ExperiencePlus! - Bicycle Tours since 1972

Bike Across Italy - Venice to Pisa

  • Itinerary Summary

    This is it - the classic bicycle tour that we started with back in 1972! We begin in romantic Venice, make stops in the great art cities of Ferrara, Ravenna & Florence, and end on the Mediterranean coast in Pisa. Along the way, you'll enjoy gourmet meals from two of Italy's best culinary regions (Emilia-Romagna & Tuscany), take in local markets, and discover a side of Italy seldom seen by tourists. You'll also visit "the farm" (it's been in Paola Malpezzi-Price's family for more than 100 years) for a light lunch and a close-up look at rural life in Italy. This is our most popular cycling tour.

    If this sounds great but you don't have time for the full 12 days, check out our Bicycling Venice to Florence tour, which features the first 8 days of this itinerary.

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    1. Day 1: Tour begins in Venice, Italy

      Highlights: The Lido of Venice, dinner at a trattoria

      Welcome to Venezia! You really should try and come a day or two early to explore this unique city before we begin our bike ride to Pisa. We meet this afternoon at our hotel on the Lido of Venice where we'll fit bicycles. We'll enjoy an introductory aperitif before walking to dinner in a small trattoria on the Lido.

      Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D

      Lodging: Hotel Biasutti

    2. Day 2: Bicycle Venice to Po River Delta

      Highlights: Venetian lagoon, fishing villages, bicycle along the Po Delta

      The Lidos of Venice and Pellestrina protect the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. You'll follow these natural levees this morning as we work our way south via flat roads, ferries and quaint fishing villages to Chioggia, at the south end of the lagoon. Enjoy lunch on your own there before continuing southwest to San Martino di Venezze and our wonderful overnight in a working farm or agriturismo.

      Distance: 74 km (46 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Agriturismo Corte Carezzabella.

    3. Day 3: San Martino di Venezze to Ferrara

      Highlights: Bicycle along the Po River, bicycle capital of Italy--Ferrara

      It's another day of leisurely riding today all the way to the Renaissance city of Ferrara. Along the way we'll stop at Fratta Polesine to visit Villa Badoer, a masterpiece of architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Villa Badoer was designed in 1554 by Andrea Palladio who is widely considered one of the most influential architects in Western architecture. Our entrance into Ferrara is spectacular as we'll pass directly under the finest example of Renaissance walls remaining in Italy. Other highlights of this UNESCO World Heritage town include the many palaces of the Este court from the 14th and 15th century.

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

      Lodging: Hotel Carlton

    4. Day 4: Ravenna

      Highlights: Comacchio, lunch at farm cooperative, mosaics of Ravenna

      We shuttle this morning to the nearby lagoon town of Comacchio, once a port town more famous than Venice. After a small float around the canals with a local fisherman as captain, we'll ride across the "valleys of Comacchio", through the Po delta's rich bird habitats. Then it's on to the Anita di Argenta where we'll stop at a local agriturismo (farm cooperative), to enjoy a lunch of homegrown vegetables, homemade ricotta, and other local specialties. A short bike ride later we'll enter 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 our hotel is near all the city sights.

      Distance: 45 km (28 miles). Meals: B, L

      Lodging: Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi Hotel

    5. Day 5: Ravenna to Faenza

      Highlights: Picnic lunch at ExperiencePlus! Headquarters and family farm, ceramics of Faenza

      We'll head west from Ravenna today, stopping at "the farm" for a light lunch together. "The farm" is our European headquarters and is located on land that Paola Malpezzi-Price's family has cultivated for more than 100 years. We continue on to Faenza, where we visit a local ceramist who will introduce us to traditional Faenza designs.

      Distance: 54 km (34 miles). Meals: B, L

      Lodging: Hotel Vittoria.

    6. Day 6: Over the Apennines

      Highlights: Olive oil tasting, bicycle the Apennine Mountains, small mountain villages

      We head into the Apennines today, passing first through the medieval village of Brisighella for an olive oil tasting in one of Italy's most unique olive oil producing areas. We'll then begin climbing (easily at first!) over the Apennines -- remember to look around as you climb since the scenery changes dramatically as you leave the plains and enter the mountains. Just before we reach the toughest part of our climb to Ronta, there is a very conveniently located train station which allows you a choice in how you reach our destination!

