Skip to Main Content
Cycle Europe - serving bicycle travellers since 1972

Bicycle Tours — Italy

Bicycle Romagna, Heartland of Italy's Homemade Pasta

Classic Self-Guided - Ravenna to Bologna - 7 days

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.

New for 2024 - revamped itinerary with two nights in Faenza, our base of operations in Italy! Please feel free to stop by and say hello - ask us for directions and we will be happy to show you the way to our office.

Request space on this Bicycle Tour »

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Ravenna

    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, as well as the beautiful Renaissance historical center of Ravenna.

    Accommodation: Palazzo Bezzi Ravenna, or similar.

  • Day 2

    Welcome meeting and bike fitting, Cycle to Faenza

    Highlights: Faenza International Ceramics Museum and Renaissance Town Square

    Meet our staff in the early morning to fit bikes and get ready for your tour ahead. Exiting Ravenna you have the choice to visit another very important Byzantine masterpiece: Sant'Apollinare in Classe. Cross the plains through fruit orchards and arrive at 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: 53 km (33 miles)
    Elevation gain: +167 m (548 ft)

    Accommodation: Hotel Vittoria, or similar.

  • Day 3

    Faenza loop ride to Castrocaro and Terra del Sole

    Highlights: Castrocaro Castle, Terra del Sole Medicean Fortress, Romagna farms

    A lovely, gentle loop ride out and back to Faenza. After exiting Faenza, you will pedal past farms and fruit orchards, mostly on quiet backroads, with the nearby Apennines in view. Cycle through Terra del Sole and its impressive fortress - once an outpost of the Medici Family when Tuscany bordered with Romagna in late Medieval times - to Castrocaro Terme, a picturesque medieval city on the lower hills below the Apennines. We recommend a visit of the castle at Castrocaro if open! On your return ride to Faenza, you may choose to pick up supplies for an outdoors picnic in any of the countless farms along the way!

    Daily distance: 58 km (36 miles)
    Elevation gain: +280 m (918 ft)

    Accommodation: Hotel Vittoria, or similar.

  • Day 4

    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: Grand Hotel Riolo Terme, or similar.

  • Day 5

    Cycling Riolo Terme to Imola via Dozza

    Highlights: Wine village of Dozza; beautiful views across the Po Valley; historic Imola

    Your ride today takes you through more vineyards and 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. Tonight's destination is Imola, famous for its Formula 1 racetrack. Originally built as a Roman town along the Via Emilia, the historical center is definitely worth exploring this evening.

    Daily distance: 50 km (31 miles)
    Elevation gain: +520 m (1706 ft)

    Accommodation: B&B Callegherie 21, or similar.

  • Day 6

    Bicycle from Imola to Bologna

    Highlights: Bologna - Italy's Culinary Capital

    We'll leave Imola 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:m 67 km (42 miles)
    Elevation gain: +330 m (1082 ft)

    Accommodation: Hotel Touring, or similar.

  • Day 7

    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
Bike fitting and briefing in English by our professional staff at tour start
Access to smartphone app with tracks and digital roadbook
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
Any type of insurance (medical, trip cancellation and interruption, baggage, bike rental)

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. Water and one bottle of house wine for every 3 people are included.

  • Other available optional activities and meals:
  • Dinner in Ravenna
    Guided visit of Ravenna (approx. 3 hours long)
    Dinner in Faenza
    Olive oil tasting
    Dinner in Riolo
    Dinner in Imola
    Dinner in Bologna

    Navigation and roadbook
    On our self-guided tours, detailed tour information and route navigation tracks are provided through the free smartphone app Ride With GPS - our "digital roadbook" - which includes daily routes, maps, elevation profiles, 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.

