best motorcycle roads in Italy

Best motorcycle roads in Italy – plan your trip

From North to South ride the best motorcycle roads in Italy, explore its fascinating places and admire the beautiful architecture and views that take your breath away.

When you google what is Italy famous for?, the first 3 things that pop up are gelato, pasta and the Colosseum. And this is all good but, what we are really interested in, are its curves. Surely a woman with curves is smoking hot, but what about a sexy road? Or 9 of those for that matter?

From the high alpine passes to the rolling hills of Tuscany and the balcony road of Amalfi Coast, Italy shows some serious curves that entice and excite motorcycle riders all over the world.

Forget about Dolce far Niente (the sweetness of doing nothing), let’s go outside and explore some of the best motorcycle roads in Italy.

You might ask yourself what devious (or genius) mind would construct such narrow, abrupt roads, that still service both ways making your heart pump like never before? Well, Italian engineer Carlo Donegani is responsible for what is considered to be one of the best roads in the World, Stelvio Pass.

1. Stelvio Pass – SS38

A high alpine road in the north of Italy, right on the border with Switzerland, Stelvio’s highest point is at 2757m, making it the highest paved mountain pass in Eastern Alps. The original road was built in 1820–1825 by the Austrian Empire to connect the former Habsburg possession of Lombardy with Austria. The route has changed very little over time.
Where: from Prato to Bormio
Lenght: 21 km
Turns: 75 hairpin turns, with the 48 curves on the northern side being known to be particularly very challenging.
Incline: average percentage is 7.4 %
When: from June to September
Ride the road during week-days, early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Jeremy Clarkson from BBC’s Top Gear on Stelvio Pass: “15 miles of Asphalt spaghetti draped on an Alp”.

2. Great Dolomites Road

The Dolomites are a mountain range in N-E Italy. This magnificent mountain route crosses the Dolomites passing trough South Tyrol, Trentino and Veneto and it is one of the most scenic routes in Italy. In 2009 the Dolomite Mountains were declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is considered one of the best motorcycle roads in Italy.
Where: from Bolzano to Cortina D’Ampezzo
Lenght: 110 km
When: from June to September

Best Motorcycle Roads Italy
3. Lake Garda

The largest lake in Italy – Lake Garda is one of the most scenic roads in the World and a popular holiday destination. The lake offers some wonderful beaches for swimming, perfect to relax after a hot day on the motorcycle. North Eastern shore of the lake, with Limone sul Garda, offers some stunning views and best photo opportunities.
Length: 140 km
about 2h30min ride
When: Spring and autumn are best as it will be less busy and give you the chance to really immerse yourself into Garda vibe. June to August is the busiest time of the year, and hotel prices sky high.
We recommend to spend here a minimum of two nights in order to fully enjoy the atmosphere. Especially since the region hides the 8th Wonder of the World, Tremosine Canyon, a.k.a. Strada della Forra.

4. Strada della Forra (SP38)

Scenes of Daniel Craig (007) driving an Aston Martin on Strada della Forra made their way around the World. James Bond escape scene was filmed right here.
Hairpin bends, dark, narrow, rugged tunnels and fantastic views over Lake Garda lead you to Tremosine Gorge.

Where: shortly after Porto di Tremosine on the left, the road will take you on SP38 to Strada della Forra.
Important: If you are tempted to enjoy the ride on reverse, please note that the road services only 1 way during certain hours for a distance of 3 km (for Tremosine Gorge), 1 way starting from Lake Garda shore. This might spoil the fun a bit, making your trip longer than anticipated. With the road being very narrow, and the traffic open for busses as well, 1 way was imposed during certain hours to ease traffic.

We recommend you to ride the entire SP38, leading from Tremosine Gorge to Piovere. You’re in for a treat. A narrow, twisting road, going up and down in the shade of the forest, a challenging, yet rewarding motorcycle ride that makes your blood boil. Remember to stop at the Belleview points to admire the panoramic view over Lake Garda and to enjoy an Italian expresso, so strong that your teeth get crooked.
Length: about 20 km long
Duration: 40 minutes

Best Motorcycle Roads in Italy
5. Lake Como

Passing through small Italian towns and villages from Colico to Lecco, SS36 is a short, smooth, scenic drive on the lake shore. Don’t miss out riding up on Piano dei Resinelli, on a narrow, winding road up to one of the most superb views over Lecco – Belvedere Parco Valentino. 15 hairpin turns will not only raise your adrenaline level but also the hair on your head, especially when meeting a car coming from the other side.
You say narrow road we say Italy.
Length: 60 km
Duration: 1h20 min to Piano dei Resinelli
You can find a nice camping site right opposite the entrance to the park and a small restaurant to catch your breath and gain some strength.