      Distance: 15 - 64 km (9 - 40 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel La Rosa

    7. Day 7: Fiesole and Florence

      Highlights: Fiesole and its Etruscan ruins, Renaissance Florence, Uffizi Gallery

      There's a small climb this morning to Vetta le Croci, then it's downhill to the old Etruscan city of Fiesole, where you'll enjoy a great view of Florence rising from the valley floor. We'll ride into town together, and the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore this capital of Renaissance Italy. Our hotel in Florence lies on the banks of the Arno River, close to the Uffizi Gallery. Distance: 41 km (26 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Plaza Hotel Lucchesi

    8. Day 8: Wonders of Florence

      Highlights: Walking tour of Florence and time to explore on your own

      We are offering a guided walking tour of Florence this morning so schedule your reservations to visit the famous Uffizi Gallery or the Accademia, home to Michelangelo's David after 12:30PM. At sunset, take a walk down to the Ponte Vecchio to engage in the passeggiata (or "evening stroll").

      Rest Day. Meals: B

      Lodging: Plaza Hotel Lucchesi

    9. Day 9: Birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci

      Highlights: Olive groves and vineyards, Leonardo da Vinci's birthplace and museum

      After breakfast, we head out of Florence and down the Arno River valley for a beautiful day of riding in the Italian countryside. There is a bit of a climb as we cross Mount Albano but what a spectacular view. Our destination is Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, where you'll have a chance to visit the house where he was born and a museum with scale models of his inventions.

      Distance: 42 km (26 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Monna Lisa

    10. Day 10: Lucca

      Highlights: Medici villa, bicycle countryside of Tuscany, 17th century wall

      Climb the stairway to the Medici villa in Cerreto Guidi today for a great view as we continue west to Lucca, where we'll stay the next two nights. Lucca was a Roman town and one of medieval Italy's most prosperous city-states. Today, Lucca retains its medieval charm with its small shops and sidewalk cafés, as well as the beautiful 17th-century wall that surrounds the town.

      Distance: 58 km (36 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel La Luna.

    11. Day 11: Pisa

      Highlights: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Piazza of Miracles, Lake Massaciuccoli

      Our last day of pedaling takes us to Pisa where you can visit the Leaning Tower and the Piazza of Miracles. Our route to Pisa takes us by Lake Massaciuccoli, where Puccini wrote many of his operas. After a stroll through Pisa, head back to the less-touristy town of Lucca to enjoy an evening passeggiata along the main pedestrian way. We'll celebrate our adventure across Italy with a final dinner together this evening.

      Distance: 63 km (39 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel La Luna.

    12. Day 12: Tour ends in Lucca

      Highlights:

      After breakfast, our journey across Italy comes to an end. You're on your own now, prepared to face Rome and its many museums or to explore the Lakes District to the north. Buon viaggio!!

      Meals: B

    • Highlights

      Gourmet meals, Faenza and the Malpezzi family farm, Florence, Lucca, Pisa and Tuscany's countryside, Venice, Ravenna and Ferrara
    • Includes

      Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 12 days, 11 nights accommodation; 6 dinners with wine, 2 lunches, & 11 breakfasts; walking tour of Florence plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      Italy
    • Begin/End

      Venice/Pisa
    • Arrive/Depart

      Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) /Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA)
    • Total Distance

      466 - 523 km (290 - 326 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      15 - 83 km (9 - 52 miles)
    • Rating

      201 Terrain starts out flat then builds over the Apennines. Rolling hills through Tuscany. Our most popular tour for cyclists.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Single Supplement Notes
    May 10-21, 2015 $5095 $650 Guaranteed to Go Book it
    May 24-Jun 4, 2015 $5095 $650 2 More to Guarantee the Departure Book it
    Jun 7-18, 2015 $5095 $650 4 More to Guarantee the Departure Book it
    Jun 28-Jul 9, 2015 $5095 $650 4 More to Guarantee the Departure Book it
    Aug 23-Sep 3, 2015 $5095 $650 Guaranteed to Go Book it
    Sep 13-24, 2015 $5095 $650 Space Running Out Book it

    * 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

    • Terrific experience and fun, biking in a beautiful country with friends. Final "thank you", the organization and the leaders for an exceptional time in Italy. The trip exceeded our expectations.

