Self-guided Bike Tour Venice to Pisa
This is it - the classic bicycle tour that we started guiding back in 1972, we offer it now for indipendent travellers! 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.
For more information download the Tour Factsheet
Tour begins in Chioggia, Italy
Highlights: "Little Venice" and the Venetian Lagoon
Welcome to Chioggia and the Venetian Lagoon! We meet this afternoon at our hotel in the center of Chioggia. We'll fit bicycles and go over route details. Take a walk around the center of Chioggia and admire the canals, bridges and main pedestrian walking street. If you arrive early we can suggest a ride along one of the islands in the lagoon. Mileage: 17 km (10,6 miles).
Pedal the Po River Delta
Highlights: Chioggia, bicycle quiet roads, stay at a working farm
We leave the Venetian lagoon today towards the Po River Delta. Enjoy cycling on levee roads and birdwatching. Grab some picnic supplies from the local grocery store or stop at a cafe for lunch today. Those who want extra mileage can enjoy a great ride into the delta this afternoon. Our destination tonight is a small country farm bed and breakfast. Distance: 58-101 km (36-63 miles).
Highlights: bicycle along the Po River, bicycle capital of Italy--Ferrara
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. Distance: 64 km (40 miles).
Highlights: Comacchio and its "Trepponti" bridge
Our destination today is a small lagoon town that at one point was more powerful than Venice in the 700 and 800s. The lagoon town of Comacchio, has a fabulous museum that showcases a Roman boat ant its cargo that was excavated from one of the canals. Built on 13 islands this town is now landlocked but surrounded by the Po River and fresh water wetlands. Enjoy a small float around the canals with a local fisherman before dinner. Distance: 70 km (44 miles).
Highlights: Wetlands, bird viewing and beautiful mosaics, bustling town
We pedal along the Valley of Comacchio wetlands towards Ravenna. Ravenna was 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. Distance: 49 km (31 miles).
Ravenna to Faenza
Highlights: Faenza International Ceramics Museum and Renaissance Town Square
Exiting Ravenna you have the choice to visit another very important Byzantine masterpiece: Sant'Apollinare in Classe. Cross the plains through fruit plantations and arrive to Faenza. Your hotel is a restored convent near the central square of this regional market center and famous ceramics town. Enjoy the bustle in the market square and the main "piazza" which is always full of bicycle riders of all ages. Faenza is world-renowned for its hand decorated ceramics; we recommend a visit to the International Ceramics Museum as well as several of the local artists' studios specialized in this colorful pottery.
Daily mileage: 51 km (32 miles).
Over the Apennines
Highlights: Bicycle the Apennines and the Mugello.
We head into the Apennines today, passing first through the medieval village of Brisighella. Take a break and pick up some snacks for climb if you feel like it. If you decide you want to train up and over the mountain, feel free to do so! for those who decide to bicycle, begin climbing (easily at first!) over the Apennines -- remember to look around as you pedal since the scenery changes dramatically as you leave the plains and enter the mountains. Just before we reach the toughest part of our climb there is a very conveniently located train station which allows you a choice in how you reach our destination! Distance: 15 - 63km (9 - 39 miles)
Highlights: Fiesole and its Etruscan ruins, Renaissance Florence, Uffizi Gallery
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 recommend waiting until after lunch to ride into town and the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore this capital of Renaissance Italy. Distance: 41 km (26 miles).
Highlights: Olive groves and vineyards, Leonardo da Vinci's birthplace and museum
After breakfast, you'll 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 you'll cross Mount Albano, but worth it for the spectacular view. You 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. Distance: 41-61 km (26-38 miles).
Highlights: Medici villa, bicycle countryside of Tuscany, 17th century wall
Climb the stairway to the Medici villa in Cerreto Guidi today for a great view as you continue west to Lucca, where you'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 cafes, as well as the beautiful 17th-century wall that surrounds the town. Distance: 58 km (36 miles).
Loop ride to Pisa
Highlights: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Piazza of Miracles, Lake Massaciuccoli
Your last day of pedaling takes you to Pisa where you can visit the Leaning Tower and the Piazza of Miracles. Our route to Pisa takes you 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. Distance: 59-69 km (37-43 miles).
