Coast to Coast in Italy…Puglia to Amalfi May 2024.

This is an electric cycling holiday with a motorbike being used to get to and  from airport. !

Electric cycling Puglia to Naples May 2024

Sat May 4th

Set off in nice weather on new motorbike…back to a BMW!. Heading for a B and B near Gatwick airport; only have to get there sometime this afternoon…flight is in early morning tomorrow.

Nice cup of tea at Barton Mills and then onwards. Forecast is perhaps a few showers. I scan the sky anxiously.  My travel bag on the back is not waterproof. …I am!  Short sharp shower on M25 north of Dartford crossing but only a few minutes. Further on as I near Gatwick it rains more and I stop to hide phone out of rain. Onwards and hope bag okay. We are going slowly through roadworks which does not help. Cannot  see bridge to hide under!

Arrive with very black cloud behind me and rush in with bag. Not a bad spot, has its own bar and restaurant.  Food  not great but I eat and then early to bed as up very early at 4.30am.

Bag on the back, parking at shortstay carpark..

Sun May 5th

After a hopeless night waking up all the time got up slightly earlier than 4.30am. Wet seat on bike so find some cardboard to sit on. Manage to miss airport road so do a circle. In carpark took a while to find corner to park bike…3rd level best… So all in all a bit late to check in but it was still busy..

Flight fine, met Exodus rep at the other end in Bari and then one hour bus ride to hotel near  Monopli, south of Bari. We are 11 in all plus a marketing lady from Exodus out on a freebie. This is the first Exodus electric bike trip coast to coast since before covid times.

We went to eat in the town  going there on our new to us bikes. Big meal! Very nice though. We are a group of 3 couples, 3 single men and myself and the Exodus girl. One couple from Loddon in Norfolk, one older couple  and the other middling! We ride back in the dark….

Mon May 6th

Off we go at 9am. Weather perfect, sunshine in a  blue sky and perfect temp…about 20c plus. 93kms to do. Bumpy roads, up and down. I try not to use power too much but as the day goes on realise its fine. At lunchtime I have used 75%. We had a morning tea stop, very pleasant.  The day is quite hard as it is a long way but the final hill was on full power and we sailed up. Matera is our nights stop. Beautiful old town. We eat out, Exodus leader in charge….  Great food…

Getting ready to go the first morning.

First little chat from our guide, Paolo.

Beautiful cactus in flower by the road.


By bike.

Legs tired….hope for best tomorrow.

Tues May 7th

Another 90 plus day, apparently  the most challenging day, from Matera to Castelmezzano. Sadly for me I ate a banana.

This is where I ate my banana !

After awhile I started to feel sick and then eventually  was sick. Not much came up when retching again…. it was bile. Very nasty taste in my mouth and I was feeling pretty awful. Had ridden all bar 25kms of todays ride so did not feel too bad taking to the van and giving up. Slept when we arrived and then did perk up and ate  small amount of supper. The village is perched high up in the mountains and near the Southern Dolomites.  All very pretty. Group is settling down …getting to know each other. We are also realising that the batteries of the bikes can be charged at lunchtime so we can be quite free with the power.

We stayed here.

Wed May  8th

Food has been very interesting and different.  I feel better again. No touching bananas!! Today from Castelmezzano to Montesano…another hilltop village.  We see lots of villages perched on their hilltops. All is beautiful, much wooded countryside. Lots of French Oak trees. Our group has 2/3 people on ordinary bicycles. One, Ian is very fit. Peter a retired doctor has been given a too small a bike so his back has been hurting.  He then tries a gravel bike which does have some power…bigger frame. Then we have an Italian back marker who actually  fails to stay at the back …he has an ordinary bike. The rest of us are very happy with our power.



Old abandoned house..

Good long day again…up and down, up and down etc. Nice room for the night in a strange hotel. The weather has gone rather against us and rained a bit this afternoon. I decide to take a walk and look at some strange old buildings next door but it rains again and after bumping into Sarah (an exodus employee along for the ride) we end up back at the hotel. Then realise we can see the old building in the morning . It is a Carthusian Charterhouse…in other words an enormous monastery.

Thurs May 9th

Go round the Charterhouse (of Padula). It is fascinating in its size. Biggest cloister in the world, largest Charterhouse in Italy. Took some photos!!

The old kitchen.


The largest Carthusian Cloister in the world.

Weather is overcast  but we do okay, riding a short distance today  to an Aggriturisimo in the Cilento national  park.  Have huge lunch of lots of different small things all piled onto our plates. Then we were meant to ride to an abandoned village not far away  but a large thunderstorm came and unsettled plans. It had to be cancelled.

I played with my drone…had not used it in a while. We then ate another huge meal…food just kept coming!

Fri May 10th

We are about 600m high but a nice day looks like its coming… We gradually made our way to the coast. Road undulated through pretty countryside and we whizzed along.  Weather was cold up high and in the wind as we sped downhill  but then it warmed as we got to sea-level.  We had lunch on a water buffalo farm where they had a smart restaurant  serving all things buffalo. It was cheese all the way…with wine. Smoked mozzarella was pretty good.

Our hotel was round the corner. It had a pool but they wanted you to hire a bathing  cap and the towel so I  went to look at the greek temples  nearby . We are in Plaestum. 15 euros to walk the site. I am not interested in stones in the grass but liked the temples of which there are 3. Had to walk the whole site in order to exit and then plod all the way back again to the hotel. By the time I was back I did not fancy a swim.!

Sat May 11th

We begin with  a train ride to get to Salerno in order to start our ride along the Amalfi coast. The bikes had been brought  in the van. The weather is perfect and we cycle in our t shirts. The road is super wiggly, traffic is busy. Rocky coastline with coves similar to the south of France. Sea looks lovely and that is busy with boats of all sizes. We have frequent  little stops so Paolo  can inform us about where we are. The town of Amalfi itself was teeming with people and police/security who had a great time trying to move a group of cyclists along who wanted to take photos.! It was very pretty and had an old “cathedral “ . On towards Positano but that town did not really stand out. Lovely coves in between.  Motorcycles were a pest…noisy, fast and dangerous with many riders in t shirts etc. Then there were lots of scooters and ofcourse  cars and buses. Endless bends. We broke up into groups of 4 to allow the cars to get passed us more easily. Finally we head downhill to Sorrento on the opposite in the bay of Naples. Strange hotel…huge. We head out in the evening to eat in a busy restaurant.  Expensive! Town centre  is busy with shoppers. We say goodbye to Paolo, and Raffaele the mechanic/van driver and Mateo….the helper on a bicycle  with us. He had been fairly hopeless but was apparently going to lead one day.  Not sure he had what it takes.

Positano and self.

Sweet cove on the Amalfi coast.

Amalfi cathedral and crowds.!

Cycling the Amalfi coast road.

Sun May 12th

Emma’s  40 th birthday.  I wander into Sorrento and get a ceramic dish for Gina….she looks after my house/waters the plants etc. Then it is transfer to airport and the usual hanging around before heading back to Gatwick. Motorbike is there….10 mins of getting ready and I am off home. Arrive home at 10.30pm. Weather was good ! Traffic was pretty bad near Dartford Crossing…no problems on a motorbike. I tried to look for the Northern lights ( Aurora Borealis ) that everyone in England had seen the night before. This is what some saw…but not me..

Burnham Overy Staithe