Rate this item
(0 votes)

7 most beautiful greenways in Italy by bicycle

What are the greenways of Italy? And what are the most beautiful to ride on a bicycle? I will try to give an answer to these questions, dusting off the itineraries we have already talked about abundantly on these pages and also trying to find new, little-known and in any case suggestive routes.

What are greenways?

According to the Lille declaration towards a "European network of Greenways" of 12 September 2000: "Greenways are communication routes reserved exclusively for non-motorised travel developed in an integrated way that enhances both the environment and the quality of life of the surrounding area.These routes should meet satisfactory standards of width, slope and surface condition to ensure that they are both user-friendly and low-risk for users of all abilities. In this regard, canal towpaths and disused railway lines are a very suitable resource for the development of greenways”.

greenways in italy

Going into a little more detail, as explained on the site of the European association of greenways, greenways must have common characteristics including:

  • Ease of passage: their slopes, with low or zero slope, allow them to be used by all types of users, including people with mobility difficulties
  • Safety: thanks to their separation from the roads, and adequate protection at intersections
  • Continuity: with adequate solutions and alternative routes for any difficulties
  • Respect for the environment: along the routes and encouragement to respect it by users

Furthermore, there should be useful infrastructures for tourists and cyclists and information such as maps and brochures to facilitate travel and knowledge of the surrounding area.

7 best greenways in Italy

Based on the definition given in the Lille declaration, I have selected some of the most fascinating routes that are fully included in the best greenways in Italy, aware that the list could be much longer and inclusive but also aware of the fact that if you manage to cover all these itineraries you will have already dedicated a good part of your time to exploring Italy by bike!

1 - Via Verde Costa dei Trabocchi (Abruzzo)

Length: about 42 km
Start/Finish: San Salvo / Ortona
Difficulty: easy
Recommended bike: gravel, road bike or touring bike
Young but already promising, scene of the start of the 2023 Giro d'Italia as it was for the Riviera dei fiori cycle path. The Via Verde Costa dei Trabocchi, practicable for now between San Salvo and Ortona but which will reach as far as Francavilla al Mare, is a coastal itinerary on the former Adriatic railway in Abruzzo. A spectacular route overlooking the water, with the symbol of this stretch of coast accompanying the cyclist on his journey. The trabocchi are, in the words of D'Annunzio, "machines that seemed to have a life of their own": real structures in which the fishermen lived and worked at the same time, allowing them not to go out to sea . Today they are often restaurants and, at the same time, tourist facilities.
You cycle between a jagged coast that is still partly untouched and lush vegetation in nature reserves alternating with seaside beaches.
3 places not to be missed
the port town deserves a stop to visit the Caldoresco Castle, the Cathedral and especially the Palazzo d' Avalos
Lido di Casalbordino
a beautiful beach not far from the mouth of the Sinello river, ideal for a break and a dip.
the beautiful medieval village that makes up the historic center of Ortona and its Aragonese Castle are a worthy ending to this itinerary.
trabocchi coast

2 - Po Delta Park (Veneto and Emilia-Romagna)

Length: various
Departure/Arrival: various
Difficulty: easy
Recommended bike: gravel, touring bike or racing bike
It does not represent a real itinerary, but a linear territory. A maze of towpaths and paths between canals and lagoons, between valleys and seafront. The Po Delta Park between Veneto and Emilia Romagna constitutes an ideal landscape to cross by bicycle in the right periods (spring and autumn). Long dirt roads away from traffic, practically no gradients and immense beaches where you can relax and take a dip at the end of the ride, represent a perfect mix for lovers of slow and peaceful cycle tourism. The dedicated page on the park's official website< /a> offers some bike itineraries to do in the day, giving yourself time for birdwatching, a swim in the sea or an aperitif in the many coastal towns, a bit like Romeo did in his weekend by bike in the park between the Ferrara beaches and Gabbice.
3 places not to be missed
from its symbol Trepponti (or Pallotta bridge) to the various canals that cross it, it is worth dedicating some time to visit the symbolic town of the Po Delta.
Saline di Cervia
if you love birdwatching or heartbreaking sunsets, the Cervia salt pans are the ideal place to stay and wait for the sun to go down, among cormorants, flamingos and herons.
Bosco della Mesola
one of the the last and best preserved lowland woods in the province of Ferrara, home to a good population of fallow deer and deer that can be seen at dawn and dusk.
saline di cervia by bike

