Cycling

Bicycle Shops in Italy:

Quality Bike Merone, Erba/Lake Como. The official shop of ComoLagoBike & Bottecchia dealer. Owner Gabriele is a former pro and wearer of THE pink jersey!

Chrono Bikes, Lucca, Tuscany. Owner Paladino is the unofficial mayor of Lucca and the source of all knowledge. Their shop rents gorgeous Pinarellos and takes groups out to ride among hillside olive groves and Luccan Alps. Their shop is also full of amazing bike goodies to take home.

Ciclismo Sport, Perugia, Umbria. Owner Luca was a fantastic help while I lived in Perugia for a month, one of those old salts full of knowledge and history. Plus his family drove me all the way back to Lake Como!

History of Gino Bartali:

Cycling Academy Gino Bartali Video, if this doesn't move you in its 5 minute duration nothing will. Absolutely inspired me to follow the path of Bartali to Assisi.

Gino Bartali Museum in Ponte A Ema a few miles south of Florence. A gem to visit and worthy of public support.

My Italian Secret, the documentary about Bartali and others who made it their life's duty to save Jews in Italy during WWII.

Road to Valor, the authoritative book you won't be able to put down by Aili and Andres McConnon


Travel

Helpful Sites:

Girl in Florence, blogger with excellent general tips for travel in Italy, and great resources for Florence. One day I may be brave enough to get my hair cut in Italy

Historic Lake Como photos by Foto Vasconi, because sometimes you need to see a collection of photos from life on Lake Como 100 years ago

Italy Bike Hotels, throw a dart on the map and find your next bike hotel destination!

Packing & Travel Tips for Italy, I put this list together to help organize myself and others when preparing for a cycling trip.

TrenItalia, trains in Italy are a phenomenal way to travel. This is their official site for schedules and buying tickets online. Download their app too.

Organized Tours & Activities:

Food Tours of Venice, can you handle 4 hours of easy walking around Venice learning about its history, stopping at small eateries, the fish market, and drinking wine? Yes you can! One of the highlights of my parents' trip.

Florence Shop 4 It, your personal shopping fairy godmother in Florence. Always wanted to buy that special something from real Florentine craftsmen but never knew what was authentic or where to go? Whether its shoes, jewlery, leather jackets, leather purses, or anything else on your list, Maren knows them all and like any good fairy godmother she will change your life!

Madonna del Piatto B&B Cooking School in the hills overlooking Assisi. She's a friend of our Seattle Perugia Sister City Association. I have yet to go there but I can't wait! Her cookbook is a love story to Umbrian food and her recipes never fail to impress (ooooh those cookies!).

Taste Florence Food Tour, can you handle another 4 hours of easy walking...this time in Florence? Balsamic vinegar tasting that will change your life, as well as all the meats, cheeses, chocolates, wines, and gelato you can imagine.


language

Learn Italian in Bellagio, Lake Como, I can't recommend Antonella enough. She has a gift for teaching language and grammar, and truly brought out the best in me, which is saying a lot! 

Percorso Italiano, Seattle, private or group classes, plus other fun activities in Italian like cooking classes and cinema reviews. Putting up with my language abuse for almost 2 years! :)

Universita di Stranieri, Perugia, has month-long or even 3 month immersive language courses at all levels. A longtime partner of our Sister City Association.