ExpeditionPlus! Alps to the Adriatic in Italy
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Day 1: Sept 22: Meet in Innsbruck, Austria
Highlights: Innsbruck, Austrian Alps,
Meet this afternoon in Innsbruck in the heart of the Austrian Alps. We fit bicycles this afternoon and go out for a warm up ride. Dinner is together tonight. Distance: optional warm up ride on local bike paths.
Lodging: Hotel Grauer Bär
Day 2: Sept 23: Bicycle over the Brenner Pass to Italy
Highlights: Spectacular Alpine Views, bike paths
Our ride today takes us south from Innsbruck and over Brenner Pass which is one of the most important alpine passes in Europe. It is also the lowest pass (1370 meters or 4,495 feet) connecting Germany and Austria with Italy. It's a gentle climb from Innsbruck (at 574 meters or 1883 ft.) up the pass and then down on what was once a railroad grade. We'll be in Italy in Bressanone this evening. Distance 94 km (58 miles).
Lodging: Grüner Baum Hotels
Day 3: Sept 24: Bicycle Bressanone to Trento
Highlights: Brenner bike path, Bolzano, glaciated Adige River valley
We continue south along the Tyrol bike path to Bolzano today. Take time for coffee or an early lunch in Bolzano, known in Italy as a bicycle friendly city and regularly voted one of the best cities to live in by Italians. We are in Trento this evening, famous for hosting the important counter-reformation "Council of Trent" in the 16th century. Dinner is on your own tonight. Distance 106 km (66 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Albermonaco
Day 4: Sept 25: Bicycle Trento to Vicenza
Highlights: Foothills of the Alps, Palladio's architecture in Vicenza
We'll pedal through, down, and out of the Alps today on our way to Vicenza which is renowned for its beautiful architecture from 16th century architect Andrea Palladio. Our ride will take us out to the foothills and to the plains of the Po Delta. Dinner is together tonight. Distance 105 km (65 miles).
Lodging: Albergo due Mori
Day 5: Sept 26: Rest Day in Vicenza
Highlights: Guided visit of Vicenza, time to relax
We'll enjoy a guided visit of Vicenza and Palladio's Olympic Theater this morning. The afternoon further your explorations of this fabulous city and enjoy the architecture of Andrea Palladio.
Lodging: Albergo due Mori
Day 6: Sept 27: Vicenza to San Dona' di Piave
Highlights: Palladian Villas, Sila River natural area
You'll further your recognition of Palladian architecture as you spin by some Palladian villas on your approach to the Adriatic Sea. Tonight you are in San Dona' del Piave. This area was a major battleground for the Italians fighting against the Austrians in World War I. Distance 110 km (68 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Forte del 48
Day 7: Sept 28: San Dona' di Piave to Lido di Venezia
Highlights: Barrier beaches of Venice, Ferry to the Venetian Lagoon
Today you'll pedal through reclaimed marshlands around the Venetian lagoon be sure to take time to dip your toes in the Adriatic Sea at Lido di Jesolo. It's a short ride so you'll be at the Lido of Venice early afternoon. Dinner is together tonight at our favorite trattoria on the Lido of Venice. Distance 84 km (52 miles)
Lodging: Hotel Biasutti Best Western
Day 8: Sept 29: Venice, a rest day
Highlights: Enjoy exploring Venice
This is a rest day to enjoy walking through the most unique Medieval city in the world. Alternatively, you can find a tucked away café, go to the beach, or just hangout and enjoy great opportunities for people watching.
Lodging: Hotel Biasutti Best Western
Day 9: Sept 30: Venice to Ferrara
Highlights: Ride the Lido, the Venetian Lagoon, Chioggia and Po Delta, Ferrara
You'll hop ferries and then follow the Po river upstream to the Renaissance city of Ferrara today. Entering the city, you'll pass under the 16th century walls, one of the finest examples of 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. Enjoy a guided walk of Ferrara before dinner together tonight. Distance 119 kms (74 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Carlton Ferrara
Day 10: Oct 1: Ferrara to Ravenna
Highlights: Wetlands, Ravenna mosaics, lunch
We leave Ferrara on bike ways and head back to the Po delta towards Argenta where we'll stop at an agriturismo (farm cooperative) to enjoy a late lunch of homegrown vegetables and other local specialties. After lunch it's a short ride to 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 your hotel is near all the city's highlights. Distance 95 km (59 miles).