    On our self-guided tours, GPS device rental, as well as a printed roadbook, are available at an optional extra fee:
  • GPS device rental: €50
  • Printed roadbook: €45 (second copy of printed roadbook €15)

  • 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.
    Luggage transfers are included in your package. The luggage is normally collected from 09.30 at the reception of the hotel and is delivered at the following hotel by 15.00 hrs. Please use the luggage tags provided by Cycle Europe on all your luggage being transferred. Please have your luggage ready before the driver comes to collect it, otherwise 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
    Countries Italy
    Begin/End Ravenna/Bologna
    Starting point: Ostello Galletti Abbiosi- Via Di Roma, 140 - Ravenna
    - We recommend flying into Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ)
    - Take the monorail from Bologna airport to Bologna main train station, then a train to Ravenna.

    The meeting time on this self-guided tour is typically set at 8:30am on day 2. 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).

    Airport transfers:
    - Marconi Express is the new monorail that connects the Bologna airport and train station. The trip is approx. 7 minutes long.
    - The ride to Bologna Airport takes about 30 minutes (depending on traffic)

    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.)

    Total Distance 181 - 261 km (112 - 162 miles) more by choice
    Daily Distance 0 - 62 km (0 - 39 miles) No mileage on rest days by choice

    Rating 201
    Notes Difficulty description: Optional hill rides make this a dream trip for those who want to alternate easy rides with more challenging rides.
    Terms Terms & Conditions
    Dates Prices Single Supplement
    Dates This tour is available from March 1 to October 31

    Special discounts on this tour! We love to show off our dear home region of Romagna! Book by February 29 2024, and receive a free bottle of Sangiovese wine, as well as a free tasting at the Brisighella Olive Oil Coop (a real treat!)

    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.

    *2024 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 €485. This fee includes the cost of the single/double room supplement, as well as a GPS unit with the pre-loaded routes.

    Group Discounts are available for 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


    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.

    2024 Confirmed departure dates:

    May 7, 23, 28
    June 4, 18
    July 8
    Sept 24

    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: €80
    Premium Titanium road or hybrid: €105
    E-bike (hybrid with straight handlebar): €160
    Tandem: €185 (priced per bike, for 2 cyclists)
    Tag-along or kid trailer: €50

    * bike rental from morning of day 2 through 5pm on day 6

    Bike rental insurance is available for purchase with all our rental bikes – see details in the Bike Rental Insurance section of our Terms and Conditions page.

    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 €1035 per person *
    Single Supplement €245 (in double room for single use)
    Next Step Request space on this Bicycle Tour »
    • This was a well-designed self-guided tour through the delightful Emilia-Romagna area. From Byzantine mosaics of Ravenna, to the ceramics of Faenza, and the hill town of Brisighella. So many things to appreciate including olive oil tasting, wine tasting, great food and even drivers who are respectful of cyclists! My favorite part? Really hard to decide - the splendors of Ravenna (with the added benefit of being there for Notte d'Oro) or cycling through the rural areas or the well designed bike lanes. The Faenza to Brisighella to Riolo Terme was a great day that combined a beautiful village, challenging exercise, great food and the spa. So much to love!

      Maurianne R.

    • Right balance of biking, history, architecture and art( plus great food/wine!) Our favorite experiences were Ravenna’s mosaics, Dozza’s castle/wine tasting/murals.

      Elan H.

    • 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.

      Karen C.
      October, 2018

    • 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.

      Karen C.
      October 2018

    • 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!

      Suzanne T.
      New Zealand
      June 2017

    • We had a wonderful experience. Kris and I both said this was one of the best vacations we have ever taken.

      Kim N.
      Alexandria, VA
      May 2016

    • 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.

      Andrew G.
      NY, USA
      September 2015

    • Brisighella was amazing. The lunch place at the square is highly recommended! Thank you very much for a very well organized and enjoyable experience.

      Adam K.
      U. Arab Emirates
      August 2014

    • 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!

      Glenn C.
      NJ, USA
      July 2014

    • 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.

      Jenny K.
      IL, USA
      August 2013

    • 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

      Amanda N.
      July 2013

    • 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.

      June 2013

    • Had a wonderful experience and a great time! Thank you for everything.

      Sarah & Richard R.
      July 2011

    • 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.

      Zelda E.
      W. Cape, RSA
      June 2012