London to Rome route

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Christoffee
Posts: 38
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 9:58pm

London to Rome route

Post by Christoffee »

Hi guys and girls,

I'm looking to do this camping tour June next year. I've had a couple of posts regarding Alps, and a tents but now it's looking more relaistic, I want to work out the route I will be taking.

I'd really appreciate any advice, or past experience on routes from London to Rome from anyone. My plans are somewhat loose at present - cycle to Brighton, might go to Paris with a mate, then onwards on my own or if going on my own would skirt south east of paris to shorten the route a bit, down to Saint Etienne, across the southern French Alps, and then down to west coast of Italy to sunny Rome.

Any advice re: route and reassurance on how many campistes are available woudl be great.

Many thanks in advance,

Chris
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MLJ
Posts: 536
Joined: 15 Jan 2007, 11:48am
Location: Rugby

Re: London to Rome route

Post by MLJ »

Try this site:
http://www.pilgrimstorome.org.uk/
it's the Via Francigena
Captain Morgan
Posts: 25
Joined: 15 Jul 2008, 8:41am

Re: London to Rome route

Post by Captain Morgan »

You won't have any problems finding campsites in France at all. I've just got back from a route that passed through Torino-Grenoble and then east of Paris. The main downside is how flat the north of France is, but it should be easy anyway. If you're bored by flat farmland, I'd definitely reccommend going with the friend to Paris.

Part of my trip also included the route from Rome to Florence. I met a number of people doing such a pilrimage, and though campsites are a little thinner on the ground I used the michelin map with campsites on which only let me down on one occaision (and I found a replacement that time). It might have been quite hard to be sure of finding one without the map even though the off-map campsites are often best. If you head for sizeable lakes you're quite likely to find a small friendly one there. Also it can be a bit hard to wild camp since there's a lot of industry stretching along a lot of roads and Italians tend to be quite strict about rules.

If you're interested in my route, I can tell you where I went, but I haven't done any other trips in the same area so no idea how it compares to any other route.
nirakaro
Posts: 1263
Joined: 22 Dec 2007, 2:01am

Re: London to Rome route

Post by nirakaro »

I did London-Rome three years ago on (approximately) the Via Francigena, and camped at: Calais, Bruay (wild camping), Bapaume, Peronne, La Fere, Guignicourt, Chalons-en-Champagne, Dienville, Clairvaux (hotel), Langres, Champlitte, Geneuille, Pontarlier, Orbe, Vevey, Martigny, Brig, Mergozzo, Orta, Vigevano (wild camping) Fidenza (hotel), Berceto (wild camping), Sarzana, Pisa, Montopoli, Siena, Lago di Bolsena, Vetralla (hotel), Roma. Captain Morgan’s right, north-east France is a bit dull, and Paris is pleasant to cycle in.
Personally, I don’t find campsites in France to be quite as ubiquitous as people say. You nearly always find one, but it can get a bit anxious at times: might be worth looking them up before you go (unless you’ve got mobile internet!) The southern French alps are lovely, nicer I thought than Switzerland; I did the Col de Larche this year, and would recommend it if it fits your route.
Campsites in Italy are easy to find in touristy areas – alps, coast, lakes, honeypots like Pisa, Florence, Siena; otherwise I saw very few, and yes, wild camping is not easy. I think the coast of Liguria is extremely hilly, whereas if you follow the Po valley, it’s utterly flat and you can really eat up the miles. The SS62 over the Cisa pass is a nice way to the coast.
The Italian coast is easy riding, but shockingly over-developed; might be worth considering a harder but more interesting inland route south of, say, Pisa (which incidentally has an excellent campsite).
adam06
Posts: 15
Joined: 22 Jun 2009, 2:01pm

Re: London to Rome route

Post by adam06 »

hi, i just got back from my first cycle tour from Canterbury to Rome. we followed the pilgrim route even know we arn't religious. we used these 3 small guide books:
Canterbury to Besanon
Besancon to Vercelli
Vercelli to St Peter's Sqaure, Rome
http://www.google.co.uk/products?q=ligh ... gena&hl=en

they are written for house riders, walkers and mountain bikers, but we used the maps and stuck to the roads. they are very handy and i recommend them... we didnt have to buy any maps. they also provide you with locations of campsite, hotels, youth hostels and religious hostels (set up for people doing the route... you pay a donation of about 10euros a night... useful in Italy where camping is poor.) it also provides a price guide for the accommodation. we spent quite alot of time wild camping. oh an if you are doing it on a budget and have a partner European campsites charge per person and per tent... so share a tent.

before setting off on this route i wasnt very fit and hadnt been training.. last minute thing..only got my bike a week before i left and had not cycled with panniers before. i found the first full day a slog.. but after that i was fine and found i got alot fitter as i went on. found the st bernards crossing of the alps not too hard going.

finally i warn you that the traffic is terrible in rome... my friend got knocked off her bike an ended up in hospital the day we arrived. this route takes about 3 and a half weeks going 50miles a day.

if you want any more info its all still fresh in my mind so just say!
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Christoffee
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Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 9:58pm

Re: London to Rome route

Post by Christoffee »

Thanks for your answers, very helpful indeed.

I was planning on cycling on my own and would stay at campsites unless I couldn't find one and then either B&B or wild camping depending on the situation...

I did a mini tour with no practice, carrying a tent, change of clothes and snacks and managed about 50 miles per day at about 13mph, although was shattered by then end of each day, but I'm planning on doing more cycling (16 - 30 miles work commute 3 - 4 times a week, 50 mile+ weekend ride, and a 2 - 3 hour weekday evening ride too, and an event every month or so largely because I'm going to need to be able to do it in less than 3 weeks, so will probably try to average 60 - 70 miles a day.

Does anyone know a good way of finding available camp sites in Italy or France, (although even google is helpful in France!)and can anyone recommend good passes (ie scenic and not too high or hard) passes in the alps (again relatively speaking).

Cheers

Chris
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