Bicycle Romagna, the Heartland of Italy's Homemade Pasta
Classic Self-Guided - Ravenna to Bologna
This tour allows you to explore the famous ceramics town of Faenza, medieval villages such as Brisighella and Dozza, built by the Medici family to protect the northern flank of Tuscany in 1564. Start in Ravenna once the capital of the Western Roman Empire and cycle through Romagna region all the way to Bologna, the culinary capital of Italy. Easy, flat rides and more serious hill rides make for a cycling paradise through the heartland of homemade pasta, so don't wait until you arrive to Bologna to delight your culinary taste buds with freshly made "tagliatelle", "lasagna", "ravioli" and more, all washed down with local Sangiovese wine.
Special discounts on this tour!
Cycle Europe just turned 50 years old, always based in our dear region of Romagna! To celebrate, we will include a bottle of Romagna Sangiovese wine, as well as an olive oil tasting and light lunch in Brisighella, for all tours booked by March 31, 2023. While you are cycling by Faenza, feel free to stop and say hello to our team! Ask us for directions and we will be happy to show you the way to our office.
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Arrive in Ravenna, Fit bicycles
Highlights: Byzantine mosaics, 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Arrive in Ravenna today, once the capital of the Western Roman Empire. Your centrally located hotel allows you to walk to Dante's Tomb and the UNESCO World Heritage mosaics of San Vitale, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia this afternoon. Don't miss these early Byzantine churches with their colorful mosaics that draw travelers from around the world.
Accommodation: Hotel Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi, or similar.
Bicycle 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 distance: 56 km (35 miles)
Elevation gain: + 143 m (469 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel Vittoria, or similar.
Bicycle Faenza to Brisighella and Riolo Terme
Highlights: Medieval Brisighella; Via degli Asini
Enjoy a quiet ride through vineyards and kiwi orchards on your way to the enchanting Medieval town of Brisighella. You should certainly plan to explore the historic town center and to see the unique Via degli Asini, one of the best preserved medieval artisan streets anywhere in Italy. The homemade pasta in Brisighella is worth a lunch stop (and the gelato is not bad, either)! Your ride continues through lovely scenery on to Riolo Terme, a picturesque town on the Romagna hills, with its medieval castle and moat still intact.
You have two options for your ride today:
Short option: 26 km (16 miles), with + 382 m (1253 ft) elevation gain.
Long option: 61 km (38 miles), with + 996 m (3267 ft) elevation gain.
Accommodation: Hotel Antico Borgo, or similar.
Riolo Terme day - loop rides, spa treatments, and more!
Highlights: Riolo Terme and the Romagna countryside; Challenging ridge ride to the feet of the Apennines, or easier ride to Castel Bolognese
The Riolo Terme area offers options for the avid cyclist and for the more relaxed rider alike. The town itself is a lovely small spa center, so you can always enjoy a plethora of thermal water spa treatments, play a round of golf, get a massage, participate in a fun pasta making demonstration and class at the Agriturismo - or just take it easy. We'll recommend a long ride into the hills for those wanting to put some hill rides on their legs, or an easy ride to Castel Bolognese for those who want just a little exercise - both rides in a lovely setting of low hills, vineyards, farms and olive groves all around, with the Apennines in view.
Short option: 32 km (19 miles) with 346 m (1135 ft) elevation gain
Long option: 61 km (38 miles) with 1136 m (3727 ft) elevation gain
Accommodation (2 nights): Grand Hotel Riolo Terme, or similar.
Upgrade option in the Riolo Terme countryside (2 nights): Agriturismo Torre del Marino.
* If choosing this upgrade option, please note: Torre del Marino is situated on top of a small hill, with a lovely view. There is a final climb up the hill of 135m, relatively steep.
Cycling Riolo Terme to Dozza
Highlights: Wine village of Dozza; beautiful views across the Po Valley; wall murals in Dozza
Your ride today takes you through more vineyards and rich orchards to the Medieval hill town of Dozza, famous for its wall murals. The castle in Dozza houses the Emilia-Romagna Regional Enoteca or wine museum. Regional specialties include the red Sangiovese (father grape of Chianti) which is gaining more and more worldwide recognition as an important wine in and of itself, the light and fizzy Lambrusco from the hills of Modena and Bologna (excellent accompaniment to the regional cold cuts like prosciutto and salame), or the sweet Albana di Romagna. Plan to arrive mid-afternoon so you can tour the castle and taste a little wine!
