When in Rome, do as the Romans do – hop on a bicycle and hit the cobblestones! Italy has a long and storied history of all things cycling, and the number of cyclists in its capital city has been growing steadily
Italians buy nearly as many bikes as they do cars per year, and run both the world’s oldest bicycle company (Bianchi) and the world’s second-biggest international bike race (Giro d’Italia). Locals know there’s no better way to get an up-close view of the city’s spectacular streetscapes than by bicycle.
If you take the chance to study in Rome, you’ll be surrounded by affordable and exciting opportunities to participate in Italy’s rich cycling culture. Take advantage! Here’s your guide to exploring Rome by bike when you study abroad.
Bike the Via Appia Antica When You Study Abroad in Italy
The ‘Via Appia Antica (or Appian Way) is renowned as one of the world’s very first highways, and is an ideal route for cycling adventures and historical discovery.
The Appian Way runs through Rome down to Brindisi – a 500km journey south through pristine archeological parks, early Christian catacombs, original Roman causeways, ancient monuments, and the remains of mausoleums. You’ll have your pick of fascinating sites to explore.
For example, it’s just one half hour’s bike ride down the Appian Way from Rome’s city center to the Catacombs of St. Callixtus – a famous cemetery complex where early Christian popes and martyrs are buried. You can cycle out and explore the tombs before heading up and back down the trail through Roman cypress and maritime pines. There may be no better way for a history and nature-loving study abroad student to spend the day.
Explore Villa Borghese’s Iconic Park by Bicycle
The Villa Borghese Park is a must-see for all those who study abroad in Italy. Featuring cultural hotspots like the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, the Villa Giulia, and the Galleria Borghese – along with a puppet theater and a zoo – this landmark makes for memorable bike trips.
Villa Borghese’s central location in the northwest quadrant of Rome’s core means students can cycle to and through the park at their leisure. It’s open daily from dawn until dusk, with bikes available to rent in the park itself – so students can (and do) take off on Borghese bike adventures on a whim.
Rent, Tour, or Bring Your Own Bike? A Study Abroad Cyclist’s Top Options
Guided bike tours in Rome are fantastic, informative, and fun. They often include special stopovers at wine-tastings and bike-themed bistros; however, tours typically cost upwards of €45 and require time commitments of between 4 hours and multiple days.
Students who want a bit more freedom and flexibility can take “self-guided” tours on rented bicycles. Rome’s bike rental scene is fairly competitive, so you can trust private rental companies to charge no more than €4-€5 per hour or €13 per day.
And students who choose to bring or buy their own bicycles in Italy can take them even further. Toting bikes on trains between Italian provinces and neighboring countries is easier than you think, making it easy to tour Europe on two wheels while you study abroad.
Exciting opportunities like this – and much more! – open up to those who study at American universities in Italy. Are you interested in taking part? Visit JCU to learn more about getting your own study abroad experience rolling.