Enjoy a relaxing bicycle ride in Rome while seeing historical sights like Castel Sant’Angelo and the Colosseum? Or cycle along the Tiber? In Rome you’ll find several cycling paths that you’ll be able to enjoy with a rented bike. Obviously Rome isn’t one of the top cities for bicycle enthusiasts the way Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Bordeaux are. But if you come prepared, cycling in Rome can definitely be a great, fun and safe experience!
Renting a bike to cycle through Rome’s city center without a plan generally isn’t a good idea. The only time it’s not busy on the roads is during the night, which isn’t exactly the best time to decide to hop on a bicycle! During the day traffic in Rome is chaotic and busy. As you won’t find many bike paths in Rome you don’t have a lot of options as a cyclist. In some cities the footpaths are a reasonable option to cycle on, but in Rome they generally are crowded with pedestrians, so cycling on the footpaths leads to a bad experience for everyone.
Thankfully there are a couple of great bike paths in Rome where you can really enjoy the city while getting active on a bicycle! We selected the best bike paths for you to explore while you’re in Rome:
Appian Way - Via Appia Antica
Without a doubt the most unique and amazing bike path in Rome! The Appian Way (named after Appius Claudius Caecus) is an ancient Roman road of which construction started in 312 BC. The Via Appia was one of the most important roads and stretched from Rome to Brindisi (Brindisium). Nowadays you can cycle along this ancient road and enjoy the charm of cycling over the old cobblestones, which probably is something you won’t experience again anytime soon!
The best place to start this route is at Porta San Sabastiano, north of Parco della Caffarella. You’ll then experience an amazing part of Rome, filled with beautiful nature, historical monuments and ancient ruins. You’ll forget all about the busy streets and the chaotic traffic of Rome as you dive into Roman history. Along the way you’ll find some unique places where not stopping would almost be a crime, as these sights tell an important part of Rome’s history. Places like Catacombi di San Callisto, Catacombi di San Sebastiano, Circo di Massenzio and Villa Quintili should definitely be on your list.
Your route continues to Lago Albano, a beautiful lake where you’ll find a couple of nice restaurants and cafés. Stop here to enjoy a nice lunch, which is very welcome after cycling the 22 kilometer (13,5 miles) long path. After lunch you can walk along the lake before heading back to Porta San Sabastiano.
Villa Borghese Park
This park is one of the largest in Rome and is the perfect place for a nice bicycle tour. Especially families with young children will enjoy this park as it offers safe bike paths and more than enough things to see and do along the way. In Villa Borghese Park you’ll discover beautiful gardens, lakes, fountains, museums and villa’s. You don’t have to rent a bike somewhere in the center of Rome, as you’ll find a bike rental spot right in the park!
Once you have your bicycles it doesn’t matter which way you go, the park is small enough to be able to see everything. Don’t forget to visit Galleria Borghese, where you will find amazing art by Caravaggio, Bernini and Leonardo da Vinci. Other recommended stops are Casino dell’Uccelliera, the Temple of Aesculapius and Villa Medici. Grab a map of the park at one of the entrances and enjoy a cycle path of around 6 kilometers (3.7 miles).
Lungotevere - Tiber
Cycle along the famous Tiber and see some of the most famous sights of Rome from a unique perspective! This cycling route is one of the only routes that offers real bike paths. Leave the chaotic traffic of Rome behind you and enjoy the calming sound of the streaming river as the trees hanging above you seem to protect you from the busy city. Along the way you will pass several historical bridges like Ponte Sant’Angelo, Ponte Milvio and Ponte Fabricio (Pons Fabricius), the oldest bridge in Rome. Be sure to stop and give these bridges a short visit as they offer amazing views on some of the highlights of Rome and tell an interesting story about Rome. You won’t find better spots for taking some great photos!
Further north you’ll find green countryside, truly giving you the feeling of leaving the city behind you. After about 16 kilometers (10 miles) you reach the end of this path, after which you turn around and head back to the center of Rome, following the same route. We recommend starting this cycle route at Ponte Guglielmo Marconi. If you wish to start closer to the center of Rome Ponte Sisto is a nice location to start. Be sure to bring a map of Rome, as sometimes the bike paths aren’t as accessible as they usually are.