I’ve received an email from Giulia of the Italian national cycling organisation, FIAB. I had emailed her asking about possible contact that may be of use when I cross the north of Italy from Slovenia in the east to France in the west. More on that at a later date but she has also sent some information and web references about the route of the Eurovelo 8 in Italy. The Eurovelo 8 is very much like the Eurovelo 5 (the route I cycled in 2010 from the UK to southern Italy) in that it seems to piggy back for much of the time on pre-existing national and regional routes. Over to you Giulia;
“As for the route, the Bicitalia website is now richer of info than two years ago, and you can download the entire Po river route (gpx files) on both sides. Eurovelo 8 is actually longer than the Po river route and the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia parts have not been uploaded yet, but they should [be there] by next summer. Patience is needed as the website is very slow.
Here [are] the links:
EV8 south (coming from France)
EV8 north (going to Slovenia)
Hope this helps.”
It certainly does, thanks. Giulia then goes on to mention accommodation telling me that the FIAB has developed a network of bike-friendly places to stay overnight called Albergabici. There is a website: www.albergabici.it I’ll certainly be investigating that.
For some reason I had it in my head you were doing it Spain -> Greece, but I see you are going the other way.
I was looking at the Italia routes you mention in your article. I have climbed Tende (on the south route) and it is a relatively gentle climb until the last 10km. I have been up it a few times (http://www.flickr.com/photos/piemanpete/8094783006/) and is definitely a good climb on a nice day. I havent been down the french side but it is unsealed for a bit but nothing a touring bike can’t handle.
Depending on where you do plan to cross, I have done Col della Maddalena (SS21) and it is a bit of a slog and probably puts you too far north. I haven’t done Isola which is slightly more south but heard it is also a bit of a slog and climbs just as much as the Maddalena route in less distance. Agnello (even further north) is stunning but make sure you have a nice granny gear or otherwise you’ll be pushing 🙂
For the absolute easiest option I would suggest the valley down to Savona. It is not the nicest of routes if you follow the main road but there are plenty of alternative (read hillier) routes you could take to the coast. One such option is on the old Napoleon trail which might be of interest.
I have a few saved maps of rides I have done in the area if you wanted any ideas for route planning through the Cuneo region.
Excellent! Thanks for that Pete; I’ve elevated your comments into a full post – see above!
There is a slight mistake in your text. You will be crossing into italy from Slovenia and not Slovakia, since Slovakia has no border with italy ;-).
Yes, sorry! I have a friend who is in Slovakia this weekend & so it is on my mind; I’ll change it quicker than you can say Czechoslovenia! Err…