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Bike Friendly Hotels

Go to: Guidebooks | Literature: what to read | The Bike | Packing your bike | Your Body: getting ready for the trip | Life in Italy

Some hotels welcome cyclists with open arms, trying to do everything they can to make life with a bike enjoyable for the traveler. I've started to accumulate an honor roll of hotels that have good food, good hospitality, and a desire to accomodate this bulky device that comes with the cycling hotel guest.

Le Marche. The area of Italy near San Marino, just east of Umbria and Tuscany, is an undiscovered cyclist's paradise. You'll be challenged by the hilly countryside, but it's as close to paradise as any cyclist will find.

Hotel Mamiani, Urbino. Via Bernini, 6039 Urbino (PS). Telephone 0722-322 309; Fax 0722-327 742. E-mail Website

This hotel is where cyclists want to go when they die. The buffet breakfast is fabulous and opens at 7:00. They let us check out as late as 2:00 PM so that we can ride our hearts out. The service is sensitive and caring, yet informal so you don't feel like it's your job to satisfy their expectations of you. They have a nice place to lock up the bikes. The restaurant next door has excellent and reasonably priced food. I paid LIT 240,000 for a deluxe double room with breakfast in April, 2000. Be sure to have them fax you a map. They are just outside the Urbino city walls and I always get lost no matter how many times go there.

Tuscany. This is a beautiful area where everyone wants to go to ride.

Hotel San Lino, Volterra. Via San Lino 26, 56048 Volterra. Tel 0588 85-250, fax 0588 80-620.

This hotel, situated in the little town of Volterra, took superb care of us. When we checked in, there was a sign behind the front desk announcing that breakfast started at 8:00 AM. In making the reservations, I failed to make sure that we could get an early breakfast. These fine people immediately started calling staff people at home until they found someone who could feed us at 7:00 AM. I won't forget that kind of service, ever. In 1999, we paid LIT 180,000 for a double with a good breakfast. Volterra is also very well situated for good riding. In the early spring, as D.H. Lawrence says, it can be windy.

Piedmont. This is the region just west of Milan, notably containing Turin and Cuneo.

Piedmont Cycling Resort/Hotel Ariotto
Via E. Prato 39
Terruggia 15030 (AL)

BikeRaceInfo friend Larry Theobald and wife Heather run the cycling operations of CycleItalia at this very bike-friendly, family-run hotel in the Monferrato hills, just one hour from the Milan Malpensa airport. The hotel is open year round but the cycling program is seasonal. Great cycling for all levels, two swimming pools, free guest laundry, bike garage/workshop. etc. + non-cycling activities like vineyard walks, shopping excursions and visits to artisan bike makers.

Umbria. Beautiful, rolling, gentle countryside that evokes childhood memories of those pictures of St. Francis. Escape to deserted roads that go on forever. love riding here. I love being here.

Hotel Duomo, Orvieto. Vicolo Maurizio 7, 05018 Orvieto (TR). Tel. 0763 341-887, fax 0763 341-105.

This hotel took care of us in a very personal way. They made a special breakfast for us so that we would be properly fortified for the ride, instead of just their regular sweet rolls and coffee. They also let us check out a bit late. It's just in sight of the magnificent cathedral of Orvieto. Orvieto has enough to keep you busy for days, and the area around the city was made for bikes. We paid LIT 90,000 for a double, but the hotel was scheduled for renovation, so the price is probably higher now. The owners also have a restaurant that features Umbrian cooking, "Tipica Trattoria Etrusca". We went back twice just for the "Umbrichelli", little hand-made pastas in tomato sauce. The very fussy Mauro Mondonico pronounced it excellent. An added benefit, the bowls of pasta were huge. Just what the doctor orderd after 5 hours in the saddle.

More travel chapters:

Guidebooks | Literature: what to read | The Bike | Packing your bike | Your Body: getting ready for the trip | Life in Italy