Five Best Gran Fondos in Italy you have never heard of?
For many the ultimate cycling experience can be found in the home of cycling, Italy - which is unparalleled in cycling heritage and beauty
The two combine to put Italy at the top of most international cyclists' bucket lists, and with an abundance of organized cycling events catered for all levels of ability, it is little wonder that international cyclists attending Gran Fondos in Italy was up 28% in 2018!
Of course for many, the appeal of the larger more well known events, such as the Maratona Dolomiti or Nove Colli is obvious. I mean who wouldn’t want to ride the Maratona, should you be able to get an entry! However, the trend in recent years for the jet setting, international cyclist, is to search out for more "Authentic Gran Fondos", where the charm and passion of Italians is more evident.
These smaller, yet perfectly formed Gran Fondos offer an excitement and rawness not found in larger events. With less participants and very often, later start times there is also a less hectic feel compared to the larger events.
We have discovered the very best of these Gran Fondos:
1. Marco Pantani Gran Fondo
September 2nd 2018
The Marco Pantani Gran Fondo has in previous years gone by different names but the 2018 edition is rightly back in Cessanatico and boosting many special events to make 20 years since Marco’s 1998 Giro – Tour double. With three routes to chose from and an emphasis on celebrating one of Italy’s greatest sportsman, this weekend promises to be the biggest party of the Summer.
Italy Bike Tours says – "If you are interested in the life of Marco Pantani and looking for great weather, cycling and hospitality - this is for you"
2. La Felice Gimondi
May 6th 2018
Let’s face it, Bergamo is the best kept secret in Italy! The walled city is equally breathtaking as is it friendly. With Milan Bergamo airport only 10 minutes away by bus, this really is a great way to enjoy Italy over a long weekend. Felice Gimondi himself still takes part in the event and next year promises to have a Spanish twist as they celebrate his victory in the Vuelta a Espana. Lovers of the Giro Lombardia should consider this event as part of the route is based on the final monument of the year.
Italy Bike Tours says – "This is the perfect choice for cyclists looking for spectacular riding but have limited time."
3. Gran Fondo Squali
May 13th 2018
These guy’s really know how to put on a party. The Gran Fondo Squali has built a reputation for being the most welcoming mass cycling event in Italy. If you love the sea, great riding and eating fresh fish, then this is the Gran Fondo for you!
The name Squali means shark in Italy and the event starts at the towns' Aquarium and ends with a plate of fish as well as a pasta party. Only in Italy! The route is splendid with spectacular views of the Adriatic coastline before you ride into the countryside and vineyards of Emilia Romagan.
Italy Bike Tours says – "If you want to discover the essence of Italian cycling culture and cuisine then this is for you. It is also excellent for all the family."
4. La Fausto Coppi
July 8th 2018
This is without doubt, one of the hardest Gran Fondos in Italy. Offering an incredible challenge in the most beautiful of settings La Fausto Coppi can rightly consider itself to be amongst the best mass cycling events in Europe. The attention of detail by staff and friendly welcome make this the perfect destination for the international cyclist.
La Fausto Coppi is one of the few Gran Fondos in Italy where all riders wear the same jersey, resulting in a spectacular sea of purple. The food stations on several of the mountains are very welcome and offers plenty of food. The international cyclist can also look forward to an olympic feel in the procession of athletes the day before the Gran Fondo.
Italy Bike Tours says – "If you want challenge and then a little more challenge then chose La Fausto Coppi. Every bit as good as the Maratona Dolomiti but without the chaos!"
5. Gran Fondo Firenze
April 15th 2018
There are few places on earth more beautiful than Florence and it is little wonder that in recent years the Gran Fondo Firenze has become more popular with both Italian and international cyclists. The event is still small in comparison to other nearby Gran Fondos. A particular highlight for riders to look forward too is riding through the cobbled streets and over Ponte Vechio as you exit Florence.
Italy Bike Tours says – "A fantastic Gran Fondo and perfect for those looking to combine spending time in beautiful Tuscany with riding a Gran Fondo."
About Italy Bike Tours
Their unparalleled knowledge and expertise has resulted in the creation of market leading packages for cyclists looking for "the authentic Italian cycling cultural experience".
Their personable approach, attention to detail and International client base has led them to become the partner of choice - to Italy’s most prestiguous cycling events.
If you are thinking of cycling in Europe, then discover Italy with the experts - Italy Bike Tours.