You have two options for your ride today:
Short option: 28 km (17 miles), with + 484 m (1587 ft) elevation gain.
Long option: 41 km (25 miles), with + 669 m (2195 ft) elevation gain.
Accommodation: Albergo Ristorante Canè, or Agriturismo La Rondinella.
Bicycle from Dozza to Bologna
Highlights: Bologna - Italy's culinary capital
We'll leave the hills of Dozza to ride to Bologna today, Emilia Romagna's administrative capital, and, arguably, its culinary capital too. Home to the oldest continually operating university in the world, Bologna has a long tradition of studies, arts, and gastronomy. Speaking of gastronomy, Bologna gave birth to the mortadella, vulgarly distorted abroad as "bologna," although the fresh, artisanal mortadella has nothing to do with processed ham! Make sure you put this culinary delight on your 'must try' list!
Daily distance: 68 km (42 miles)
Elevation gain: + 177 m (580 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel Touring , or similar.
Tour ends in Bologna
Highlights: Tour End
Your bicycle ride in Emilia Romagna ends this morning in Bologna. If you have the time you might consider an extra night or two in Bologna to enjoy the rich cultural history here . Alternatively, train connections are convenient to Rome, Venice or Milan. 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 6 nights in 3- and 4-star lodgings; all breakfasts; 1 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
Extra nights: If you'd like to add nights before or after the tour, please inquire - we will be happy to provide a quote and add the nights to your tour package.
Extra meals & activities: (please inquire for price and availability)
- Cooking classes available in various tour locations! Organized by Le Cesarine, experts in Italian culinary experiences. You will be hosted by a local at their home - your "Cesarina" - in a class that lasts about three hours, during which you will help the Cesarina prepare three courses. In the fourth and final hour, you will enjoy the meal (lunch or dinner) which you prepared during the class. The price of €120 per person includes water and one bottle of house wine for every 3 people. Min 2 participants - supplement of €75 for solo travelers..
Extra meals & activities (please inquire for price and availability):
Day 1 - Dinner in Ravenna
Day 2 – Guided visit of Ravenna (approx. 3 hours long)
Day 2 – Dinner in Faenza
Day 3 – Olive oil tasting
Day 6 – Dinner at the hotel in Dozza
Day 7 – Dinner in Bologna
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: itbs1463
Starting point: Ostello Galletti Abbiosi- Via Di Roma, 140 - Ravenna
- We recommend flying into Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ)
- Take a shuttle bus to Bologna train station, then a train to Ravenna.
*The meeting time for our self-guided tours is typically set between 2pm and 4pm. We recommend travelers plan accordingly allowing plenty of time to arrive at the determined meeting place. Please note a late fee may be applied for late arrivals - please see our terms page for details"
Ending point: Hotel Touring- Via De' Mattuiani, 1/2, Bologna
You can fly out from Bologna’s Marconi Airport (BLQ).
- Marconi Express is the new monorail that connects the Bologna airport and train station. The trip is 7 minutes long and it runs every 7 minutes. A one-way ticket costs about €7.50
- The ride to Bologna Airport takes about 30 minutes (depending on traffic) and costs about €25
Private airport transfers available if you prefer to be driven from airport to hotel in a private vehicle transfer, please inquire for cost - we will be happy to include this service in your tour package
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||181 - 261 km (112 - 162) more by choice|
|Daily Distance||0 - 62 km (0 - 39 miles) No mileage on rest days by choice|
|Terms||Terms & Conditions|
|Dates|| This tour is available from March 1 to October 31
Starts every Tuesday. 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.
*2023 price, per person based on double occupancy; minimum 2 participants per departure.
Solo traveler departures are also available (only one person on the departure), with a supplemental fee of €435. This fee also includes the cost of the single / double room supplement
Group Discounts are available for 4 or more participants booking together on the same departure! Please inquire for details through our contact form below.
For more ways to save, see our Discounts and Promotions page (hint - consider coming in the low-season!)
High-Season surcharge (May, June, September and early October): a €100 per person surcharge is applied on high-season departures. If joining an existing, confirmed departure date, the fee may be waived - please inquire.
2023 Confirmed departures:
Sept 3, 5, 12
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 Ravenna and collection from ending point in Bologna.
Bike rental rates
Aluminum hybrid: €105
Premium Titanium road or hybrid: €140
E-bike (hybrid with straight handlebar): €210
Tandem: €245 (priced per bike, for 2 cyclists)
Tag-along or kid trailer: €70
For detailed specs and photos of our bikes, see our website - Bike Rentals Italy.
