A Special Cycling Tour of Italy
On this incredible tour, you can experience some of Italy’s finest hotels, gentle cycle rides to medieval villages, and long days of relaxation by the pool or beach. During your self-guided cycling tour, which begins, and ends in the historical city of Bologna, you can sample Italian gastronomic delights, uncover a wealth of history, and see wildlife in its natural habitat. With pretty hilltop villages, olive oil tasting, and well-deserved a touch of luxury on offer, there’s everything to love with our Special Cycling Tour of Italy.
Distance: 133km | Difficulty: Gentle
Downtime by the Pool
You arrive in Bologna, and transfer directly to your hotel in Milano Marittima, where you will stay for the next 3 nights. For the rest of the day you are free to relax by the pool or on the hotel’s private beach. Get a good night’s sleep before heading out to Milano Marittima the next morning.
The town was designed in the early 1900s, originally as a garden retreat for the bourgeoisie of Milan. It’s a compact, exclusive resort, which is delightful to explore. When you return to your hotel, a spa treatment is offered as part of your package, so you can relax before you begin your cycling tour the next day.
Byzantine Capital of Ravenna
Today you ride to Ravenna, with its six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the city is a pleasure to visit. The ride is traffic free, leading you through cool pine forests, bulrushes and a Wetland reserve where you can spot resident birdlife. Pedal along dusty farm tracks to the Basilica at Cesse, then onto Ravenna with its ancient streets and buildings.
A Rural Delight
When you awake, grab your bike and head for Cesenatico, 35 km ride. The ride is flat and mainly off-road, so you can take your time enjoying views of the countryside and river embankments. This rural area is abundant with pretty fishing huts and a well-known café where you can pause for refreshments.
Pedal through salt pans of Cervia, take in old salt warehouses, and coast along under shady pine forests, past sand dunes and sandy beaches to your next hotel in the colourful, stylish town of Cesenatico.
Canals, Cafes + Cesenatico
The next day, relax and explore the historic centre of Cesenatico. There’s plenty of canal side cafes in this picturesque town, or you could opt for a lazy day on the beach, before treating yourself to dinner at one of the two Michelin starred restaurants in this charming port town.
The Circle Route
Your next mission, should you choose to accept it, is an optional circular ride to Longiano via peaceful back roads. This is a flat ride until you reach the town when there is a 200 metre climb to reach the medieval village.
Pedalling through orchards of fragrant peaches and cherries during summertime, you pass stunning medieval hilltop villages until you reach your destination – which is also a medieval hilltop village!
There’s a selection of quirky museums, and a great restaurant for lunch, and on your return journey to Cesenatico, the local olive farm invites you in for a tasting of delicious chutney’s, wines and oils – all made on the farm.
To Rimini + Beyond
After breakfast, we transfer you to the historic Grand Hotel in the bustling beach resort of Rimini. Once you have settled in, you can opt to ride to the medieval village of Santarcangelo and back. This flat ride leads you through the historic heart of Rimini where there are five UNESCO sites to explore.
When you reach Santarcangelo, you will find a gem of a village with narrow streets, pretty churches, small squares and a network of mysterious underground tufa caves. You return via bicycle along the riverside. Enjoy an evening, and the following day relaxing in beautiful Rimini before heading to Bologna, where you will depart, or choose to spend an extra couple of days in this vibrant city.
Bolognese in Bologna?
If you choose to extend your trip, here are a few things you should know about Bologna. It is the capital of Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy, a historical city whose settlements date back to 1000 BC. Famous for its towers, porticos and bustling lively piazzas, it’s the perfect place in which to extend your tour.
Walk the streets of Quadrilatero, a medieval market with old shops and stands. Here you can pick up fresh produce and local wines like Sangiovese and Pignoletto. Bologna, as the name suggests, is famous for its popular ragu sauce ‘Bolognese’, which visitors can delight in sampling. There are several ‘must sees’ in the city – the Archiginnasio, in the University of Bologna, the oldest University in the western world founded in 1088.
The second ‘must see’ is Piazza Maggiore, an atmospheric piazza in the heart of the city, and Basilica of San Petronio, the city’s most important church. Head to the terrace to view the red-brick rooftops and ochre buildings of Bologna and bid a fond farewell to Italy, until the next time.
8 nights' accommodation in a 3 x 5 star luxury hotels, continental breakfast, luggage transfers between hotels, emergency call-out service, route directions + maps of the area, transfers where specified in itinerary.
Our Europe brochure has a wide variety of exciting experiences. Whether it is a self-guided hiking + cycling trip, taking a barge + cycling cruise, enjoying a food + wine experience in Sardinia, or spending days absorbing the culture of classical cities.
Follow in the footsteps of famous writers on a self-drive walking holiday in the UK; follow the last 100kms of the Portuguese Coastal Way to Santiago de Compostela along the stunning Atlantic Coast or explore a section of the Via Francigena in Tuscany walking from Lucca to Siena.
Ready to Venture?
Discover a uniquely immersive travel experience for your next adventure
Can't find what you had in mind? Just tell us what you want and we'll make it happen to anywhere in the world.