The walk to the Panorama view point takes about 30 min on a relaxed pace. Park your motorbike and change into something more comfortable. The walk will reward you with a view that takes your breath away.

6. Chiantigianna – the wine route of Chianti

Rolling hills, olive groves, Italian villages and charming castles surrounded by vineyards basking under the Tuscan sun – this is the wine route of Chianti. This is Chiantigiana.
Where: from Florence to Siena, SR222
Length: 70 km
Duration: 2 hours

Stop at Castello Vicchiomaggio and make a visit to the wine shop. If you spend the night in the area, dare to enjoy a wine tasting session. If you still ride for the day, buy a bottle of Chianti classico and continue your journey.

7. Amalfi Coast – SS163

Referred to as an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape by Unesco, Costiera Amalfitana is one of the most scenic drives in the World, that is if you ride it outside summer season, during week-days and early in the morning. Otherwise, you’re in for a frustrating journey, on a hot summer day, on a very crowded road, not being able to fully enjoy the experience. Although narrow in part, busses are allowed, cutting the already sharp corners – making the connection between the 13 cities on its shore.
Where: from Sorrento to Cetara
Length: 55 km coastline
Duration: 2 hours
If you are around Grotta dello Smeraldo (Emerald Cave) on a sunny day, you might be lucky enough to visit the cave. The clear sea water kissed by the rays of sun creates water reflections out of this world.
When: Spring/Autumn, outside the summer season to avoid the crowds. Week-days are preferred to Week-ends. Early in the morning to better feel the riding experience.

Best Motorcycle Roads in Italy
8. Costa Marateea

Black lava beaches and shimmering turquoise blue sea make Costa Maratea’s landscape splendid. With a spectacular coast line, Costa Maratea – rivals with Amalfi Coast. Wilder, less travelled, Maratea is pure bliss even on a stormy day. If you add in the twists and turns, you got yourself an adventure.

9. Orientale Sarda Road – SS125

A sophisticated Italian island, Sardinia is known for the Emerald Coast, with turquoise/emerald waters, sandy beaches and some fantastic roads for motorcycle riders.
A narrow, winding road snakes through the Sardinian country side. SS125 – Orientale Sarda is a rare find and one of the best motorcycle riding experiences you will ever have.  A balcony road making you feel like having tickets to a symphony of twists and turns followed by straight sections, and some more bends. And you have the best seat in the house!
Break, lean and pull the throttle again to ride like a storm trough the next strait section.
From: Arbatax to Dorgali
Lenght: 68 km
Duration: 1h40min
Sheep, goats, and the amazing smell of flowers all over the island. Sardinia is in full spring in late October.
When: from Spring to Autumn. Best to avoid the crowds during full summer season.
How to get here: by ferry from Civitavecchia (near Rome), Napoli, Palermo (Sicilia) to Olbia or Cagliari

Gas prices:

In south of Italy, some highways are free and gas stations have different prices for the same product. Gasoline prices range between 1.65 euro to a little over 2 euros/liter. The difference is if your self-serve or if someone else fills the tank for you. Either way after a few days on the roads you will fill and spill using all languages of the world.

Join us on a fabulous motorcycle tour in Italy riding the most fascinating roads in the World and discovering the real meaning of dolce far niente. Be it on a luxury motorcycle tour with high end accommodation and plenty of relaxation or on a pure adventure tackling the rugged alpine passes, you are in for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Colossal Alps Motorcycle Tour – takes you on some of the best motorcycle roads in Italy’s northern region, riding up to the highest peaks of the Alps
Luxury Motorcycle Tours Europe gives you a more relaxed pace, exquisite accommodation, beach bars and the taste of Italy on a plate. All completed with a twist of Corse, an island belonging to France at a stone’s throw from Sardinia.
Contact Adventure Motorcycle Tours and plan your journey.

Add your personal favorite motorcycle road in a comment below or add to the list.

Claudia PALFI
World Motorcycle Traveler &
professional Tour Guide

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