      Janet S., Boulder, CO
    • This was a wonderful, invigorating, challenging and sweet experience. My husband and I will always look back on this trip fondly, with pride that we did it and happy that it was so much fun!!

      Susan K., Englewood, CO
    • The trip of a life time. The tour guides were amazing and worked tirelessly to provide everything we needed. The routes were incredible, the food fantastic, the hotels spot on.

      Jacqueline M., Brooklyn, NY
    • Beautiful scenery, nice variety of cities to see. Excellent food, very helpful guides.

      Joe V., Boulder, CO
    • Great job. Everyone from ExperiencePlus! went out of their way to make it a super trip.

      Norm H., Hammonton, NJ
    • Really amazing. I have travelled a lot and this was my favorite tour ever. Impeccable. Highly recommended.

      Mandi H., Berwick, Australia
    • I just cannot imagine how anyone could be anything other than super happy with ExperiencePlus!

      John L., Mississauga, Canada
    • Amazing.

      Jordan C., Corvallis, OR
    • Best vacation ever! Go with ExperiencePlus! The Price family has done a superb job of creating a truly unique vacation experience. The combination of interesting routes, great food, geography and culture does not just happen but is the obvious result of much thought and planning. The outstanding tour guides are also no accident and show a company that is committed to excellence in quality value and service. All of that is no easy feat.

      Janet C., Eugene, OR
    • Excellent. Culture + scenery + exercise + great food + great guides = a fabulous vacation.

      Dina K., Mississauga, Ontario
    • We love traveling with you guys. You are the best!

      Ande H., Ft Collins, CO
    • Fabulous. Loved seeing all the smaller, quaint towns/cities that we would never thought of exploring on our own. Great trip and tour company. Love the chalk!!

      Lesley E., Calgary, Alberta
    • We really enjoyed the trip, the guides and the other riders. We made lifelong friends and this was an exceptional experience.

      James K., Bremerton, WA
    • Your route selection is fantastic - we saw beautiful scenery and visited interesting towns and cultural sites, but avoided most traffic. An absolutely outstanding way to experience the culture, food and wine of Italy!

      Dennis D., Calgary, Canada
    • Do you have any ideas for how the trip could be improved? You''re doing so well that it''s hard to think of ways to improve...Keep up the good work!

      Ira K., Hamden, CT
    • I can''t get over the fact that we picked such a good company to do a cycle tour with - our first cycling tour.

      Lyndon J., Trafalgar, Victoria
    • Your chalk arrows are the best idea in tour riding. I would never go on a tour that did not use them. You did a great job. One of the best 12 day vacations ever.

      Michael D., Boulder, CO
    • All 3 guides were exceptional, and the chalk markings amazing. Not to mention the fabulous bikes.

      John G., Auckland, NZ
    • Fabulous! Has everything: cities and towns to visit, wonderful routes, great food and wine, incredible culture and art. Thanks for a wonderful tour!

      Jane H., Boulder, CO
    • This trip was our honeymoon vacation adventure and when we got to the Lido we found that we had been assigned the honeymoon suite! This also happened at a few more hotels and we were just stunned. This is exactly the sort of thing that keeps me coming back to ExperiencePlus! and recommending it to my friends.

      Gary B., Seattle, WA
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? The entire experience from Venice to Pisa and I loved every minute of it. An absolutely wonderful trip that I look forward to taking again and that I highly recommend to both family and friends.

      JR M. Fort Collins, CO
    • My trip to Italy was a dream come true and more. When people ask me what was my favorite thing, I have to say everything!! Our guide's were the best and made our trip very special. With ExperiencePlus they take the guess work out of where to go and what to do. They take care and think of everything for you. I ate the best food ever, saw amazing sights, and stayed fit, and met wonderful people. My best vacation EVER!!! Life is good!!

