Bike Across Italy

Venice to Pisa

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We begin in romantic Venice, make stops in the great art cities of Ferrara, Ravenna & Florence, and end on the Mediterranean coast in Pisa. Along the way, you’ll enjoy gourmet meals from two of Italy’s best culinary regions (Emilia-Romagna & Tuscany), take in local markets, and discover a side of Italy seldom seen by tourists. You’ll also visit  a family owned farm for a light lunch and a close-up look at rural life in Italy. This is the perfect way to see Italy.

Highlights 

  • Enjoy 8 to 12 days of cycling
  • Discover Venice, Florence and Tuscany
  • Visit a 100 year old farm
  • Experience  wonderful regional cuisines

View Itinerary

Skill Levels

  • I Own Bike Shorts (moderate)
  • My Bike Has a Name (advanced)

Recent Reviews

The trip was the most organized and well thought- through adventure I have been on to date. Marking the route with chalk dust... Read More

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What's Included

  • 11 Nights Lodging
  • All lodging taxes and gratuities
  • 6 dinners, 2 lunches, and 11 breakfasts including taxes and gratuities
  • Choice of a hybrid or a road bike
  • 2 experienced bi-lingual guides
  • Full Van Support
  • Admission and fees for all listed activities
  • Unique routes Chalk dusted for easy navigation
  • Choice of a welcome gift

Tour Map


Itinerary 

Day 1 – The Lido of Venice and Dinner at a Trattoria

Welcome to Venezia! You really should try and come a day or two early to explore this unique city before we begin our bike ride to Pisa. We meet this afternoon at our hotel on the Lido of Venice where we’ll fit bicycles. We’ll enjoy an introductory aperitif before walking to dinner in a small trattoria on the Lido.

Day 2 – Bicycle Venice to the Po River Delta

The Lidos of Venice and Pellestrina protect the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. You’ll follow these natural levees this morning as we work our way south via flat roads and ferries to Chioggia, at the south end of the lagoon. Enjoy lunch on your own there before continuing south to Taglio di Po in the Po River delta. Those who want extra mileage can enjoy a great ride into the delta this afternoon. Dinner together

Day 3 – Taglia de Po to Ferrara

It’s another day of leisurely riding today as we follow the Po river upstream to the Renaissance city of Ferrara. Entering the city, we’ll pass under the 16th century walls, one of the most intact Renaissance walls left in Italy. Other highlights of this UNESCO world heritage site include the many palaces of the Este court from the 14th and 15th century. We’ll suggest some great restaurants for dinner on your own this evening.

Day 4 – Revenna

We shuttle this morning to the nearby lagoon town of Comacchio, once a port town more famous than Venice. After a small float around the canals with a local fisherman as captain, we’ll ride across the “valleys of Comacchio”, through the Po delta’s rich bird habitats. Then it’s on to the Anita di Argenta where we’ll stop at a local agriturismo(farm cooperative), to enjoy a lunch of homegrown vegetables, homemade ricotta, and other local specialties. A short bike ride later we’ll enter Ravenna, 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.

Day 5 – Ravenna to Faenza

We’ll head west from Ravenna today, stopping to visit a local Italian bike shop on our way to “the farm” for a light lunch together. “The farm” is our European headquarters and is located on land that Paola Malpezzi-Price’s family has cultivated for more than 100 years. We continue on to Faenza, where we visit a local ceramist who will introduce us to traditional Faenza designs. Dinner, if you are still hungry, is on your own

Day 6 – Over the Appenines

We head into the Apennines today, passing first through the medieval village of Brisighella for an olive oil tasting in one of Italy’s most unique olive oil producing areas. We’ll then begin climbing (easily at first!) over the Apennines — remember to look around as you climb since the scenery changes dramatically as you leave the plains and enter the mountains. Just before we reach the toughest part of our climb to Ronta, there is a very conveniently located train station which allows you a choice in how you reach our destination! We’ll enjoy dinner together in tonight.

  • Cycling: 9 to 39 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
  • Lodging: Hotel la Rosa

Day 7 – Fiesole and Florence

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’ll ride into town together, and the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore this capital of Renaissance Italy. Our hotel in Florence lies on the banks of the Arno River, close to the Uffizi Gallery. We’ll have dinner together this evening.

Day 8 – The Wonders of Florence

We are offering a guided walking tour of Florence this morning so schedule your reservations to visit the famous Uffizi Gallery or the Accademia, home to Michelangelo’sDavid after 12:30PM. At sunset, take a walk down to the Ponte Vecchio to engage in the passeggiata (or “evening stroll”). Dinner is on your own

Day 9 – The Birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci

After breakfast, we head out of Florence and down the Arno River valley for a beautiful day of riding in the Italian countryside. There is a bit of a climb as we cross Mount Albano but what a spectacular view. Our destination is Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, where you’ll have a chance to visit the house where he was born and a museum with scale models of his inventions. Dinner is together tonight

Day 10 – Lucca

Climb the stairway to the Medici villa in Cerreto Guidi today for a great view as we continue west to Lucca, where we’ll stay the next two nights. Lucca was a Roman town and one of medieval Italy’s most prosperous city-states. Today, Lucca retains its medieval charm with its small shops and sidewalk cafés, as well as the beautiful 17th-century wall that surrounds the town. Dinner on your own.

Day 11 – Pisa

Our last day of pedaling takes us to Pisa where you can visit the Leaning Tower and the Piazza of Miracles. Our route to Pisa takes us by Lake Massaciuccoli, where Puccini wrote many of his operas. After a stroll through Pisa, head back to the less-touristy town of Lucca to enjoy an evening passeggiata along the main pedestrian way. We’ll celebrate our adventure across Italy with a final dinner together this evening

Day 12 – Tour Ends in Lucca

After breakfast, our journey across Italy comes to an end. You’re on your own now, prepared to face Rome and its many museums or to explore the Lakes District to the north. Buon viaggio!!

  • Meals: Breakfast

Customer Reviews 

  • One of my favorite experiences on the trip were the levee roads on the Po Delta. I had never cycled on such straight, smooth, level roads. At times it seemed like we were floating through that incredible landscape. Second would have to be climbing the Passo de Colla, although I am very slow going uphill, this was so beautiful, and I really enjoyed getting to the top. I really appreciate all the work and planning, beginning with the office staff and continuing to our guides, that gave us such a marvelous trip!

  • The tour leaders were wonderful, very helpful and accommodating. The group meals were very fun and the food was outstanding.

  • There were many pleasant surprises. Rounding a bend and seeing a postcard view. Walking out of the hotel after showering the first day in Florence and realizing we were a block away from the Ponte Vecchio. The taste of a tomato and the garlic in the salami at one of the dinners. But the most memorable experience was on about Day 7, after breakfast when we were getting on our bikes and I thought, “I could do this forever!”

  • I must say it was all wonderful. [The tour leaders] were absolutely superb in not only how hard they worked, but their attitude during very very long days. I cannot say good enough about them. I did not rear a single negative word from anyone on the tour about them. Nothing but praise. They represented their country and company in the best possible way. They made a great trip extraordinary.

  • Our trip was the best experience I have ever had! Before the trip, I thought I would enjoy myself, but we both just fell in love with Italy. Your tour organization was everything I could have hoped. The guides were invaluable and great fun to travel with. I expecially liked how we were able to ride at our pace throught he back roads. There were a couple of times where I could smell what someone was cooking! This was a trip of a lifetime (unless we are able to return)! Thank you so much.

  • The trip was the most organized and well thought- through adventure I have been on to date. Marking the route with chalk dust arrows was a bonus. The meals were great and our tour guides made our trip perfect.

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