Route 1: A ride around Imperia, Liguria
Verdant valleys and the sparkling sea: Liguria is the perfect introduction to Italy
It’s baking hot. A sparkling blue sea shimmers beside the road and there’s no a cloud in the sky. But it’s the heat on my back that I’m relishing most, Yesterday Weeble and I left a foggy, drizzly England, flying to Nice to collect our bikes. Now we’re riding in the perfect 27’ heat of Liguria and it’s as sweet and addictive as sherbert. I can’t get enough of it. I’m fizzing with pleasure, torn between the desire to show down to savour it and the need to speed up to generate more of a breeze to cool down again.
Luckily, when we turn inland at Albegna, we’re on the kind of road where speeding up and slowing down is not a problem. In fact, holding one constant speed is practically impossible. The SP582 twists and turns like a garden hose dropped from a plane - looping over hillsides, climbing higher and higher in turns as tight as the best bits of the Alps, but without the yawning roadside drops of the high mountains.
This is a green land, well wooded, the patches of shade from the trees offering brief respite from the heat. The roads are quiet, the villages quieter. I’d been worried about the road surfaces for motorcylists, but more of the roads are fine - broad and in decent condition. Ok, one tight, single-track stretch has seen better days, but I can forgive that because the scenery is so beautiful and the weather so perfect. Turning back towards the coast at Bagnasco, the sat-nav tells me it’s 44 miles to the next turn, 45 miles to our destination. For a moment my heart sinks, before I realise the SS28 isn’t a main road like the A13. This is a main road built for fun, whooping and swooping down to the seaside. It’s the perfect finish to the day - and the perfect way to start exploring Italy.
Download the GPX files: Rides around Imperia
Please note: This page contains the route files for The RiDE Guide To Italy which came free with RiDE magazine in July 2015. These website page are not regularly updated, so please check all critical information before you travel. All route files are in .gpx format. Garmin and BMW users can download the main file, which contains all the routes and our recommended hotels as separate waypoints. TomTom users can download the individual routes and use the Tyre software to convert them. For many routes we also have Google Map links. However, as Google Maps will not plot routes over seasonally closed high Alpine passes (such as Stelvio) when they’re shut, these may not work for every route all year round.