Bicycle Across Italy! Cycling from Venice to Pisa
This is it - the classic bicycle tour we started guiding back in 1972 is also available for independent travelers! Begin in romantic Venice, making 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.
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.
Daily distance: optional ride of 17 km (11 miles), or cycle as much as you desire today.
Accommodation: Hotel Grand Italia, or similar.
Pedal the Po River Delta
Highlights: Chioggia, bicycle quiet roads, sleep in a country farm estate
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 lovely country farm bed and breakfast.
Daily distance: 58 km (36 miles)
Elevation gain: + 235 m (771 ft)
Po Delta extra loop ride: 43 km (27 miles), with + 157 m ( ft) elevation gain.
Accommodation: Agriturismo Forzello, or similar.
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.
Daily distance: 64 km (40 miles)
Elevation gain: + 295 m (968 ft)
Accomodation: Hotel Carlton, or similar.
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)
Elevation gain: + 171 m (561 ft)
Accomodation: B&B Al Ponticello, or similar.
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.
Daily distance: 49 km (31 miles)
Elevation gain: + 124 m (407 ft)
Accommodation: Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi, or similar.
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: 52 km (32 miles)
Elevation gain: 158 m (518 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel Vittoria, or similar.
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!
Daily distance: 64 km (35 miles)
Elevation gain: + 1286 m (4219 ft)
Accommodation: Albergo La Rosa, or similar.
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.
Daily distance: 41 km (26 miles)
Elevation gain: + 444 m (1456 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel Silla, or similar.
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.
You have two different options for today's ride:
Short option: 40 km (25 miles), with + 568 m (1863 ft)
Additional path: 23 km (14 miles), with + 473 m (1551 ft) elevation gain
Accomodation: Hotel Monnalisa, or similar.
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.
Daily distance: 58 km (36 miles).
Elevation gain: + 424 m (1391 ft)
Accomodation: Hotel La Luna, or similar.
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.
You have two options for your loop ride:
Shot option: 30 km (18 miles), with + 238 m (780 ft) elevation gain.
Long option: 41 km (25 miles), with + 287 m (941 ft) elevation gain.
Accommodation: Hotel La Luna, or similar.
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"!
PLEASE NOTE : The final itinerary, including hotels and/or activities described here, are subject to changes according to availability. City hotel taxes are not included.
|Includes||Includes 11 nights in 3- and 4-star lodging; all breakfasts; one dinner; bike fitting and briefing in English by our professional staff at tour start; GPS device with pre-loaded navigation routes (one for every two cyclists); access to smartphone app with tracks and digital roadbook; printed roadbook with detailed daily information, maps and more; luggage transfers.
Not Included Travel to and from the tour start and end; bicycle rental (see Prices tab); entrance to museums or other activities not indicated as included; city hotel tax (2 to 5 euro per night per person, to be paid locally by traveler); Any meals or beverages not indicated as included.
Solo Traveler and Private Group departures available: please inquire.
Lodging Upgrade: room upgrades are possible in some hotels - please inquire for prices and availability
Private transfers (please inquire for price and availability):
Venice airport - Chioggia
Lucca - Pisa airport
Lucca - Florence airport
Extra nights available upon request: please inquire about adding nights along the itinerary or before/after the tour.
- In Chioggia (Grand Hotel Italia) or Venice (central 3-star hotel): 70 euro per person per night.
- Alternative 2-star hotel or B&B in Chioggia: 50 euro per person per night.
- In Florence, extra hotel night: approx. 65 euro per person, depending on season and availability.
- In Lucca, please inquire for 2021 rates and availability.
Extra meals and activities (please inquire for price and availability):
Day 2 – Dinner near Agriturismo
Day 5 – Guided visit of Ravenna (approx. 3 hours)
Day 5 – Dinner in Ravenna
Day 6 – Dinner in Faenza
Day 7 – Olive Oil Tasting in Brisighella
Day 8 - Guided visit of Florence
Day 8 – Dinner in Florence
Day 9 - Wine Tasting in Vinci (closed on Monday)
Day 10 – Dinner in Lucca
Navigation and roadbook:
On our CLASSIC self-guided tours, detailed tour information and route navigation tracks are provided through a GPS device (one included for every two cyclists), a smartphone application, as well as a printed roadbook with thorough daily descriptions and maps. Our "digital roadbook" is delivered to tour participants via the Ride With GPS app, accessed on a smartphone - daily maps, elevation profiles, routes and ride descriptions; schedules and hotel itinerary; cultural and sightseeing information, visit suggestions; emergency numbers and more, all stored in one organized, easy to use app. Downloading the app content also allows for offline mode navigation. Participants can also upload the routes to their own GPS device, and even print the detailed route notes before leaving home; or rely completely on the detailed roadbook that we will print for you and deliver at tour start
For more information on our navigation options, as well as the smartphone app, please read our blog: What's it like to navigate on our self-guided tours?.
Luggage transfers are included in your package.
The luggage is normally collected from 09.00 at the reception of the hotel and is delivered at the following hotel by 15.30. Every piece of luggage must be marked with a visible luggage tag. Please make sure yours have correct tags. If your luggage is not ready by the time the driver comes to collect it, you may have to pay a local taxi for the service.
