The route was announced at the Expo Milano to an audience of more than 1,000 people, including 2015 Giro winner Alberto contador, World Champion Peter Sagan, former race winner Ivan Basso and Astana's Vincenzo Nibali.
However, all eyes were on the details of the 99th Giro d'Italia, which will begin on Friday 6 May in the Netherlands town of Apeldoorn.
The riders will negotiate three individual time trials, seven possible sprint stages, seven medium mountain stages, two with uphill finishes, and four high mountain stages – three with uphill finishes – and a total of 3,383 kilometres, with 42,200 metres of cumulative elevation gain.
The route in full
The first three stages take place in the Dutch Province of Gelderland. The race starts on Friday 6 May with a 9.8km Individual Time Trial around Apeldoorn, starting in the famous velodrome. Two flat stages follow: Arnehm to Nijmegen (190km), and Nijmegen to Arnhem (189km).
The riders and race officials then fly to Catanzaro in the south of Italy on Monday 10 May. Stage 4 from Catanzaro to Praia a Mare (191km), sees the first climbing of the race, while Stage 5 along the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea from Praia a Mare to Benevento (233km) may end in a bunch sprint.
Stage 6 from Ponte to Roccaraso (Aremogna) features the first mountain finish of the race, while Stage 7 from Sulmona to Foligno holds 210 hilly kilometres in store.
Stage 8 (Foligno to Arezzo) tackles two imposing climbs, the second of which features gravel roads for the final 6km. Sunday 15 May sees the Chianti Classico Individual Time Trial over 40.4 'extremely difficult' kilometres, without so much as a metre of flat road.
The second rest day takes place on Monday 16 May at Campi Bisenzio, the start town for stage 10, which ends after 216km at Sestola, with the second mountain finish of the race. Stage 11 starts in Modena and finishes in Asolo (212km). The following stage, Noale to Bibione, is entirely flat.
A long weekend of climbing starts on Friday 20 May. Stage 13, from Palmanova to Cividale del Friuli, presents four 'monstrously hard' climbs that have never before featured in the Giro d'Italia: Montemaggiore, Crai, Cima Porzus and Valle.
Saturday 21 May sees the return of the legendary Dolomite stage from Alpago to Corvara via Passo Pordoi, Passo Sella, Passo Gardena, Passo Campolongo, Passo Giau and Passo Valparola.
The third and last individual time trial takes place on Sunday 22 May: a 10.8km mountain time trial from Castelrotto/Kastelruth to Alpe di Siusi.
The final rest day is at Bressanone/Brixen on Monday 23 May, with Stage 16 leaving for Andalo via the ascents of Passo della Mendola and Fai della Paganella the following day.
Stage 17, Molveno to Cassano d’Adda, will suit the fast finishers, while Stage 18 – the longest stage of the race at 234km – takes the peloton from Muggiò to Pinerolo, with the Pramartino climb in the final kilometres.
Friday 27 May sees the Giro cross the border into France between Pinerolo and the stage finish at Risoul. The route includes the Cima Coppi, or highest point, of the Giro d’Italia, the Colle dell’Agnello, at 2,744 metres, and then the high mountain finish at the French ski resort of Risoul.
The final Saturday sees the penultimate and probably decisive stage from Guillestre to Sant’Anna di Vinadio, with four climbs: Col de Vars, Col de la Bonnette, Colle della Lombarda and the short final ramp up to the finish line.
The final stage, on Sunday 29 May, starting at Cuneo and finishing in the 2015 European Capital of Sport, Turin, is essentially a showcase for the winner.
Stay tuned for detailsof Giro d'Italia coverage on SBS in 2016.