After a buffet breakfast in the hotel, you're ready to become a tourist again. We hope you have enjoyed cycling with us! Thanks for joining us and "buon viaggio"!
|Includes||11 nights lodging in 3-4 star hotels; all breakfasts; use of a high quality titanium racing or hybrid bicycle;bike delivery and collection; use of GPS with preloaded tracks; roadbook and map; suggestions for dinners; luggage transfers|
|Begin/End||Venice / Pisa|
|Arrive/Depart||Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) /Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA)|
|Total Distance||544 - 634 km (340 - 396 miles)|
|Daily Distance||15-83 km (9-52 miles), plus optional mileage|
|Notes||Ask for possible variations in the tour length Tour Factsheet|
|Terms||Terms & Conditions|
|Dates||Suggested start day: Saturdays.
Tour can start any day of the week, except Monday. br>
EXTRAs available upon request (please refer to factsheet for details):
Dinners and activities booking
Room upgrade options
City taxes not included.
GROUP DISCOUNTS 5% (on groups of 4 or more)
|Prices||€1890||Single Supplement||€380 (solo travelers pay €1070)|
|Next Step||Request Space on This Tour »|
Our favorite experience on this trip was freewheeling down the road from Fiesole to Florence, after some previous climbing - with the incredible panorama landscape. Several times we followed the advice of the trip notes when selecting a restaurant and were always very satisfied (i.e. we loved the food). Twice when we stopped for coffee and a brief rest, the restaurant owners made us a present of cakes and/or cookies - which was unbelievably friendly and hospitable. That has never happened to me when biking in France or Germany or Switzerland!
Our least favorite experience was two days of cold and rain - but there's not much a tour organiser can do about that!
Our favorite experience on this trip? Too many to name! It was a great trip!
We were so amazingly happy with everything you provided for us. You were so responsive to my every question and change in itinerary - I am so grateful for your hard work! The hotels and rooms were clean, a PERFECT location - every one of them, our bags were always there on time, the bikes and maps were just lovely. I would HIGHLY recommend this tour to anyone - please don't hesitate to have someone contact me if they have questions. Our briefing was so helpful. Sara was so knowledgeable and actually shared in our excitement. Having her briefing, so complete and thorough, and the maps really eased our minds. We really liked our bikes and we really liked all the recommendations of sights and restaurants. We loved the folder you gave us which allowed us to take out maps day by day and put them in again to save. You were always right about your suggestions! It was an adventure and a wonderful way to experience so many different cities in Italy without the cost of a group tour. There were a couple of mistakes on the maps - some kilometer miscalculations. I would have to figure out where those were. Generally the maps were sometimes a bit confusing but 97% perfect! The value and the absolutely beautiful hotels, and their locations, on this tour, plus the half board in Ronta (an incredible meal - we loved it! And the La Rosa Hotel - he was so nice!) made us feel like we were on a very expensive vacation. We would give this company and this tour 5 stars. It was just wonderful!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING!!!!!
It''s been great just enjoying the scenery and being able to hang out with my family. Italy by bike was totally great fun, gruelling at times due to the heat wave, but definitely full of wonderful adventures.
The route notes were very detailed and easy to follow. I appreciated that the hotels were in the centres of the towns or cities which made it easy for us to enjoy where we were. They were all clean and comfortable.
I really appreciated that each member had been given a map packet. A super souvenir but also it allowed each woman to track the journey as we each took turns being the leader. I was very pleased with the location of each hotel....right in the most scenic, central location. I loved the challenge of following the directions....I was very happy when the rain washed away the white arrows left on the road by the guided group. I have some difficulty with heights so the steep decline into Pisa was uncomfortable....I really appreciated your warnings so that I was able to prepare. I will be using the map booklet to show friends the quality of care and the attention to detail that you provided. I will strongly recommend your company. Many thanks
The hotels were excellent. I liked how they were right in the centre of everything. I liked how our luggage was always waiting for us when we arrived at the hotel. Hotels were great. Great tour and the company was willing to change start date and make changes in the tour to accommodate us. Great bikes.