ExperiencePlus! - Bicycle Tours since 1972

ExpeditionPlus! Alps to the Adriatic in Italy

  • Itinerary Summary

    Pedal from Innsbruck, Austria down the Adige Bikeway through Trento and then on to Vicenza. From here we pedal to Venezia before heading south along Italy's Adriatic coast to complete our journey at the very tip of the heel of Italy's boot. Explore the hills and beaches of the Marches and Abruzzi and pedal the "spur" of Italy - the limestone "presque'ile" of the Gargano, before heading across the Puglia plateau through trulli country to Lecce, queen of Italy's baroque cities. Our ride ends in Santa Maria di Leuca at the very tip of the heel.

    ***Read more about the ExpeditionPlus! concept to see if this type of tour is for you. If it is fill out our Expedition Application if you have not traveled on an Expedition Trip with ExperiencePlus!***

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    1. 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.

      Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D

      Lodging: Hotel Grauer Bär

    2. 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. The climb from Innsbruck is 574 meters (1883 feet) and you'll descend along what was once a railroad grade. You'll be in Italy in Bressanone this evening.

      Distance 94 km (58 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Grüner Baum Hotels

    3. 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.

      Distance: 106 km (66 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Albermonaco

    4. Day 4: Sept 25: Bicycle Trento to Vicenza

      Highlights: Foothills of the Alps, Palladio's architecture in Vicenza

      We'll pedal up, 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.

      Distance: 105 km (65 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Albergo due Mori

    5. 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.

      Meals: B

      Lodging: Albergo due Mori

    6. 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). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Forte del 48

    7. 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). Meals:B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Biasutti Best Western

    8. 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.

      Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Biasutti Best Western

    9. 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). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Carlton Ferrara

    10. 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). Meals: B, L

      Lodging: Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi

    11. 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.

      Distance: 88 km (55 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Grand Hotel San Marino

    12. 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.

      Distance 70 km (43 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Bonconte Urbino

    13. 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). Your destination tonight is Fabriano where we'll have dinner together.

      Distance: 93 km (58 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Janus

    14. 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.

      Distance: 130 km (81 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Palazzo Guiderocchi

    15. 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.

      Meals: B

      Lodging: Palazzo Guiderocchi

    16. 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). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Esplanade

    17. 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). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Mistral

    18. 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.

      Distance: 140 km (87 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Forte Hotel Vieste

    19. 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.

      Meals: B

      Lodging: Forte Hotel Vieste

    20. 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.

      Distance: 70 km (43 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Regiohotel Manfredi

    21. 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.

      Distance: 76 km (47 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Tenuta Cocevola

    22. 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.

      Distance: 98 km (61 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel San Domenico

    23. 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.

      Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel San Domenico

    24. 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.

      Distance: 93 km (58 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Park Hotel San Michele

    25. 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.

      Distance: 95 km (59 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel President

    26. 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.

      Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel l'Approdo

    27. 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.

      Meals: B

    • Highlights

      Innsbruck, Austria, Vicenza and Venezia, San Marino, Italy, Distinct regional specialties, Trulli of Alberobello, Italian food
    • Includes

      27 days, 26 nights; Use of a high quality 30-spd bicycle; all breakfasts, 2 lunches, 18 dinners; guided walks in Vicenza, Venice, Ferrara, Matera
    • Countries

      Italy, Austria
    • Begin/End

      Innsbruck, Austria/Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy
    • Arrive/Depart

      Innsbruck or Munich/Bari or Brindisi
    • Total Distance

      1858 km (1155 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      45 - 115 km (28 - 71 miles); average 88 km (52 miles)
    • Rating

    • Terms

      Terms & 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.

  • Stories

    • Hilly, fun, great locations, ...liked the length.

      John W., Falmouth, MA
    • Fun, challenging, great food, interesting destinations, great tour leaders/organization, fun travel companions, significant sense of accomplishment.

      Jane H., Denver, CO
    • The absolute best trip of my life! Great miles, greatest guides, greatest fellow travelers, great routes. You at ExperiencePlus! do a fantastic job all the way around!

      Mary G., Sarasota, FL
    • I love the expeditions and would go on all of them if I could. Having cycled the west coast of Italy (Italia 150), how could I miss the east coast?

      Elizabeth R., Sisters, OR

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