We begin in romantic Venice, make stops in the great art cities of Ferrara, Ravenna & Florence, and end on the Mediterranean coast in Pisa. Along the way, you’ll enjoy gourmet meals from two of Italy’s best culinary regions (Emilia-Romagna & Tuscany), take in local markets, and discover a side of Italy seldom seen by tourists. You’ll also visit a family owned farm for a light lunch and a close-up look at rural life in Italy. This is the perfect way to see Italy.
End: Florence or Piza
May 1-12, 15-26, 29-June 9
August 21-Sep 1
Sep 11-22, 25-Oct 1
Bike Across Italy $5395.00 per person
Bike Rentals: Choice of hybrid or road bike included
Lodging Extras: Single Supplement: $650
Welcome to Venezia! You really should try and come a day or two early to explore this unique city before we begin our bike ride to Pisa. We meet this afternoon at our hotel on the Lido of Venice where we’ll fit bicycles. We’ll enjoy an introductory aperitif before walking to dinner in a small trattoria on the Lido.
The Lidos of Venice and Pellestrina protect the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. You’ll follow these natural levees this morning as we work our way south via flat roads and ferries to Chioggia, at the south end of the lagoon. Enjoy lunch on your own there before continuing south to Taglio di Po in the Po River delta. Those who want extra mileage can enjoy a great ride into the delta this afternoon. Dinner together
It’s another day of leisurely riding today as we follow the Po river upstream to the Renaissance city of Ferrara. Entering the city, we’ll pass under the 16th century walls, one of the most intact Renaissance walls left in Italy. Other highlights of this UNESCO world heritage site include the many palaces of the Este court from the 14th and 15th century. We’ll suggest some great restaurants for dinner on your own this evening.
We shuttle this morning to the nearby lagoon town of Comacchio, once a port town more famous than Venice. After a small float around the canals with a local fisherman as captain, we’ll ride across the “valleys of Comacchio”, through the Po delta’s rich bird habitats. Then it’s on to the Anita di Argenta where we’ll stop at a local agriturismo(farm cooperative), to enjoy a lunch of homegrown vegetables, homemade ricotta, and other local specialties. A short bike ride later we’ll enter Ravenna, the last capital of the Western Roman Empire and home to more early Christian mosaics than any other city in Western Europe. You can walk to Dante’s Tomb and the mosaics of San Vitale, Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia this afternoon, as our hotel is near all the city sights.
We’ll head west from Ravenna today, stopping to visit a local Italian bike shop on our way to “the farm” for a light lunch together. “The farm” is our European headquarters and is located on land that Paola Malpezzi-Price’s family has cultivated for more than 100 years. We continue on to Faenza, where we visit a local ceramist who will introduce us to traditional Faenza designs. Dinner, if you are still hungry, is on your own
We head into the Apennines today, passing first through the medieval village of Brisighella for an olive oil tasting in one of Italy’s most unique olive oil producing areas. We’ll then begin climbing (easily at first!) over the Apennines — remember to look around as you climb since the scenery changes dramatically as you leave the plains and enter the mountains. Just before we reach the toughest part of our climb to Ronta, there is a very conveniently located train station which allows you a choice in how you reach our destination! We’ll enjoy dinner together in tonight.
There’s a small climb this morning to Vetta le Croci, then it’s downhill to the old Etruscan city of Fiesole, where you’ll enjoy a great view of Florence rising from the valley floor. We’ll ride into town together, and the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore this capital of Renaissance Italy. Our hotel in Florence lies on the banks of the Arno River, close to the Uffizi Gallery. We’ll have dinner together this evening.
We are offering a guided walking tour of Florence this morning so schedule your reservations to visit the famous Uffizi Gallery or the Accademia, home to Michelangelo’ David after 12:30 PM. At sunset, take a walk down to the Ponte Vecchio to engage in the passeggiata (or “evening stroll”). Dinner is on your own
After breakfast, we head out of Florence and down the Arno River valley for a beautiful day of riding in the Italian countryside. There is a bit of a climb as we cross Mount Albano but what a spectacular view. Our destination is Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, where you’ll have a chance to visit the house where he was born and a museum with scale models of his inventions. Dinner is together tonight
Climb the stairway to the Medici villa in Cerreto Guidi today for a great view as we continue west to Lucca, where we’ll stay the next two nights. Lucca was a Roman town and one of medieval Italy’s most prosperous city-states. Today, Lucca retains its medieval charm with its small shops and sidewalk cafés, as well as the beautiful 17th-century wall that surrounds the town. Dinner on your own.
Our last day of pedaling takes us to Pisa where you can visit the Leaning Tower and the Piazza of Miracles. Our route to Pisa takes us by Lake Massaciuccoli, where Puccini wrote many of his operas. After a stroll through Pisa, head back to the less-touristy town of Lucca to enjoy an evening passeggiata along the main pedestrian way. We’ll celebrate our adventure across Italy with a final dinner together this evening
After breakfast, our journey across Italy comes to an end. You’re on your own now, prepared to face Rome and its many museums or to explore the Lakes District to the north. Buon viaggio!!