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Cycle Europe - serving bicycle travellers since 1972

Bicycle Tours — Italy

Discover Romagna, the Land of La Dolce Vita

Casual self-guided - Ravenna to Bologna - 7 days

A new take on our classic tour of charming Romagna. Still being discovered by foreigners, this is the heart of Italy's homemade pasta and one of the most bicycle-friendly regions in Italy. You will explore the famous ceramics town of Faenza, enchanting hilltop villages like Dozza, Riolo Terme, and Brisighella (officially among The Most Beautiful Hamlets in Italy). Start in marvelous Ravenna, once the capital of the Western Roman Empire and now a UNESCO world-heritage art city, cycling all the way to historic Bologna, famous for its pastel colors and countless porticoes. Easy flat rides, or many options for more serious hill rides make for a cycling paradise. After pedaling, delight your culinary taste buds with freshly made tagliatelle, lasagne, ravioli and more, all washed down with local Sangiovese wine.

New for 2024: in an effort to offer more sustainable options, we now offer this great tour package without luggage transfers between hotels. Self-supported cyclists can enjoy this bike itinerary carrying their belongings in bike panniers, thus reducing fuel and vehicle emissions!

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  • Day 1

    Marvelous Ravenna - welcome to the Romagna region

    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 Centrale Byron or Hotel Diana.

  • Day 2

    Ride 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)

    Lodging: 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 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. 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 worth exploring this evening.

    Daily distance: 51 km (32 miles)
    Elevation gain: + 520 m (1706 ft)

    Accommodation: Hotel Zio Imola.

  • 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: 73 km (45 miles)
    Elevation gain: + 260 m (853 ft)

    Accommodation: Hotel Il Guercino .

  • 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 2-,3- and 4-star hotels and B&Bs of similar quality
All breakfasts
Access to smartphone app with preloaded tracks and digital roadbook

Not Included:
Travel to and from the tour start and end
Bike fitting and welcome meeting
Bicycle rental (see Prices tab)
Luggage transfers (see optional pricing)
Entrance to museums or other activities
City hotel tax (€2 to 5 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)

Half-board option: price per person to be determined (6 total dinners, drinks not 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: available before/after tour, please inquire for prices.

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 options available:
  • Dinner in Ravenna
    Guided visit of Ravenna (approx. 3 hours long)
    Dinner in Faenza
    Olive oil tasting
    Dinner at the hotel in Riolo Terme
    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?.

    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: itbs3990
    Countries Italy
    Begin/End Ravenna / Bologna
    Arrive/Depart How to get there and away:
    Fly in and out of Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ)

    Starting point: Ostello Galletti Abbiosi – Via Di Roma, 140 - Ravenna
    - Take the Marconi Express Monorail, that connects the Bologna airport and train station
    - You can also take a taxi from Bologna Airport to the train station
    - There are frequent direct train connections between Bologna and Ravenna, the trip is about 1-hour long. The hotel is located about 1km from the train station. You can walk 10 minutes or take a 5-minute taxi to the hotel

    Ending point: Hotel Il Guercino Via Luigi Serra, 7 - Bologna
    - To get from Hotel Guercino to Bologna Airport, use a taxi (25min) or the Marconi Express Monorail (see "Starting Point" for details)

    Private airport transfers also available: please inquire for rates and reservation

    Long-term Parking options are available both in Ravenna and in Bologna: please inquire for reservation instructions and prices.

    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 194-272 km (120-169 miles), with choices for more
    Daily Distance 40-70 km (25-46 miles) with optional rest days.

    Rating 101 to 201
    About Tour Ratings »
    Notes Difficulty description: Choices of easy rides on the flat or serious hill rides for those with energy to burn. Also 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

    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 €385. 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:

    April 30

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

    Pannier rental: €40 per person (quality waterproof panniers, set of 2)

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

    For detailed specs and photos of our bikes, see our website - Bike Rentals Italy.


    Luggage transfer option: €335 for 1-4 travelers

    Your luggage will be transported from one hotel to the next. 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.


    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 €595 per person * Single Supplement €130 fee (in private room)
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