If you are looking for a shorter cycling tour, our 5-day Discover Emilia-Romagna Casual tour still offers great cycling and all the highlights; or inquire about making this same Classic package shorter.
If you want more exploration of this fabulous region, you can create a Grand Tour of Emilia-Romagna joining this package with our Taste of Italy tour , also experiencing the wonderful land between Bologna and Parma!
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||€950 per person *
||Single Supplement||€205 (in double room for single use)|
|Next Step||Request space on this Bicycle Tour »|
10 out of 10: We found everything about the tour to be top notch. In particular, given the chaos and disruption of the last couple of years, we found Cycle Europe, and Sara in particular, to be completely accommodating and helpful as we navigated the ever changing requirements. The cycling part of our vacation was the one part that we didn't have any concerns or hesitancy about...everything was well planned, communicated, and executed.
Rex A., USA, 2021
The entire trip was first class from the bikes and their fitting to the GPS and maps with explanations with things to do and see in the area. The route was gorgeous. Rode through orchards and vineyards on roads hardly used by cars....and if there was a vehicle we were given priority as they went far around us. There were some good hills which were rewarded with magnificent views and a hearty appetite. A highlight was the two nights spent at the agricultural farm stay. When riding into Bologna we were on bike paths through the busy areas. Never worried about traffic.
excellent route notes. very clear and accurate. "What was your favorite experience on this trip?" The quiet roads, the respectful Italian drivers giving us LOTS of room as they passed us, the scenery....the ridge rides with views after the long climbs....Our favourite stay was the farm...Roberto and his wife were so welcoming and friendly with amazing food and a super pasta making lesson. We very much enjoyed our week with you. It was the highlight of our 3 weeks in Italy and we were in some amazing places in your lovely country. Will look forward to exploring another part of Italy with you on another self guided holiday.
Route notes provided were clear and accurate. Evening restaurant suggestions that I tried were great too. Staff at Albergo Ristorante Cane were outstanding. My favorite experience on this trip? There were many - great and varied days riding a very good bicycle. Ravenna and Dozza hotel and dining experiences. Look forward to touring with you again!
We had a wonderful experience. Kris and I both said this was one of the best vacations we have ever taken.
The route notes provided were by far and away the best I've ever seen. Hard to see how to make them better. Most hotels were well located and quite nice. The Golf was a bit spare but I think the only available choice in town. And, the staff was very nice so....Sara's bike set up was as good as it gets and the bikes very comfortable and better equipped than I expected. A wonderful tour by a wonderful company (in a wonderful country). Delightful people to work with.
Brisighella was amazing. The lunch place at the square is highly recommended! Thank you very much for a very well organized and enjoyable experience.
U. Arab Emirates
The hotel owners were all very pleasant and helpful. We are quite grateful to them. We are especially grateful for the carefully laid out route that you chose. The routes were chosen very well, from a cyclist''s point of view. They included different terrain (hills, flat), spectacular views, many points of interest. The routes were complicated, and there''s no way we could have come up with that on our own. They were clearly chosen by experienced cyclists who knew the countryside intimately. We had a great time! Thank you!
Our adventure through Italy was better than we had ever dreamed. Each hotel was lovely, each route thoughtfully mapped, and the support behind it all was perfect. I wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our trip--it was better than we had ever imagined! Thank you so much for all the wonderful plans! The hotels were great and comfortable, the routes and directions were perfect, and each day just got better and better! Thanks for picking us up, and for planning the most adventurous vacation we''ve ever taken! It will be an experience we never forget.
Thanks very much for putting this tour together for us and welcoming us to The Farm, it was brilliant to see your operation. We will not hesitate to recommend you when we share our stories of Emilia-Romagna
I loved the hills, to be honest. And the chance to ride the lovely bike at a fast pace on the flat. The lunch served in the bar in a small town - thrown together by a very friendly chef. A few townspeople (men, always men) showed up with a booklet about the history of their town and took our picture. I know I''m supposed to tell you about my one favorite but can I just add a thank you for the AMAZING visit to your farm. The bike staff were so attentive and helpful and focused on giving us a good ride.
Had a wonderful experience and a great time! Thank you for everything.
Sarah & Richard R.
What was the best moment of the tour? Looking down on my family as they descend happily after a hilly climb and then joining in with the wind in my hair and the sunshine on my back. Thank you for an extremely laid-back, yet exciting week.
W. Cape, RSA