3 - Tarvisio-Moggio Udinese (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)

Length: about 60 km
Start/Finish: Tarvisio Centrale / Venzone
Difficulty: easy if covered from Tarvisio
Recommended bike: gravel, road bike or touring bike
The most spectacular stretch of the Alpe Adria cycle path, between the town of Tarvisio, not far from the border crossing between Italy, Austria and Slovenia and Venzone, not far from the entry of the Fella river in the Tagliamento. This route winds along a section of the Pontebbana railway that was abandoned between 1995 and 2000 and redeveloped as a cycle route, inserted in the longest cross-border route that connects Salzburg to Grado, across the Alps. 90% of this greenway, redeveloped between 2005 and 2023 (the stretch between Moggio and Venzone should also be open by the summer), develops on a former railway and its great beauty derives precisely from the passage over spectacular buildings including 29 galleries and 16 bridges and viaducts, some of which in iron, over the Fella. 
3 places not to be missed
The starting point of this itinerary is an important ski resort in Friuli-Venezia Giulia but also a pretty mountain village where you can relax before starting your ride.
Julian Alps
The valley where the former Pontebbana railway runs is dominated by the high peaks of the Julian Alps, spectacular peaks to enjoy the view along the entire itinerary
Small but delightful medieval village devastated by the 1976 earthquake and rebuilt in conservative manner.
alpe-adria cycle path by bike

4 - Cycle path of the Trammino (Tuscany)

Length: about 13 km
Start/Finish: Tirrenia / Pisa
Difficulty: easy
Recommended bike: gravel, touring bike
Easy and short, this greenway among the youngest in Italy unites a city for which words are not needed - Pisa - and the Tyrrhenian Sea passing first from Marina di Pisa and reaching in Tirrenia. Until the 1960s, the "trammino" was a rail tram that connected the city to the seaside resorts on the coast. Between 2020 and last year, the Trammino cycle path was redeveloped on that ancient site. This itinerary is strategic for two reasons: it is a pleasant though not as spectacular route as others but above all it allows you to join two distinct tourist poles through gentle mobility: the art city of Pisa and the beaches of the Tyrrhenian coast. Perfect for families (although when entering Pisa particular attention must be paid to some crossings which it is hoped will be improved over the years), it can be an excellent excuse for a ride between one tan and another.
3 places not to be missed
Bocca d'Arno
pause to admire the retoni (similar to the trabocchi from Abruzzo) at the mouth of the Arno in Marina di Pisa with the horizon closed by the magnificent Apuan Alps.
Basilica di San Pietro
a short detour, about halfway through , will allow you to reach this wonderful basilica in Romanesque style, with portraits of popes up to the fifteenth century.
not too many words are needed to describe the wonderful Tuscan town, dominated by Piazza dei Miracoli, easily reachable from the end of the Trammino cycle path.
cycleway of Trammino

5 - Rossana Mallorca (Sicily) cycle and pedestrian path

Length: about 5 km
Start/Finish: Syracuse / Targia
Difficulty: easy
Recommended bike: gravel, trekking bike, mountain bike or touring bike
This choice will probably not be shared by many, mostly due to the state of degradation present on the cycle/pedestrian path. The proximity to the marvelous Ortigia, the absolutely important environment in which it passes and the low visibility in the media that this itinerary enjoys are valid elements, which made me opt for the choice of the Rossana Maiorca cycle and pedestrian path as one of the most beautiful greenways in Italy. The only 5 kilometers of track and the evident neglect that dominates along the way are elements to reflect on because this journey could really be a flagship of the Sicilian city.
Islands, rocks, gulfs and promontories characterize this wild stretch of coast a stone's throw from the city. You pedal under the high voltage poles used for the via ferrata, left as a reminder of the ancient use of the grounds, to reach the abandoned building of the former Santa Panagia station, near the former tuna fishery and quarry. Further on, before the end of the itinerary, you pass Porta Scea, the Greek entrance to the city.
3 places not to be missed
the island that houses the historic center of Syracuse is one of the many marvels of Italy: the cathedral, the many historic buildings and Greek temples represent a more unique than rare concentration of beauties.
Port Panagia
the former train stop, adjacent to the old tuna fishery, is exposed on a small fjord which makes the place enchanting and worthy of a stop.
Sculpture park
along the itinerary you pass various art installations present since 2015 and enclosed under the name of sculpture park. In total there are 10 works scattered on the cliff.
ciclabile rossana maiorca

