Bike Across Italy
The Italy You’ve Been Dreaming of From One Captivating Coast to the Other.
This coast-to-coast bike tour passes through four of Italy’s most beautiful regions: Le Marche, Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany, each known for its charming hilltop towns, lush landscapes and unique cuisines. We cycle along rivers, stop at the spectacular Grotte di Frasassi, Italy’s largest known caves, and through Etruscan settlements. Continuing on, we wind through fields of poppies, wild broom, and orchids. Enjoy local, fresh cuisine you can’t find anywhere else!
“It was such a great tour I had to do it twice!”
-Eli C. Marblehead, MA
- Medieval hill towns, castles, and ancient abbeys
- Learn more about Etruscan and Roman civilization
- Wander through Italy’s largest cave
- Distinctive wines and cuisine from four regions
- Historical routes detailing threads of Italy’s past from east to west
- Explore with local guides the quaint towns of Assisi, Urbino and Orvieto
- Learn more about Slow Food at lunch in le Marche region
Day by Day
Day 1 — Pesaro
At 12 pm we meet in the lobby of our hotel for introductions, a light lunch and a quick spin in the area. Before dinner, opt to take a walk in town or enjoy an aperitif before a well deserved dinner featuring the local fresh catch of the day.
Day 2 — Urbino
From Pesaro we ride into fields and family farm plots en route to Urbino, a thriving cultural center and college town whose fairytale skyline is visible for miles. In the evening, the main piazza is often filled with townspeople, university students, artists, and musicians from around the world. Today you'll feel as if you've be transported back in time to the Middle Ages, discovering more of Urbino on a walking tour with a local guide, surrounded by historical buildings and a unique atmosphere.
Day 3 — Genga
Today we set out for the roughly hewn Le Marche region. Oddly patched with farmland and forests, it seems rather surreal. Le Marche was once a very poor region: now many small industries thrive throughout the region. As if in response to their rugged, harsh surroundings, the Marchegiani are industrious, very private people. Lunch is at a Slow Food establishment in Cagli featuring local fresh food. The ride ends in Gola Rossa, a spectacular gorge that is visible for miles and winds through a wonderful mountain farmland where underground rivers have carved the immense Grotte di Frassasi. The extra loop to the monastery of Fonte Avellana offers a spectacular, challenging climb for those interested. Tonight, stay far away from civilization, at a place with a great spa - perfect for relaxing after a satisfying ride.
Day 4 — Gubbio
This morning we will visit the very fascinating Grotte di Frasassi, the largest grottoes in Europe. Following our visit we'll bike through a beautiful river valley, then climb up one of the gentlest passes of the Apennines to arrive, after an incredible descent, into the well-preserved medieval town of Gubbio.
Day 5 — Spello
We begin our bike ride today with a descend from Gubbio as we cycle along the hillside. Stop at the Roman Amphitheater for a great photo op! Then it's a couple of wake-up hills and fun downhills through the lush landscape to work up an appetite for lunch, followed by a rolling stretch with a final ascent to Spello’s town center.
Day 6 — Spello Rest Day
Today, there is an optional morning ride, or you can spend time on your own exploring Assisi & Spello. A shuttle will take the group to Assisi for our walking tour with a local guide. Assisi's famous sights include the Roman gates of Spello, the Church of S. Rufino, the Church of Santa Chiara, the Temple of Minerva and the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. After the tour, learn about wine making at a local family-run winery and then partake in wine tasting.
Day 7 — Todi
Ride through rolling farmland to medieval Bevagna where you will learn about papermaking the way it was done in medieval times. Then we climb to Montefalco through olive groves and vineyards. After lunch, we drop down along a tiny road with magnificent views on both sides. From Bastardo, we begin to climb again through vineyards, sunflower and wheat fields. The approach to Todi is spectacular - a memorable descent toward this medieval hill town's soaring steeple. Its inspiring setting merits a climb at the end of the day.
Day 8 — Orvieto
Despite the long uphill, today's ride is straight forward, short, and not too tough if you take the hill at your own pace. After descending from Todi we climb for 7 miles along an incredible ascent. The grade is fairly gentle all the way up. We will have lunch in Orvieto and then tour the underground Etruscan ruins. Make sure to look out in the distance to check out the awesome view.
Day 9 — Sovana
We descend from Orvieto and then enjoy a gentle climb out of this immense volcanic basin as we head towards the charming village of Civita and then onto Bolsena. Lunch followed by a swim at Bolsena will leave you refreshed for the climb ahead. The climb to Gradoli and beyond is tough, but a fantastic bike ride along a ridge is our reward. We are in three regions today: Umbria, briefly Lazio, and finally Tuscany. This entire region is very rich in Etruscan history.
Day 10 — Porto Ercole
Today’s regular road and extra loop split right at the start of the ride; the main loop heads to Pitigliano and then climbs out of it to reach Manciano, whereas the longer ride heads to Saturnia, Italy’s oldest city. The two rejoin for a rewarding downhill to the Mediterranean coast. The longer loop provides two more climbs to S. Martino sul Fiora and Montemerano. The last stretch of the grand finale is through the “Tombolo di Feniglia”, a shady forest that connects the Argentario peninsula to mainland Italy.
Day 11 — Arrivederci!
Around 9am, we will shuttle you to Orbetello-Monte Argentario train station to catch trains to other destinations in Italy. Or, why not spend a few nights on the Costa di Argento exploring footpaths or relaxing on the beach? Buon Viaggio!
- Bike rental equipped with odometer, map case, handlebar and seat bags and bike pump.
- Ciclismo jersey and water bottle
- Shuttle to train station on last day of tour
On The Tour
- 1 Wine Tasting
- Walking tours of Assisi, Urbino and underground Orvieto
- Cooking demonstration
- Visit to Frasassi grottoes and Paper maker in Bevagna
Accommodations & Meals
- All accommodations
- All breakfasts
- 8 dinners
- 2 lunches
Here’s a sampling of some of the amazing places you’ll stay on your journey.
For a full listing, request a detailed itinerary!
The 5-star hotel Excelsior has been created to offer hotel guests and all those who appreciate the art of living well, a far from ordinary destination and a lifestyle of modern luxury. Recalling the glamorous atmosphere of the 1950s, the Excelsior is a boutique hotel where hospitality and leisure combined with discretion and charm create a quiet haven, rich in art, beauty and stunning views.
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Charming, elegant 13- century palazzo in center of town. The Bosone family aristocratic title goes back to the time of Dante. Breakfast room has beautiful frescoed ceiling.
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Hotel Palazzo Piccolomini
Hotel Palazzo Piccolomini (Orvieto 1 night) The Hotel Palazzo Piccolomini is remarkable for its beautiful palace created for the pontifical family Piccolomini at the end of the 16th century, above of the preexisting medieval buildings. A recent and accurate restoration has given new splendor to the different age-long structures; from refined facade overlooking Piazza Ranieri down to the underground rooms cut into the tufa mass, on which the Etruscan Orvieto rises.
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