Lets start with my background, I don’t like car related bike challenges so I went to Greece and Italy with no bike pants or gloves. I also come from Australia where we like to drive on the the other side of the road. That means I am always looking the other way.
Our first stop was Rome, sure there were cyclists but it looked really dangerous. We saw quite a lot of share bikes in use. We were only in town for three hours.
When we finally arrived in our second location, Lipari on the Aoelian Islands, I saw a few bikes in 3 days and very small windy steep roads with small cars, some worth more than 1000 euros but not many. Everyone had come to the conclusion, get a basic motor scooter or a small banged up car because everything else is difficult to drive and the mechanics would have no clue how to fix it anyway. On the Island of Volcano, there was a few tourists riding hire bikes or family hire bikes. There was only a few kilometres to explore and you couldn’t ride up the volcano, the main attraction apart from the sulpher bath and the black sands beach.
Our next stop was beautiful Taormina on the main Island of Sicily. You would need a eBike here and the few I saw were cheap conversions, none of that fancy bosch engine stuff. Once I saw three road bikes going up a steep road. When we went to Mt Etna, the Volcano, there seemed to be some pretty good mountain bike tracks and the driver said lots of road cyclists ride up Mt Etna on the weekend on the busy roads. Here are some photos of bikes I saw in Italy.
In Greece we saw quite a lot of bikes in Thessaloniki and these were concentrated on the wide paths around the harbour. We saw none anywhere else. We also spied 3 bikes in sensational Meteora and the odd one or two taking on the traffic in Athens. On the Islands there may have been some opportinities on the quiet roads but the main roads were a nightmare with tourists on quad bikes and buses and lanes about 3 metres wide. Here are some photos from Greece
So in Summary, do a lot of homework if you want to ride in the southern Mediterranean or just enjoy the sights and go walking like we did.