Lodging: Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi
Day 11: Oct 2: Ravenna to San Marino
Highlights: Crossing the Rubicon, the Republic of San Marino, Hand made pasta
As we head south from Ravenna we cross Caesar's famous Rubicon River and enter the foothills of Romagna. Our destination is the oldest republic in the world, known as "The Most Serene Republic of San Marino" dating to 301 AD. This region is also famous throughout Italy for its handmade pasta. You'll get to decide if its reputation is deserved at dinner together this evening. Distance 88 km (55 miles).
Lodging: Grand Hotel San Marino
Day 12: Oct 3: San Marino to Urbino
Highlights: San Marino, San Leo, hill riding, Urbino
After several days of flat rides the terrain begins to change today as you enter the foothills of the Apennine Mountains. San Leo is a fortress town like San Marino though much smaller. Last night's homemade pasta will help you get up the hills as we head to the Renaissance town of Urbino, an independent duchy until it was incorporated into the Papal States in 1626. Dinner is together tonight. Distance 70 km (43 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Bonconte Urbino
Day 13: Oct 4: Urbino to Fabriano
Highlights: Caves of Frasassi, ridgeline and hill rides
You entered Italy's Marches region once you passed San Marino and today you'll pedal the heart of "le marche". If you are interested stop at the grotto of Frasassi, the longest limestone cave in Italy at 5km (3.1 miles). You destination tonight is Fabriano where we'll have dinner together. Distance 93 km (58 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Janus
Day 14: Oct 5: Fabriano to Ascoli Piceno
Highlights: Hills, the spectacular Sibillini Mountains, Ascoli Piceno
Today's ride is dominated by the crest of the Apennine Mountains off to our right. Small villages and towns nestle on the slopes of glaciated valleys coming off of this massif limestone mountain range. Take time to enjoy the ride as there is no rush and tomorrow is a rest day in Ascoli Piceno. Dinner together tonight. Distance 130 km (81 miles).
Lodging: Palazzo Guiderocchi
Day 15: Oct 6: Rest day in Ascoli Piceno
Highlights: Walled city with picturesque Medieval quarter, piazza del popolo and narrow streets
Relax and bask in the delightful squares and sidewalk cafés of this historic and picturesque city. The city has an art gallery and is rich in both Medieval and Renaissance period architecture. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Lodging: Palazzo Guiderocchi
Day 16: Oct 7: Ascoli Piceno to Atri and Pescara
Highlights: Adriatic Sea, Pescara
Our route today takes us away from the mountains and over the foothills to the Adriatic coast. Pescara is a busy coastal town and the largest city in Abruzzo, the small central Italian region that extends from the Adriatic beaches into the heart of the Apennine Mountains. Distance 103 km (64 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Esplanade
Day 17: Oct 8: Pescara to Termoli
Highlights: Adriatic coastal cycling
This is your chance to take a swim in the Adriatic Sea as we'll ride along the coast before heading into the foothills. Termoli is an ancient city with a walled Medieval fortress center on a promontory overlooking the sea. Distance 133 km (83 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Mistral
Day 18: Oct 9: Termoli to Vieste
Highlights: The Gargano Peninsula
Italy's Gargano Peninsula, is the "spur" on Italy's boot and is reminiscent of a Greek island. It's easy to imagine that it floated across the Adriatic Sea and attached itself to the Italian mainland. Rodi, Vieste and Peschici are considered the three centers for tourism on the peninsula. The name, "Rodi" suggests the village may have been founded by ancient Greeks from Rhodes during the Greek expansion into the Western Mediterranean basin in the 5th and 6th centuries BC. Dinner is together this evening. Distance 140 km (87 miles).
Lodging: Forte Hotel Vieste
Day 19: Oct 10: Rest day
Highlights: Rest day on the beach
Enjoy a rest day on Vieste's lovely beach. If you prefer to challenge yourself with a hilly ride we'll point you in the direction of Tavioliere delle Puglie and the Foresta Umbria. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Lodging: Forte Hotel Vieste
Day 20: Oct 11: Vieste to Manfredonia
Highlights: Spectacular coastal rides and sea views
Our ride continues around the perimeter of the Gargano with wonderful views of the sea. Photo opportunities will keep you busy today as each bend presents another scene featuring dramatic cliffs overhanging the crystalline sea. Dinner is together tonight. Distance 70 km (43 miles).
