in major towns: There are really thousands of little mopeds and scooters in all the major towns - you will have to watch out for them because usually they do not know how to drive, and if you are on a larger bike with less handling they will pass you from left and right or will even pass you while you are overtaking a car ... there are no rules for those damn little mopeds; then there are large scooters - watch out for those as well since they are usually driven by former car drivers fed up with traffic and parking problems but having little or no idea of how to ride a bike. Therefore, they are quite accident-prone.


Above Italian Police force show

Another difference is that usually Italians and Europeans when they ride for fun often ride two on a bike (men-woman believe it or not!) - oddly enough, in the US I see almost all single riders. Too bad...

another confusing road signOne more difference is that, at least here on the East Coast, people use the motorcycle mostly for fun as a recreational vehicle during the week-end. Italians use their bike everyday and the reason is simple: With a motorcycle you can cut through traffic, go first at the red light cutting between lanes, you can find easily park on the sidewalk. In the US there is no real advantage in going to work with a motorcycle : You cannot pass cars at a stop light or go through lanes, you cannot park unless there is a designated (car) spot. This is quite unfortunate for us motorcyclists who enjoyed the Freedom of Europe (or for that matter any other country in the world). I believe it is also bad for the country since motorcycles use far less gas, they do not use the same parking area as one of the most recent bus-Size SUV or Pick up track. Feel free to disagree with me however and send me a comment me on this one ...

Renting a large bike can cost some money but it is definitely worth it...There are places that also offer organized rides. If you need help / suggestions please go to the "contact us" form of life in Italy and send me a message.

For a smile you can take a look at Bob's video of riding a moped in Naples: Riding a Vespa in Naples

Riding on country winding roads: it is more or less like riding in the United States - I would expect no problem there. Riding on the Autostrada (highway): In the last few months Italy introduced the point system whereby each time that you are caught speeding you lose points on your driving record. This might slow down some drivers but until 2003 speeds were much higher than in the US - The speed limit on the Autostrada is 130 km/hr (about 80 miles/hr) but do not stay on the passing lane unless you are doing 140/150 km/hr (90 miles/hr) or you will see cars appearing at 2 feet from your tail light flashing at you, which I personally hate.

Ducati GT1000

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Comments

Saturday, May 23TH, 2009 by Guest

I have to disagree with you when you say they do not know how to ride scooters. They are brilliant, probably better than the average US rider will ever be. They pass you on the right and left, because that's the way. You have to take care to look round yourself if you want to change your direction. They are extremely good to use ALL the advantages of a scooter, and they do it well. If they pass you, that means you are really slow. Don't stick to the rules all the time. Where is the amreican freedome? At the end of the day, they invented the damn thing.
The other thing I think you may be wrong about, is that you think it is legal to be the first at the traffic lights. It is not legal in Europe, it is just accepted. You wont get shot for it. Even police will most likely to let you do it as long as you are sensible. Probably not all of them, but I have been riding in Europe for 13 years now, from Eastern Europe to the UK in many countries, and I've never ever had any problems pulling to the front at the lights. Even the strict german and the "scary" eastern european cops were cool about it. But it doesnt mean it is legal. You do it at your own risk. Like everyone else. You get more grief from other motorists when you do it.

Saturday, October 24TH, 2009 by Guest

I couldnt agree more...after spending a week in Naples recently I resolved to move myself and my Ducati to southern Italy as soon as possible.

Monday, December 05TH, 2011 by Guest

go to rome ,the bikers home ,this is a bikers paridise 

I would love to go to Italy!  It looks like a beautiful place

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Looks like a beautiful place to visit

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