Self-guided Bike Tour of Italy's Art Cities from Venice to Florence
Romance, art, history, and great food come together on our most popular trip for beginning cyclists. From the canals of Venice, the bridges of Comacchio and the early Christian mosaics of Ravenna to the Renaissance architecture of Florence, this tour features six days of pedaling through the heart of Italian culture and cuisine. Along the way you'll pedal through vineyards and fruit trees and discover colorful ceramics in Faenza, while of course enjoying gourmet meals in Emilia-Romagna - Italy's foremost pasta region. 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 (your option)
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 to Comacchio
It's another day of leisurely riding today. Our destination 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: 74 km (46 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: 56 km (35 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).
After a buffet breakfast in the hotel, you're ready to become a tourist again. You're on your own now, so get out there and visit Michelangelo's David at the Accademia, Botticelli's Birth of Venus and the other masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery, and more.
|Includes||7 nights lodging in 3-4 star hotels; all breakfasts; one dinner; bike fitting and tour briefing in English; use of GPS with preloaded tracks; roadbook and map; suggestions for dinners; luggage transfers|
|Begin/End||Venice - Chioggia/Florence|
|Arrive/Depart||Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) / Florence Airport (FLR)|
|Total Distance||305-362 km (190-226 miles)|
|Daily Distance||15-83 km (9-52 miles), plus optional mileage|
|Terms||Terms & Conditions|
|Dates||Suggested start day: Saturdays.
Tour can start any day of the week, except Mondays.
EXTRAs available upon request (please refer to factsheet for details):
Dinners and activities booking
Room upgrade options
Please note that a High-Season Supplement fee may apply for the months of May and September
GROUP DISCOUNTS 5% (on groups of 4 or more)
|Prices||€1175 per person
Bike rental rates
Premium titanium-frame bike €220
A 5% group discount will apply to the standard tour price
|Single Supplement||€260 (solo travelers pay €750)|
|Next Step||Request space on this Bicycle Tour »|
I gave you a A on overall. Sara was the best.
The bicycles were very nice. Cycling the back roads through orchards, vineyards and farmland. The food was wonderful, the fruit delicious, the wine tasty. Cycling by the beach and over canals. Plenty of history to soak up. The weather was terrific
Everything was really great. We really enjoyed the Agriturismo hotel in San Basilio. The Agriturismo lunch at Agriturismo Prato Pozzo was a real highlight. What wonderful people and what a wonderful meal. I want to highlight the great on-the-road service we received. When we called, you were easily accessible and within 3 hours, you had a mechanic out to take care of it. I thought that was terrific and continues to give me the confidence I need to take another self-guided trip. That is a story that I think is meaningful to most who want to take a self-guided tour. I am certainly capable of changing tubes and making bike adjustments, but the concern for me (and likely others) is if a more difficult bike problem happens. You showed that you have great support for that situation. Overall, my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour and would love to do another with your company. Thank you for all you did for us.
My favorite experience on this trip? Small towns . Quiet roads. Time with my son.
My favorite experience was seeing spoonbills in the Po Delta Preserve and finding a typical, local meal by chance at the Ronta train station in the pouring rain . I also loved Faenza . Hotels were phenomenal. Route notes provided were very helpful
Mary Ann L.
Comacchio was great. The ride up over the Apennines on the second to the last day was fantastic. Alas, the rest of the group hopped on the train. They did enjoy the train.
Takoma Park, MD
Great job- great directions. The only thing - when it''s pouring rain - very hard to keep directions dry when having to flip/change pages. Very comfortable accommodations!!
The notes were very inclusive - I like that there were sections that said this is a tricky area, or it''s the road just after the yellow house - it made things very easy. The first hotel was beautiful - the next b&bs were nice - all people were very courtious and helpful and friendly. We arrive at a couple places early - it was POURING RAIN - everyone let us into our rooms early - our luggage was always waiting for us. GREAT!! It was so nice seeing the countyside - seeing things that we would never normally see - pink flamingos in Italy?? I think the senery was prettier later in the trip, but riding on flat lands for a few days got us in shape to climb. I liked the ideas that you put in to go visit different places, as well as history of the areas. It was a very good experience. My husband and I have already talked about doing another tour. The experience was great. Thank you!
Nancy & Dennis H
The daily route guides were the best I''ve ever used - very comprehensive. Hotels were very nice and centrally located in the towns we stayed in. This was very advantageous in exploring these towns.The two days in the Appenines were favorites. The sun broke through and the country view was beautiful - like an Italian postcard. Great experience overall. The titanium bikes were an unexpected plus. My wife now wants a new bike after riding her Van Nicholas on the tour.
Loved the hotels. Our meal at the hotel in Faenza was outstanding. Most of our breakfasts were excellent. The scenery was beautiful. Forgot to mention that the bikes were great, no flat tires! Also, Sara was great explaining the tour etc. to us and giving us pointers. And Stefania answered all our questions beforehand. Great job!
Our favorite experience on this trip was the feeling of achievement when we reached the restaurant at the highest point of the Apennines. We loved the carrier bags fitted to the bikes. Where can we buy one?
My favorite experience was visiting Ravenna! Such a great city with such great things to see, but I''d never really heard of it before. Loved the trip, thank you so much!
Tops on our list would have to be the excellent organization and directions that were provided. I was a little nervous about doing a self guide tour, but the directions were so clear that my doubt was gone after the first day. Also, the friendly people that we met along the way and the quiet back roads that we traveled stand out as highlights. We loved the smaller towns that we passed through. To be honest, having the trip end was my least favorite part. We had such a great time. I just want to thank you again for such a wonderful trip. Everything was first rate from the pre-trip planning and communication to the bike fitting, bikes, route and sights to see along the way.
Our favorite experience was riding along the lagoon with all the pink flamingos and that little bitty ferry that took us across the river! We really, really, really enjoyed ourselves and could not have been happier. Well, maybe if we had had tail winds, we would have been happier. : ) We will definitely book another tour with you guys. Thank you, Stefania. Our trip was really the most enjoyable thing we have ever done as a couple.
Our favorite experience on this trip was the variety of terrain, the beauty of the towns, the art in Venice, Ravenna and Florence was spectacular. Of course the food was amazing. Sarah''s orientation was thorough and extremely well done. She is a delight!
Your notes were good and comprehensive and very useful
We really enjoyed the cycling, what a wonderful way to see Italy! I was pleased that our ride up and over the Appennines was not difficult. Thanks again for all of your wonderful and detailed organization which made the trip such a pleasure. We are already discussing what trip we should take next year.
Each days ride was majestic. The variety of terrains and regions was perfect. Sara was the link to making our trip wonderful. She''s engaging, informative, knowledgeable - most helpful. And she''s a lovely person, and set the tone for the experience. Unforgettable experience. What a way to see This part of Italy.
Seeing the mosaics in the Basilica in Ravenna was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Best on the road experience was a lunch stop at the first agriturissmo. Fantastic food and a great interaction with the owner
The routing was perfect. Flat rides to warm us up, building to hill climbs later in the trip. Great service from the reps. Thanks!
The personalized service that I received for my bike from your company was spectacular. We were so impressed with the mechanic who dropped off the bikes and reviewed the trip with us, to the mechanic you sent to our hotel who solved our problems. They were efficient, knowledgeable, helpful and kind. The gentleman who came to our hotel to fix my bike problem was wonderful. This personalized service and the sense that you cared that we had a great trip made all the difference in the world.