The Downhill World Cup and the World Enduro Series don’t keep coming back to northern Italy for no reason.
Between the Dolomites to the east and the Alps to the west, the north offers as much trail diversity as anywhere in the world, whether you’re looking to send it downhill, escape into the forests or keep things flowy, there’s something for everyone who loves to mountain bike, and the views will take your breath away.
Looking for where to start? We’ve teamed up with Green & Blue, a new initiative set up to promote adventure sports in the region, to give you a bit more information and highlight some of the best trails in Northern Italy.
1) Explore Endless Trails Bordering France and Switzerland in Piemonte
Piemonte is the second largest region in Italy. It is the “door” to the Western Italian Alps and borders both France and Switzerland. The whole region offers a wide range of sport opportunities including spectacular mountain bike routes, at all levels, in every type of environment and with top quality of services such as bike hotels, bike rentals and guides.
The Alpine resort of Bardonecchia is a true paradise for bikers and sport lovers, who can try their hand at a number of disciplines such as mountain bike, downhill, free ride and cross country. Two chairlifts and a gondola provide access to over 400km of tracks from an altitude of 1300 meters up to 3000 meters. Two Junior Parks make of Bardonecchia a perfect family friendly destination. We’d also recommend some of the shorter rides though. The Sentiero Paradiso is a route with some notable climbs but a lot of fun descent. The drop overall is 409m from start to finish, and it’s an incredibly panoramic route.
Sauze d’Oulx is a great area for freeriding and jump lines. The huge mountains on view from the trails will leave you staring on in disbelief. Just make sure you concentrate if you’re about to hit a kicker.
2) Ride From The Dolomites Down To Venice In Veneto
80 percent of the bicycle industry in Italy is based in the Veneto, and 29% of the entire place is mountainous terrain. This is an area that is big on bikes.
There are four main routes around Veneto. The Lake Garda – Venice route focuses on art. L’Anello del Veneto route is a trip which provides beautiful views of both water and land. La Via del Mare takes you along the Adriatic coast, and the Dolomites – Venice route provides the most spectacular views of all, taking you right through the famous mountain range.
The region also has a programme for seven day trips which allow cyclists to take in all of the above at a steady pace. One of the best has to be the Heart of the Dolomites bike tour. The route explores a range of mountain passes as well as offering up some sensational gastronomic options.
3) Explore 1000km of Stunning Trails in Emilia Romagna
The majority of the Emilia-Romagna region is either hills or mountains. It’s an area which includes part of the Apennine Mountains, one of the highest peaks of which is Monte Cimone on the Tuscan border.
Cimone offers a lot of great riding, although the trails in the area are largely aimed at cross-country and enduro riders. The trails are mostly natural but there are a few built-up features in there to bridge the gaps, and they’re also lift-assisted, giving you the best of both worlds.
Huge cross-country loops are a speciality of the area. There’s more than 1,000km of stunning XC trails and terrain in Cimone, and there’s a new trail, White Shark, which you can ride down from the highest point of the uplifts, Pian Cavallaro. Have your camera at the ready.