Total Immersion: Exploring Finale Ligure’s Endless Singletrack


Many tourists will "visit" a city or a country for a day (or even less) and then consider that city checked off their list. Ridden up the Eiffel Tower in an elevator? OK, I guess you've seen all Paris has to offer…

As you can tell from this Total Immersion series, I don't view travel in nearly the same way. Despite spending three months straight in Europe and maxing out my tourist visa, I didn't visit a single new country on this trip. In fact, of the three cities where I spent a significant amount of time, I had already previously visited two of them.

During my first FATMAP team trip in 2018, I had the opportunity to ride Roller Coaster, the most famous trail in Finale Ligure, Italy. After just a brief taste of Finale, I was absolutely floored by the quality of the riding and the vibrant mountain bike culture. Was it a fluke? Or was Finale *really* that good? I decided that I'd have to go back and drink more deeply of this delectable Italian singletrack so that I could find out for myself. And so, Finale Ligure ended up being my finale—the third and final stop on my Total Immersion Tour.

I took the opportunity to spend two and a half weeks riding the trails with knowledgeable locals, visiting the bike shops, eating the delicious Italian food, and generally getting a feeling for the vibe of Finale Ligure. I found that even in the offseason, Finale Ligure boasts a better-developed mountain bike trail system, mountain bike tourism infrastructure, and mountain bike culture than any of the resort towns I've personally visited in the Alps. And yes, that *is* a serious claim! I still have a ton of destinations I want to check off in the Alps, but there's a reason that Finale Ligure has been christened with the title, "Whistler by the Sea."

The verdict is in: it wasn't a fluke. Finale Ligure really is *that* good!

Dive into my loop guidebook here, and my shuttle guidebook here.