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Italy - Day 11 : Unexpected mountain stage

woke up early. I had slept pretty well despite the music and the slope we were lying on. The camping also had a 'shower'. The floor was a wooden pallet and the walls were made of green garden fabric. The water came from a big box positioned on a hill. The water was luke warm at first and then turned cold. Still it was nice to shower in the outdoors. As soon as I turned the water off I didn't feel cold any more, because it was already 25 degrees outside. 

For breakfast we ate the melon and the bread we had bought three days ago. The first kilometers consisted of a steep descent over a bad road through farm villages. Afterwards we went uphill just as steep. The area was very nice and green.

I checked the GPS to see where we roughly were in Italy. We were now taking a shortcut to the alps. I remembered from planning the route that Bram said 'we can take a shortcut here, that would save some kilometers'. I had told him that it would be very mountainous, but Bram was convinced it wouldn't be that bad. The shortcut didn't help, because around noon we had only cycled 35 kilometers. It was a very nice area to cycle through though, with nice climbs and few cars. The second climb of the day was the Passo Xon.

Passo Xon

Passo Xon

At the top we searched for a supermarket. In Italy many supermarkets have no windows and their entrances were hidden in some corner. If we were lucky there would be a sign on the outside. Around two we started the last col before ending the Brenner pass. This one again was very steep, with some sections more than 10%. The summit was around 1300 meters, about as high as the Brenner pass.

Passo Pian delle Fugazze

Climbing the Passo Pian delle Fugazze

When we were nearly at the top we passed two cyclist on mountain bikes. It was a tough climb, especially because we had already climbed three other mountains this morning.

Passo Pian delle Fugazze

Passo Pian delle Fugazze

Passo Pian delle Fugazze

Bart at the Passo Pian delle Fugazze

Once we reached the top it would only be downhill to Rovereto, or so we thought. The descent was pretty. We went downhill gradually, perfect to cover some distance. We had a nice view over the valley. The plan was to have a relaxing descent for half an hour and then eat a good meal in Rovereto, we were getting hungry.

cycling tour italy
bicycling in italy

In the descent

After a few kilometers there was a sign 'road closed in 3 kilometers'. We didn't want to risk descending 3 kilometers only to have to climb back up again, so for a change we followed the indicated detour. Parallel to the river ran another road, but higher up the mountain. When we got there it turned out to be a small road that kept going up and downhill. We went up and down continuously and started to get pretty hungry, we were also nearly out of water. After half an hour we took a break to eat some nuts.


The last five kilometers to Rovereto were properly downhill. We felt we deserved a big pile of food. As we were hungry we bought way too much. We ate about half of it and saved the rest for breakfast. As usual, some old lady was hanging out of her window to watch us.

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We checked if there was a campsite within reach for tonight. Bram had scoured his groin by all the cycling. It was so bad even he applied lotion. I was also in pain, since the third day I literally had blisters on my ass from all the cycling. Those were nearly healed by now. There was a campsite in Trento, 20 kilometers away, and another one 30 kilometers.


The road from Roverto to Trento was nearly flat because we were cycling through the valley of the Inn river. It was about 7 o'clock and we had to choose between the nearby campsite, which lay off the route and involved a 5 kilometer climb uphill, or the campinsite 30 km away which didn't involve a detour. We chose the one further away.

In Trento a woman offered to give us directions to Bolzano. She said we just needed to follow the bicycle path and we would certainly get there. After two kilometers we had gotten lost already. Or rather, we knew where we were but the road was blocked and the detour ran straight through the mountains. We decided to turn around and find a better way. The roads were a mess and we cycled several loops through Trento while not getting any closer. Eventually we found the bicycle path at the end of a road indicated as a dead end. We followed it for a few kilometers until we again came to an intersection without signs. At least we could now follow the main road to Bolzano. It was relatively flat so we could make up for some lost time. We took turns cycling up front and averaged around 33 km/h the entire hour. The campsite got in sight.

We arrived at camping Obstgarten, in the middle of an area of fruit nurseries. It was a small campsite with a pond to swim in. We were still in Italy but there were only Germans and Dutch people. The owner was also German. He was friendly and it was nice he spoke a language we actually understood. The showers were great, with a thermostatic faucet and much water. We had second dinner in front of the tents.

Despite being behind schedule around noon we still cycled a good distance today.


Route of day 11


Height profile of day 11, all the mountains were in the beginning. Half way through the day we had cycled less than a quarter of the total distance (flag). 

Distance cycled : 152,6 km. 

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