Please consider that the luggage is not insured during the transport. You need to have your own insurance. Do not leave valuables or fragile items in your luggage.
Normally, the luggage transport service cannot be used by participants to skip the cycling stage. In case you need help to skip the cycling stage, please contact our emergency number and we will arrange it for you.
PLEASE NOTE : The final itinerary, including hotels and/or activities described here, are subject to changes according to availability. City hotel taxes are not included.
Tour code: itbs3029
|Begin/End||Venice / Pisa or Florence|
|Arrive/Depart||How to get there and away:
Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) / Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA) or Florence Airport "Amerigo Vespucci"
Starting point: Hotel Grande Italia - Rione S. Andrea, 597, Chioggia
- We recommend flying into Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) .
- Take a shuttle bus to Venice P.le Roma, then a bus to Chioggia or ask for a private transfer from Venice airport to your hotel in Chioggia.
Ending point: Hotel La Luna - Via Fillungo, Corte Compagni 12, Lucca
You can fly out from Pisa or from Florence, which is connected to Pisa by train or ask for a private transfer from Lucca to Florence Airport.
- From the hotel, take a taxi to the Lucca train station (about €10). Pisa International Airport Galileo Galilei is 45 minutes away. Once you arrive in Pisa centrale train station, you will find the PisaMover monorail to get to the Airport in 5 minutes (€5 one way).
- Taxis from Lucca to the Pisa airport cost about €60/70 and take about 45 minutes.
Final arrival and departure instructions along with other detailed pre-travel documents, will be e-mailed prior to your travel, with information specific to your departure (including the actual hotels used on your tour dates, which may vary from the hotels listed above.)
* the hotels and prices listed above are for reference only and are subject to change (based on availability and seasonality)
|Total Distance||544 - 634 km (340 - 396 miles)|
|Daily Distance||15-83 km (9-52 miles), plus optional mileage|
|Terms||Terms & Conditions|
|Dates|| Available March 1 to October 31, 2022
Starts every Saturday. Other start days available by request (extra fee applies). Please note that starting on certain days of the week will make some visits (such as museums or tastings) impossible. Because most museums in Florence are closed on Mondays, we discourage starting in Chioggia on the previous Monday or Tuesday. There can also be more weekend traffic on the road over the Apennines, so we discourage starting in Chioggia on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
Per person price based on double occupancy with 2 participants per departure minimum; Single rooms and Solo Traveler departures available - see supplemental fees on the right.
Group Discounts for 6 or more participants booking together on the same departure! Please inquire for details through our contact form below.
Please inquire about possible discounts when joining one of the following 2022 confirmed departures (pending hotel availability):
May 5, 19
September 10, 17
Bike Rental options:
We offer quality bikes in different styles, all great options for this bike tour. Our bikes are maintained and delivered in optimal working condition.
The prices below are per bike for the duration of the tour, including delivery to starting point in Chioggia and collection from ending point in Lucca.
Bike rental rates
Aluminum hybrid: €180
Premium Titanium road or hybrid: €240
E-bike (hybrid with straight handlebar): €360
Tandem: €420 (price per bike, for 2 cyclists)
Tag-along or kid trailer: €95
For detailed specs and photos of our bikes, see our website - Bike Rentals Italy.
High-Season supplement (May-June, September and early October): Hotels and/or bikes may be subject to availability, and a supplemental fee of €100 per person may be applied on new departure dates.
Don’t have 12 days but still interested in crossing Italy from Venice to Tuscany on a tour that’s still accessible even to beginning cyclists? Our tour of Italy’s Art Cities from Venice to Florence (8-day) could be right for you!
Additional useful information:
• Do you have any questions about how our bike tours work? Check out our FAQs page!
• Curious about the difference between our Casual and Classic self-guided tours? Check out our introduction blog on Casual Self-Guided Tours.
• We offer various tools for navigation - this page details what it's like to navigate on our self-guided tours.
• If the self-guided formula isn't right for you, check out this blog introducing the differences between Guided and Self-Guided Tours.
|Prices||€1735 per person||Single Supplement||€400 fee for private, double room
€965 solo traveler fee (only one person on departure)
|Next Step||Request space on this Bicycle Tour »|
The self-guided tour was extremely easy to follow. The Garmin and map with directions combination provided the information we needed to easily get around Italy on our first trip there. The selected roads were typically very good with fewer cars where possible. The tour was easy riding with mostly flat roads. The destinations were very bike friendly. The description of each days ride and touring suggestions were extremely helpful. The hotel and B&B staff were excellent and prepared to store our bikes and luggage. The Lucca staff went above and beyond their regular service to assist us when we had to schedule an early departure due to a family emergency. We highly recommend this tour for a first time bike tour or for anyone wanting a moderately easy bike experience.
The quality of the bikes was very good, they were a real highlight and something that makes CycleEurope stand out form their competitors in our opinion. Also, we were impressed with the choice of hotels.
We cannot wait to come to Italy again. We are in love with the country. We received very professional service, in all aspects. The team helped me plan the perfect self-guided custom made tour. Certainly a holiday we will never forget ! Thank you !
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.
Our favorite experience on this trip? Too many to name! It was a great trip!
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!
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.
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 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.