      Cheri M., Fort Collins, CO
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? The day from Florence to Vinci, beautiful ride, very scenic, great optional ride at the end. Really enjoyed the tour, definitely thinking of going on another tour. Tour leaders had a great impact on the trip!!!

      Dean O., Calgary, Canada
    • Thank you for making our 20th wedding anniversary celebration one we will remember forever!

      Carrie W., Bethesda, MD
    • The trip was more than I ever dreamed. The three trip leaders were so well informed, so willing to help and so much fun. Thanks to all. I loved the biking and all the stops, giving us a chance to experience the area and to rest a bit. Every detail was well orchastrated. Food was great and really fun to try all new things. Thought it was great the way the rooms were assigned, one night very special then the next night someone else got the special rooms. Loved the picnics. Day sheets are a wonderful tool. Grazie mille

      Pat F., Ft Collins, CO
    • When you go on vacation you always have certain expectations, hopes of what the experience will be like. This tour has exceeded every expectation. What really made this tour truly a terrific experience were the tour guides. They made this tour everything especially fun.

      When I went on this trip I wanted to experience Italy, not just be a tourist that passes through, but to experience the real culture and people. ExperiencePlus! made that possible. The tour took us to great places where we saw parts of Italy those other tours would never go. We ate great, great food and had a wonderful time with some of the nicest people I have ever met.

      The last day of the tour really broke my heart. I so enjoyed our guides and I hated saying good-bye. We were especially fortunate that we were able to visit the farm (ExperiencePlus! Headquarters), everyone there is so so nice. In addition to our guides we got to know the bike mechanics, office staff, some additional tour leaders, and owner, Monica Malpezzi Price. I am sorry we were not able to get to spend more time with them. They only made the trip all the more fun.

      I can't wait to go on my next ExperiencePlus Tour. I have told my wife, I will never go to another country unless it is on the back of a bike.

      Thank you for making this such a WONDERFUL experience. I have recommended this to all my friends and co-workers. I will continue to do so.

      Bill G., Lake Forest, CA
    • This was a great tour. The tour leaders went out of their way to make sure everyone was taken care of. I would highly recommend it to a friend.

      Judy G., Monument, CO
    • Just to let you know my daughter, Debra, absolutely loved this tour! She found the 3 tour leaders very warm towards her and inclusive, so knowledgeable about the region and life in general. She found the whole experience a personal growth experience and will remember it in years to come. She has fallen in love with the region, the people and the food!

      Kathy D., Australia
    • My favorite things were visiting all of the towns along the route, trying to speak Italian, great food and wonderful tour leaders. The tour was well organized with knowledgable staff. We will definitely travel again with Experience Plus!

      Jeff C., Pace, FL
    • My favorite thing was biking through all the small towns seeing the incredible scenery provided by the routes we took each day.

      Bob C., Philadelphia, PA
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? Of course for me the riding was the highlight but the visit to the Experience Plus farm and that lunch were unforgettable. The relaxed atmosphere, the homelike quality, the pasta making demonstration, were all the types of things that make for a familial feel on a long hard trip. It was like coming home. I loved that the best and meeting the team that keeps us on the road. That had to be the best experience.

      Mary G., West Tisbury, MA
    • I love going to the ExperiencePlus! Farm for lunch and meeting all of the employees. It was the best trip ever! The 2 tour leaders are the best and the office staff was such a big help to me in deciding to take this particular trip.

      Susan C., Charlotte, NC
    • I can't imagine a better trip. It even beats sitting on the beach and reading, which used to be my favorite.

      Deb S., Ft Collins, CO
    • Besides the wonderful food!!!! I enjoyed the private tour we had at the Medici Villa. Being able to go up in the tower was so memorable. Meeting everyone at the Farm (ExperiencePlus's European Headquarters) was great too! (And that soup....AHH pure bliss!) I was taken care of with my vegetarian meals each group lunch/dinner! The tour team was great: Christina, Sara and Damiano. They all got along so well and complemented each other. I felt very safe with them as I took on the experience as a solo traveler!

