It was a long time i didn’t have a bicycle trip. I chose south of Italy because of the mild climate and stunning views.
About the second i was right.
During the autumn of 2019 i noticed a new way to travel: the night train.
While browsing the official Italian railway website, i noticed this cheap and smart solution: it’s possible to take the train after work, travel on friday night and start to work hard from the next morning.
After many attempts i concluded that the best way had to be from Foggia to Naples by bike.
• What to visit
A bike trip is not something you can plan into details. It’s better to have a general road footprint and then improvise along the way. Even with a very detailed topography it would be a very harsh job to detect all the climbs, the viewpoints, etc.
Much better is to buy train tickets and get going.
The start is From Porta Nuova station in Turin at 2030 of a cold new year’s eve. The wagon is empty and the bike stays very comfortable. In other case a bike bag would have been needed.
The roads approching the big cities of Benevento and Avellino start to get worse. And i’ve lost my beautiful ski gloves, i bought in Cervinia in 3.18 after losing another pair. They were expensive. F**k.
Only 47′ to Benevento, and i visit Santa Maria de Episcopio cathedral, Santa Sofia church and Trajan arch. The last 2 are especially interesting. The Santa Sofia church is the first church in the world with octagonal plant, emblem of Longobardic power (after Pavia, Benevento was the second city for importance. During XI c. it has been one of the most beautiful and rich cities in the world).
Trajan arch has been built to celebrate the power of Trajan emperor, in the point in which Via Appia enters the city. You can consider the end of construction works of this work as the pinnacle of roman empire (117 AD).
The current roads are in wors conditions than in Via Appia, and with a bicycle without dampers you can feel it very well.
Avellino is quite similar to Benevento as size, but in my opinion is slighly older as concept. The only relevant thing is the Clock Tower: a baroque tower in dark tones built in the XVII c. on a previous clock tower. A Mobius strip.
Entering the road to Salerno is like changing season: starting from Montoro the road goes down quickly, and the temperature, just like the moisture, becomes pleasant.
Finally i can pull back the gloves and enjoy the sun. In Salerno i stay in B&B Enselude, a basic apartment in a very central position. I slept with the bike. Interesting are the local chinese restaurant (it’s always a pleasure to practise 中文) and the main cupcake shop of the city. Some calories for the 100 km of the day.
In any case Pompei it’s a quite magic place, where you can lose yourself in the ancient lifestyle. One thing that shocked my is the fact there were no sewer so all the sewages were thrown on the road. Bad smell i think.
At 1830 i visited the center of Naples, with a bad reputation, and crowded. Except the station part, Piazza del Plebiscito and the 4 surroung buildings, Castel Nuovo and Castel dell’Ovo attracted my attention. A strange curiosity i found in Piazza del Plebiscito is the large amount of people crossing it blindefolded (i ask my self… why?). I put the bicycle in the exact center of the square and they were all trying to run over it. There must be a legend linked to the 2 equestrian statues of Canova in the middle of it.
In any case i tasted a deadly combination of calories: Sicilian cannolo and broken down Baba’. Actually i ate the second on the train but i want to point out HOW TASTY IT WAS. Practically you make the Baba’ and then you cut it, drowing it into chantilly cream and chocolate. Much better thant the breakfast offered by Trenitalia.
In Via Toledo, in Quartieri Spagnoli, it’s possible to find many pastry shops and bag-snatchers. Pay attention!
• What to eat
In this are is possible to taste several snaks such as
• Hot to get here
Since i’m under 30, Trenitalia gave me a lot of benefits about my trip, like a 50% discount for the night train.
The InterCityNotte 757 leaves Turin at 20:20 and reaches Foggia at 05:28 (~9 h travel). The return from Naples “InterCityNotte 796” starts at 21:46 and arrives at 08:02 (10:15 h travel).
You will have wagon and bed reserved and stated in the ticket.
Especially in Irpinia are, the ground is very hilly. With a bicycle you could be called for many climbs, if you want to visit interesting places (for example Ariano and Savignano Irpino)
Even though your’re in south of Italy, the climate in the hinterland is quite mountainous. At the end is like cycling in the north of Italy.
In those area the hospitality of people is laudable: If you are in difficulty, it’s probable you will find many persons available to gives you halp. Try to recognise their efforts.
Crime rate is quite high, maybe to balance the huge number of willing people. Pay attention.
A small footage i made to kill time in south of Italy:
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