Heart of Italy
25 Day Cross-Country Bike Tour
For the first time, we’re taking our cross-country tours to Europe! Come with us as we cross the heart of Italy from Verona in the north to Salerno in the South, spending our layover days in Florence and Rome. Much of our route will be on the famous EuroVelo 7 bike route. We’ll take the ferry to the island of Sicily and finish our tour in Palermo. We’re keeping the average daily mileages low to give you time to conquer the hills and experience Italy along the way.
920 miles through the heart of Italy with an average of 40 miles per day including three rest days. There is an elevation gain of 2430' on average per day over rolling hills and some longer climbs. Advanced cycling level. Moderate level with an electric-assist ebike.
24 nights lodging, all breakfasts, dinners, & snacks on riding days, SAG support throughout the day, daily luggage transfers, detailed maps, cue sheets and GPS files, ferry to Sicily, mechanical support, send-off banquet, celebration dinner, and trained bilingual guides.
We will have rental bikes available through our Italian partners. The cost will be $395 for hybrids, $495 for road bikes, $795 for hybrid ebikes, and $995 for road ebikes. We will have more details about the available rental bikes as we get closer to the tour dates.
We will stay in a mix of hotels and inns each night.
Fly into Verona, Italy and out of Palermo, Sicily, Italy.
DAY 1: We start our tour in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Verona. Try to arrive early so you have time to visit some of the historical buildings in this beautiful city. Visit the Roman amphitheatre and the Romanesque Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore. You can also stop by Juliet’s House for a glimpse of her balcony, as Verona is the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.
In the afternoon, we’ll meet for an orientation and rental bike fitting, and we’ll make sure that everyone’s bike is ready for the trip. In the evening, we’ll celebrate the start of our adventure with our first dinner together. 0 miles.
DAYS 2-24: We start early with a buffet breakfast provided by the hotel, pack our bike bags with light snacks and make sure we have an extra layer of clothing and perhaps a rain jacket with us. After a commemorative group photo, we’ll start our ride through the heart of Italy.
Much of our route will be on the EuroVelo 7, known as the Ciclopista del Sole, or the Sun Cycle route in Italy. Our days will quickly fall into a comfortable rhythm. We’ll ride at our own pace, sometimes alone and sometimes in small groups, stopping where we want along the way.
We’ll cycle through the region of Emilia Romagna, known as the birthplace of balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese and prosciutto. Then we’ll pass through Tuscany, famous for its gorgeous landscapes lined with rows of Cyprus trees, vineyards and Tuscan villas.
We’ll also go through Naples where pizza was invented, and then down the beautiful Amalfi Coast, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. A ferry will take us to Sicily where we’ll spend the final week cycling across this culturally rich and varied island.
About every 15 miles, we’ll meet our SAG vehicle that holds water, snacks, tire repair tools and a first aid kit. If you’re too tired to bike anymore, you can take a ride in the SAG vehicle to our hotel for the night. The SAG makes sure everyone is in safely at the end of the day.
- Verona - UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Emilia Romagna - culinary paradise
- Amalfi Coast
- Mediterranean Sea
Once at our hotel, you’ll find our luggage, (delivered earlier by our van and trailer,) check-in to our room, and meet your roommate. We rotate roommates every night, unless you’ve requested a specific roommate or the upgrade for a single room.
If anyone has experienced bike problems during the day, we’ll use the time before dinner to work with the guide to fix it. If it’s a more complicated repair, the bike will go to a trained mechanic at a nearby bike shop. Our support vehicles will carry spare tires, tubes and a large tool case.
Then we eat dinner together, served buffet or family style in a local restaurant. There will be plenty of food for everyone. While we will accommodate guests with specific allergies and provide a nonmeat protein source for vegetarians, we cannot always adhere to everyone’s likes and dislikes. We ask that you be flexible. Every night, we will hold a map meeting to discuss the highlights of the day and to go over the details of the next day’s route.
Our three layover days will take place in Florence, Rome and Salerno where there is no planned cycling. You’ll be on your own for lunch and dinner these days and have time to explore these magnificent cities at your leisure. It will also be a chance to give your cycling legs time to recover. Average of 40 miles per day and 2430' elevation gain.
DAY 25: After breakfast, you can take a bus, train or taxi to the Palermo airport for your flight home. Arrivederci! 0 miles.
REGISTRATION DETAILS: Sign up with a nonrefundable and nontransferable deposit of $300. The first payment of $2,000 is due April 30, 2020. One-half of this deposit is refundable or transferable if you cancel before September 30. The second payment of $2000 is due September 30, 2020 and is nonrefundable and nontransferable. The balance of the trip fee is due February 1, 2021. Save 2% if you make your payments by check.
DISCOUNTS: Sign up by March 1, 2020 and receive a discount of $500 off the cost of the tour. Make your payments by check and save 2%. Payment must be made in US funds. We can also accept wire transfers to qualify for the 2% discount. Please contact us for our bank details.
TRIP INSURANCE: We will require emergency medical and evacuation insurance for this tour. We also highly recommend trip cancellation insurance, especially with a tour of this length and magnitude. We will provide you with a source for trip insurance upon receipt of your registration.
EQUIPMENT: You may bring your own bicycle with you, or we have excellent bicycles available for rent from our Italian partners. We recommend a road or hybrid bike with straight or drop handlebars, and a front triple or compact double chainring. We also recommend cycling shoes with cleats and their appropriate pedals. You must bring and wear a CPSC approved helmet during the tour and we recommend it features MIPS or WaveCel technology.
SAG VOLUNTEERS: We will be using Italian guides instead of volunteers for this tour.
MORE INFORMATION: We will provide you with travel details, a detailed packing list, advice for clothing, and a sample training schedule to help you prepare for the tour. We’ll also mail you a series of Prep Talk newsletters to help you prepare for the tour.
Heart of Italy Itinerary (tentative)
|May 12, 2021||Verona||0|
|May 13, 2021||Ferrara||63 (+872'/-1053')|
|May 14, 2021||Bologna||37 (+761'/-541')|
|May 15, 2021||Castiglion de Piepoli||42 (+5323'/-3310')|
|May 16, 2021||Florence||42 (+367'/-2420')|
|May 17, 2021||Florence||0|
|May 18, 2021||Poggio Bagnoli||42 (+2526'/-2053')|
|May 19, 2021||Montepulciano||42 (+2004'/-1273')|
|May 20, 2021||Orvieto||46 (+2045'/-3572')|
|May 21, 2021||Civita Castellana||57 (+3287'/-3893')|
|May 22, 2021||Rome||33 (+1591'/-1577')|
|May 23, 2021||Rome||0|
|May 24, 2021||Lido di Latina||51 (+1446'/-1643')|
|May 25, 2021||Sperlonga||46 (+840'/-833')|
|May 26, 2021||Castel Volturno||50 (+1676'/-1683')|
|May 27, 2021||Naples||40 (+2831'/-2729')|
|May 28, 2021||Salerno||50 (+4641'/-4648')|
|May 29, 2021||Tindari||46 (+2749'/-2781')|
|May 30, 2021||Tindari||0|
|May 31, 2021||Sant'Agata di Militello||47 (+4681'/-4644')|
|Jun 1, 2021||Castelbuono||38 (+3421'/-2181')|
|Jun 2, 2021||Caccamo||46 (+4763'/-5428')|
|Jun 3, 2021||Piana Degli Albanesi||27 (+3985'/-2244')|
|Jun 4, 2021||Palermo||29 (+1896'/-4143')|
|Jun 5, 2021||Home||0|