Italy Spring 2022 - Finale Ligure


When we initially game planned for the trip we intended on heading to the Dolomites after Lake Garda but because we were just tired of trains and buses we bailed on our plans there, spent an extra day in Riva, before going to Finale Ligure.

Finale Ligure is about a 6 hour multiple change train ride away from Riva del Garda. Located in the Riviera it’s a beach town with mountain biking or it’s a mountain biking town with a beach. Hard to say.

Our first impressions were noticing the differences from Riva. Warmer temps, rolling hills and not craggy mountains, a beach - not too shabby. It felt bigger in size as the town was not just down at beach side but up hill.

The beaches are of the sand variety and there were the paid ones and free ones. We spent an afternoon on the free beach as after riding we might of only had a couple hours. Hard to justify spending $50 for two hours at the beach.

For food, we hit up Pomella per many recommendations and it was phenomenal to say the least. We also ate and recommend at Antico Pozzo Bistrot (best vegan lasagna, well, lasagna in general) and grabbed pizza slices and cannolis from La spiga d'oro.


The reason we came here. The mountain biking has been described as the “Whistler of Italy”. I can see why and holy hell this place would be hard to navigate at times. Because of this and prior knowledge of riding at Lake Garda we searched for ebikes to rent, intending on unguided.

We ended up with one ebike for my wife and a normal full suspension for me, shuttles and a guide all for about 120 Euro. (She was on a Specialized Luca S and I was on a Specialized S Series if you are curious what they rent.) We got convinced to go this route because of Fab, owner of MTB Italy. He mentioned it would be a hell of a day to pedal and doesn’t rent ebikes for shuttling yourself because of wear and tear. After our first shuttle, I see why! It’s the same as Garda, 45 minute drive up a windy, steep road. Also if not noted yet very tight roads. When the driver would pass by road riders they’d be so close to them. So here’s what we got into for two days of riding:

Rollercoaster to Xmen

The Rollercoaster trail is marked as a blue in my world or in Euro terms S2 mostly, with some sections of S3. From what I’ve gathered in my minimal research S3 is like black and a bit of red. Rollercoaster was awesome though - fast, rocky (firm), flowy. Had it all. I think I would say this is harder than your typical blue trail in the States as the rocks were a wee bit bigger. Xmen is marked as a red trail or S3 and part of the EWS (Enduro World Series). This trail was above my level and was really just so different from what I’m adjusted to riding. Techy and tight-tight, steep turns down. It was still fun but I found myself out of my element more on this trail than Rollercoaster. All in with shuttles this whole route took us about 4 hours to complete the 3,500’ descent.

Ingenere Trail

So I’m going to have a hard time describing the trail we rode because we rode many on this day. We booked a full day guide and two shuttles (AM and PM) with MTB Italy again. We kind of went everywhere. The trail I do specifically remember is the Ingenere (engineer) trail. It was awesome, had it all, similar to Rollercoaster with some techy rocks that I was ready for. Simone was our guide for that day and he has been riding there for 30 years or so. I’m not sure how much fun he has on these trails still but we appreciate the knowledge and stoke he shared with us. Without him that day would of been a total junk show trying to link the rat’s nest of trails together.

I doubt anyone from MTB Italy will be reading this but if you are heading to Finale Ligure, I can’t recommend them enough. They really made our biking in Finale easy and a rippin’ good time. To note some of the other shuttle services do not rent bikes where in contrast, Fab does. We didn’t bring bikes, so again, they made it easy providing the full package.

In short, Finale is amazing...too amazing...shouldn't of left! It had it all even massive beautiful churches.

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