We have decided to shift gears for 2022 and take our mountain tour to the southern regions of Abruzzo and Molise. The mountainous national parks of the Apennines are quiet and have very little traffic with great roads. In the spirit of finding new routes and retracing mountain climbs from Andy’s Giro d’Italia days, we will make a grand traverse from Molise to Abruzzo, hitting three major climbs of the grand tour. Our primary goal is to ride through the national parks with stunning scenery, eat great food, and not be involved in crowds.
Most of our daily distances will range from 80k to 120k with 5 days of 2,000 to 2,500 meters of climbing.Book this tour
We will stay in three locations during this tour. Our first town of Isernia, in the province of Molise, has deep routes in ancient history, and the old part of the town will be our base for three days of riding. Our target climb here is the Campitello Matese; Andy raced it twice in the 80s and 90s, and the back roads to get there are timeless.
Our first transfer will take us to the region of Abruzzo along the Maiella National Park to Caramanico Terme and the small village of Caramanico Terme, a convenient position to tackle the Blockhaus the following day. We will ride up the hardest approach via Roccamorice, and descend through Lettomanoppello. Cute names for the hardest route up the 2,000 meter renown beast, where Eddy Merckx won his first mountain stage in a Grand Tour.
The last two days of riding will be based from the medieval village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio and the Gran Sasso National Park. Here we will get some good climbing including Campo Imperatore and manage some spectacularly long rides through the alpine meadows of the park.
We will see much less traffic in these mountains than our northern trips, but all riders need to be experienced for the climbs, and very capable on the descents. Our routes will tackle some of the longest and toughest climbs in the world with very technical descents. That means fun for those experienced enough for the challenge—come fit and prepared and you’ll do just fine in good company.
The trip is not well suited for non-riders because we are on our bikes for most of the day. However we have had non-riding guests come who had a great time. Write us if you are interested and we will discuss your interests and see if this would be a good trip for you.
The Apennine Mountains stretch from Northern to Southern Italy creating a spine of mountainous terrain separating the Adriatic and Mediterranean seas. Much of the central portion where we will be cycling has long been protected as national parks and provides an outstanding example of an untouched nature and an essential refuge for some of Europes most diverse flora and fauna, including one of the largest wild wolf populations. There are enough small villages throughout the area to support a great cafe and food culture (which we will be enjoying!).
This tour begins and ends in Rome with a pick-up location near Roma Termini Station.
We will begin the tour on the morning of Saturday, September 24 at 9:30 a.m. with a 2 hour drive to Isernia. Most flights arrive in the morning, so we recommend you come to Rome a day early. Our meeting location will be near the Roma Termini train station where there are plenty of hotels within walking distance to choose from.
You are responsible for accommodation in Rome prior to September 24. Please be ready for transport Saturday, September 24th at 9:00 a.m. at our confirmed meeting place.
We will finish the tour by returning to Rome on Saturday, Oct 1. after a short ride and lunch. We will provide hotel accommodation for this night near the Roma Termini station. There is a train that runs every 30 minutes to the airport, Rome Fiumicino (FCO), which has direct flights to the US.
Flights should be scheduled home on Oct 2 or after.
Write to us if you have ideas or questions about traveling in Italy before or after the tour.