DAy 1 : Welcome to Chioggia and the Venetian lagoon
Highlights: Canals and colorful alleys of “mini-Venice”
Welcome to Chioggia and the Venetian Lagoon! Take a walk and explore charming Chioggia, admiring the canals, bridges and the lively pedestrian main street. You may even take a test ride along one of the islands in the lagoon, crossing over on the local ferry boat.
Daily distance: optional ride of 17 km (11 miles), or cycle as much as you desire today.
Accommodation: Hotel Domus Clugiae, or similar.
Day 2 Pedal the Po River Delta
Highlights: Chioggia, bicycle quiet roads, sleep in a country farm estate
We leave the Venetian lagoon today towards the Po River Delta. Enjoy cycling on levee roads and birdwatching. Grab some picnic supplies from the local grocery store or stop at a cafe for lunch today. Those who want extra mileage can enjoy a great ride into the delta this afternoon. Our destination tonight is a lovely country farm bed and breakfast.
Daily distance: 58 km (36 miles)
Elevation gain: + 235 m (771 ft)
Po Delta extra loop ride: 43 km (27 miles), with + 157 m ( ft) elevation gain.
Accommodation: Agriturismo Forzello, or similar.
Day 3 Cycle to Comacchio
Highlights: Little Venice and the Tre Ponti; Roman maritime museum
Pedal through an old hunting forest that belonged to the powerful Este family. You’ll also have the chance to visit the impressive Pomposa Abbey on the way. Our destination is a small lagoon town which was more important than Venice in the 700 and 800s, and still shows its old splendor. Comacchio also houses a fabulous museum showcasing a dug-up Roman boat and its cargo, shown in a magnificent display. Built on 13 islands, this town is now landlocked but surrounded by the Po River and fresh water wetlands.
Distance: 74 km (46 miles)
Elevation gain: -196/+199 m (-643/+652 ft)
Accommodation: B&B Al Ponticello, or similar.
Day 4 Comacchio to Ravenna
Highlights: Lush wetlands and bird viewing; Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna
Continue south along the Valley of Comacchio towards 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 in San Vitale, Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. Make sure to also stroll this fabulous city – our hotel is walking distance from all the city sights.
Daily distance: 53 km (33 m)
Elevation gain: 110 m (360 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel Centrale Byron, or similar.
Day 5 Ravenna to Faenza
Highlights: Sant’Apollinare in Classe mosaics; Countryside cycling; Faenza Int. Ceramics Museum and Renaissance square
As you exit Ravenna this morning, we recommend visiting a Byzantine masterpiece: Sant’Apollinare in Classe. You will cross the plains and fruit plantations before arriving in Faenza. Your hotel is an elegant restored convent just a few blocks from 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 (the square is one of the loveliest in Italy!). Faenza is world-renowned for its hand decorated ceramics, and we recommend visiting the International Ceramics Museum as well the local artists’ studios , specialized in this colorful pottery.
Daily mileage: 52 km (32 miles)
Elevation gain: 158 m (518 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel Vittoria, or similar.
Day 6 Over the Apennines to Florence
Highlights: Brisighella, one of the loveliest hamlets in Italy; Bike (or train) over the Apennines; Renaissance Florence
Today you’ll cycle out of Faenza to Brisighella, through fruit farms and olive orchards, with the Apennine mountains in plain view. You may also choose to skip cycling today and take a lovely train ride from the Faenza train station, up and over the Apennines to Florence.
A 15 km bike ride away, the medieval village of Brisighella (officially on the list of “The Loveliest Hamlets in Italy”), is a picturesque town worth the stop (on your bike, or by train).
After exploring its alleys and piazzas (or even a walk up to the fortification perched on a hill above, the ride continues over rolling terrain to Marradi, just inside the Tuscan border, where you may choose to stop cycling and catch the train to Florence (with bikes aboard the train); or cycle to the following train station at Borgo San Lorenzo. You may even cycle all the way into Florence for the complete crossing of the Apennines! Many wonderful options to cross over the mountains from Emilia-Romagna and end your adventure in Tuscany!
* Option 1: end your cycling in Faenza, leaving the bikes at the hotel; and catch the train to Florence from the Faenza train station (with your luggage at hand) The train ticket to Florence is included in the tour package price.
* Options 2 and 3: Cycle to Marradi (37km / 23miles with 345m / 1131ft elevation gain) or cycle to Borgo San Lorenzo (72km / 44miles with 1298m / 4260ft elevation gain); in both towns, you can get on the train to Florence with your bike. Or cycle all the way to Florence hotel (104 km / 64 miles with 1785 m / 5850 ft elevation gain). In all cases, Cycle Europe will transfer your luggage to the Florence hotel. The fee for the optional ride on day 6 is €145 per person, plus 1 additional bike hire day (includes bike pickup and luggage transfer to Florence hotel, minimum 2 people).
Accommodation: 31.10 Art Hotel Firenze, or similar.
Day 7 Tour ends in Florence
Highlights: The grand Florence; Arrivederci!
After breakfast in the hotel, you’re on your own and ready to explore Florence – visit Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and the other masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery – or simply stroll the grand lanes and lovely alleys of this fabulous city. We will provide plenty of suggestions for exploring.
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.