The route is basically flat, with just a few climbs and undulations in the first part, and finishes at the top of the short Terme Luigiane uphill stretch. The stage starts from Reggio Calabria (prologue town in 2005 and stage town in nine occasions) and the first 190 km are on a wide trunk road, at points a fast-flow road, with no grade-level intersections. The route clears the Barritteri categorised climb, and heads for an intermediate sprint in Mileto. Next comes a short, steep climb after Marina di Fuscaldo, followed by a technical descent leading to the final 15 kilometres. Note that the route takes a 600-m stretch on dual carriageway, and descends on hairpin bends 4 km before the finish that takes place in Terme Luigiane (already stage town five times).
The final climb totals 2 km at an average 5.3% gradient, on wide, well-surfaced roadway, with no sharp changes of direction. The final km has a 5 to 10% gradient. The home stretch, running entirely uphill, is 500 m long, on 6-m wide asphalt road.