Lodging: Regiohotel Manfredi
Day 21: Oct 12: Manfredonia to Andria
Highlights: Flat riding, the battlefield of Cannae where Hannibal defeated the Romans
Our ride today takes us across the limestone plateau of the "Murgia" in Puglia. Thousands of olive trees and some vineyards and field crops cover this plain. Before arriving in Andria we suggest a visit of the battlefield of Cannae where Hannibal defeated the Romans in 216 BC for the third successive time. We are near Andria tonight and dinner is together. Distance 76 km (47 miles).
Lodging: Tenuta Cocevola
Day 22: Oct 13: Andria to Matera
Highlights: Castel del Monte, Gravina in Puglia, Matera
We head out through thousands of olive trees, across the ancient Appian Way and to the fortress, "Castel del Monte" built by Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1240 AD. This is one of the best preserved castles in Italy and stands as a monument to the Christian crusaders upon their return from the Holy Lands in the 13th century. We are in Matera this evening in the Basilicata region. Dinner is together. Distance 98 km (61 miles).
Lodging: Hotel San Domenico
Day 23: Oct 14: Rest day in Matera
Highlights: Views across Basilicata, the "sassi" of Matera
Matera has become famous for its troglodyte cave dwellings and historic churches carved into the limestone deposits along the Gravina River canyon. We'll take a guided walk of the caves this afternoon to see the finest examples of this type of dwelling in the entire Mediterranean region. Dinner is on your own.
Lodging: Hotel San Domenico
Day 24: Oct 15: Matera to Martina Franca
Highlights: Trulli of Alberobello, landscapes of trulli, baroque architecture of Martina Franca
We head out of Basilicata and back across the Murgia plateau of Puglia. We'll spin through the fairy tale landscape of the "trulli" near Alberobello. The trulli are stone dwellings with cone shaped roofs dotting the limestone plain between pockets of rich red soil. Concentrations of the unique dwellings make up the village of Alberobello. Our ride continues on to the baroque town of Martina Franca where we'll enjoy dinner together. Distance 93 km (58 miles).
Lodging: Park Hotel San Michele
Day 25: Oct 16: Martina Franca to Lecce
Highlights: Ostuni and the baroque architecture of Lecce
Our route today is marked by more varied relief as we approach the limestone ridge where Ostuni ovelooks the Adriatic Sea. Founded in historic times Ostuni was destroyed by Hannibal and rebuilt by Greek colonists. To this day it looks like a Greek village, brilliant white in the Mediterranean sun. Our final destination today is Lecce, the baroque Renaissance capital of Italy. In the evening light the golden colored limestone of Lecce's churches and palaces make it unique in Italy. Dinner together. Distance 95 km (59 miles).
Lodging: Hotel President
Day 26: Oct 17: Lecce to Santa Maria di Leuca
Highlights: Heel of Italy, coastal cycling
Our last ride takes us to the extreme southeastern point in Italy, Capo Santa Maria di Leuca. From Lecce we pedal to Otranto. We suggest lunch here as you savor the whitewashed buildings of this historic Greek settlement. Otranto was one of the last Byzantine outposts, lasting until the 11th century. Our final ride takes us along the coast road from Otranto to the point of the heel in Santa Maria. We'll celebrate our ride with a spectacular dinner together this evening.
Lodging: Hotel l'Approdo
Day 27: Oct 18: Arrivederci, end of our ride
Highlights: Continued travels or going home
We will offer a complimentary shuttle departing at 9:00AM to the airport or central train station in Bari (arriving at around 1:00PM), or to the train station or airport in Brindisi arriving at approximately 11:00AM.
HighlightsInnsbruck, Austria, Vicenza and Venezia, San Marino, Italy, Distinct regional specialties, Trulli of Alberobello, Italian foodKeep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.
Includes27 days, 26 nights; Use of a high quality 30-spd bicycle; all breakfasts, 2 lunches, 18 dinners; guided walks in Vicenza, Venice, Ferrara, Matera
Begin/EndInnsbruck, Austria/Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy
Arrive/DepartInnsbruck or Munich/Bari or Brindisi
Total Distance1858 km (1155 miles)
Daily Distance45 - 115 km (28 - 71 miles); average 88 km (52 miles)
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Single Supplement Notes
* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
We Are ExperiencePlus! Meet your Tour Leaders
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36 Hours in Lecce
36 Hours in Lecce - part of the NY Times series and highlights on spending 36 hours in interesting cities around the world
Vicenza--more than a Palladian masterpiece
North Italy's hidden gem, Vicenza is coming out of the shadows of its famous neighbors.
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