6 - Brennero cycle path (Trentino-Alto Adige)

Length: about 97 km
Start/Finish: Brennero - Bolzano
Difficulty: easy
Recommended bike: gravel, travel bike, road bike
A long and by now well-known itinerary, a route partly on the site of a former railway and partly on its own layout or on low-traffic roads. An evocative itinerary that runs through the entire Isarco valley by bike up to Bolzano, where the river flows into the Adige. The route in question is mostly downhill and therefore also suitable for families, perhaps tackled in a couple of days in the summer. Anyone wishing to continue on a longer journey can do so in the north by entering Austria, in the south by crossing the border with Trentino, in the east by entering Val Pusteria from the village of Fortezza and in the west by pedaling towards Merano and Val Venosta. In short, this greenway represents the backbone of a large and well-established network on which to pedal for days and days.
3 places not to be missed
South Tyrol, being a borderland, is rich in perched and evocative castles and there are numerous those visible from the cycle path.
Novacella Abbey
not far from Bressanone, the abbey also houses a fine cellar and a stop for a tasting is more than recommended.
in recent years it has become one of the most bike-friendly cities in Italy and is the perfect landing point for this journey.
ciclovia brennero

7 - Sile cycle path (Veneto)

Length: about 52 km
Start/Finish: Treviso / Jesolo
Difficulty: easy
Recommended bike: gravel, trekking bike, touring bike
One of the safest and most rewarding itineraries on the entire Italian scene. On the banks of the river that crosses a large part of the Veneto plains, the Sile greenway connects the city of Treviso to Jesolo (actually, the GiraSile route inside the regional park begins much earlier than Treviso and is also part of the Monaco-Venice ). The itinerary is largely unpaved and very pleasant also due to the variety of environments it encounters, from the shady banks of the river to the sunny canal on the edge of the lagoon until it reaches the center of the town of Jesolo. Without a shadow of a doubt, with merit among the most beautiful greenways in Italy!
3 places not to be missed
Restera del Sile
the first stretch of the route follows the towpath (restera, where the oxen dragged the burci against the current) up to the archaeological site "cimitero dei burci", not to be missed (and where you can push your bikes by hand!).
Taglio del Sile
just before reaching the banks of the Piave Vecchia, take the seventeenth-century canal that diverted the course of the Sile and which runs alongside the lagoon.
better known for its beaches and summer nightlife, the town is still pleasant to cross by bike out of season.
greenway del sile

Say something here...
Log in with ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.


ITA - Cicloviaggiatore lento con il pallino per la scrittura e la fotografia. Se non è in viaggio ama perdersi lungo i mille sentieri che solcano le splendide montagne del suo Trentino e dei dintorni del lago d'Iseo dove abita. Sia a piedi che in mountain bike. Eterno Peter Pan che ama realizzare i propri sogni senza lasciarli per troppo tempo nel cassetto, ha dedicato e dedica gran parte della vita al cicloturismo viaggiando in Europa, Asia, Sud America e Africa con Vero, compagna di viaggio e di vita e Nala.

EN - Slow cycle traveler with a passion for writing and photography. If he is not traveling, he loves to get lost along the thousands of paths that cross the splendid mountains of his Trentino and the surroundings of Lake Iseo where he lives. Both on foot and by mountain bike. Eternal Peter Pan who loves realizing his dreams without leaving them in the drawer for too long, has dedicated and dedicates a large part of his life to bicycle touring in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa with Vero, travel and life partner and Nala.

Ride with us

Leave your e-mail here to get tips, routes and suggestions to start your bicycle touring experience

Join more than 17.000 bicycle travelers.
We wont ever send you spam!


To the top