Five Must-See Destinations, Five Must-Ride Routes For Your Next Euro Road Trip

Our European Editor's Euro bucket list

From Cycle World's 2016 Travel & Adventure issue. Get your copy here.

Nobody knows Europe better than Bruno dePrato, Cycle World’s European editor. He’s spent a lifetime testing cars and motorcycles there. We asked him for some of the highlights any rider should see, especially on a bike. Here’s his bucket list.

front view of Moto Guzzi Museum
Moto Guzzi MuseumCourtesy of Piaggio/Moto Guzzi

Mandello sul Lario, Italy
The Moto Guzzi Museum in Mandello sul Lario has devoutly preserved the front buildings where Carlo Guzzi and Giorgio Parodi started manufacturing their beautiful bikes back in 1921. The museum is one of world's richest, featuring some of the most refined motorcycles of their day, including the legendary Moto Guzzi V8 500cc GP racer. The ride to the museum is smooth and pleasant, mostly on sweeping freeways that depart from the highway north of Milan, at Monza. Follow the Lecco signs and, approaching Lecco, stay on the freeway and toward Sondrio. Exit the freeway at Abbadia Lariana and tiptoe the last 4 miles at 30 mph to Mandello (speed traps!).

Ducati Factory and Museum exhibit
Ducati Factory and MuseumCourtesy of Ducati

Bologna, Italy
If you're coming from Milan, the ride to Bologna is a bore: flat land and straight highway. Still, your destination will be worth it. Approaching Bologna bear right into A14 and take the first exit: Bologna-Borgo Panigale. Ducati is just 3 miles from there. They welcome visitors, but you'll need to book your visit in advance. Until 1998 Ducati had no museum, but since then superintendent Livio Lodi has painstakingly assembled a comprehensive collection of Ducati's legendary bikes, many of great value. Every production model and racer is represented in the museum.

BMW Museum exhibit
BMW MuseumCourtesy of BMW

Munich, Germany
If you first went to visit the Ducati Museum in Bologna, the ride from there to Munich will be absolutely glorious. You'll head north to Verona and from there through the Brenner Pass in the Austrian Alps; the highways in Bavaria are flawless. Visiting the BMW Museum takes a whole day: You'll see two sides of this legendary brand, both motorcycles and cars. Not one single model is missing, starting from the legendary proto-boxer R32 of 1923. The quality of each item, perfectly restored and preciously kept, is a sign of wonderful dedication, and the museum's ambiance is equally elegant and refined.

Imola Racetrack overhead view
Imola RacetrackCourtesy of Imola

Imola, Italy
The track at Imola took shape thanks to the passion of a local motorcycling enthusiast, Francesco Costa. Originally it was just a road encircling a park on the hillside. Races were held only a few weekends per year, but it was extraordinarily challenging and beautiful. Eventually grandstands and pits were added, but it took years to transform it into a full-time racetrack. Current noise restrictions now limit the course to muffled bikes at specific times of day, but a lap at Imola is a great experience, worth waiting in line.

front view of Mores Racetrack
Mores RacetrackCourtesy of Mores

Sardinia
Few people have heard of Mores racetrack, and in truth a trip here is just an excuse to enjoy Sardinia's beauty and its impeccably paved twisty roads, snaking through the hills and by the seaside. Never mind where the ferry ship drops you off: Sardinia is just too beautiful anywhere you go. Mores is close to Oristano, the third largest town of Sardinia; there's an airport here if you must fly. Mores is the only racetrack in Sardinia, small but nicely designed, worth a few laps on an appropriate bike. Sardinia is more than worth a ride—and both the food and the red wine here are excellent as well!

Five Magic Rides

Florence-Siena-Lake Trasimeno
From Florence to Siena by the Roman consular Cassia road (now SS2) is one of the most emotional rides in Italy.

Milan To Livigno Through Switzerland
From Mandello sul Lario head to Chiavenna and then into Switzerland. On to St. Moritz and then to Zernez and Livigno. If you like mountain roads, this ride will make your day.

Cannes-Marseille By Frejus
Cannes to Marseille is a classic ride along the French Côte d'Azur and Provence. The A8 highway is inviting, but the real ride is up the hills, through the Frejus Pass and then along the coast, on the A57 and A50.

Málaga-Ronda
The road to Ronda (the site of the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain) is beautifully sweeping, a great ride on any bike, touring or sport.

Livigno-Bormio-Meran
The purest Alpine ride ever. From Livigno take SS310 up the Passo del Foscagno then toward Bormio. Turn on SS38 to Passo dello Stelvio, a Giro d'Italia legend. East on SS40 then to Meran, South Tyrol.