      Felicia B., Carlsbad, CA
    • One of my favorite experiences on the trip were the levee roads on the Po Delta. I had never cycled on such straight, smooth, level roads. At times it seemed like we were floating through that incredible landscape. Second would have to be climbing the Passo de Colla, although I am very slow going uphill, this was so beautiful, and I really enjoyed getting to the top. I really appreciate all the work and planning, beginning with the office staff and continuing to our guides, that gave us such a marvelous trip!

      Judy M., Lafayette, CO
    • You are absolutely right about the perfect mixture of art, history and culture on this tour! I saw everything that I wanted to see in Firenze - Accademia D'Arte, Uffizi and we planned time in Venice before and Rome after the tour to see what we wanted there. I also agree that not having a windshield between me and the landscape is one of the best things about biking.

      Dan T., Highland Park, NJ
    • The tour leaders were wonderful, very helpful and accomodating. The group meals were very fun and the food was outstanding.

      Mary Lynn G., Mendota Heights, MN
    • There were many pleasant surprises. Rounding a bend and seeing a postcard view. Walking out of the hotel after showering the first day in Florence and realizing we were a block away from the Ponte Vecchio. The taste of a tomato and the garlic in the salami at one of the dinners. But the most memorable experience was on about Day 7, after breakfast when we were getting on our bikes and I thought, "I could do this forever!"

      Steve L., Saudi Arabia
    • We had a fabulous time. It was truly a carefree vacation where all we had to do each day was ride through the beautiful Italian countryside. Our guides took care of everything else. Our group had "met" beforehand via emails so we felt like we already knew each other.

      Sari R., Glastonbury, CT
    • [My favorite part?] Can't pick just one...the tour leader's mom teaching us to make pasta, the farmers giving us gargantuan nectarines on the side of the road, trading my ExperiencePlus! hat for a sweaty Italian cyclists cap, riding in that movie set called Tuscany... I could go on and on. I had a great time.

      Sharon M., San Jose, CA
    • [My favorite part?] Lunch at the agritourismo and lunch at the family farm. All that riding through the farmlands makes you just want to sit down and eat some of the produce! After those meals, the country seemed even more beautiful. Thank you Paola for the walk around the orchards and for having your cousin give us a pasta demonstration.

      Chris W., Eugene, OR
    • The included meals were even more than I expected; they were wonderful! Overall a great way to experience local specialities. The agriturismo stop was great! Also enjoyed the side trips (both as part of the tour and on our own time.)

      Pam B., Eugene, OR
    • Tour leaders were exceptional. Couldn't have been more helpful. Route was great. Other riders lots of fun.

      Kent K., Menlo Park, CA
    • [Influences to take a tour?] Amount of freedom vs. guided. I did not want to be stuck with a group all the time, doing a group pace. What was really great about this tour is that it hit the sweet spot of balance between the two, in that I felt I had the best benefits of a group tour--logistics, preplanning, support during the day, luggage handling, meeting new people--and the benefits of independent travel, in that I could ride on my own, at my own pace, and see the towns we stayed at as I saw fit, without being stuck with a group if I did not want to. A hard balance to achieve, but achieved it was.

      Steve B., Asheville, NC
    • I had no negative experiences. The pre-trip info and planning was perfect, as well as the tour itself. The marking of the arrows made the trip carefree.

      Steve B., Asheville, NC
    • I must say it was all wonderful. [The tour leaders] were absolutely superb in not only how hard they worked, but their attitude during very very long days. I cannot say good enough about them. I did not hear a single negative word from anyone on the tour about them. Nothing but praise. They represented their country and company in the best possible way. They made a great trip extraordinary.

      Steve B., Asheville, NC
    • Efficent way to see new places: ExperiencePlus! does the research, selects the best routes and sights, and makes the arrangements. I just have to follow the program. A great way to travel with friends: ExperiencePlus! makes the decisions about what-when-where so we don't have to negotiate about every activity, and ExperiencePlus! provides opportunities to make new friends so we are not trapped with our old friends for the entire trip ... Overall, a good tour. I recommend it. ... I am again pleased by ExperiencePlus!'s uncanny ability to select a good group of individuals to tour with.

      Ron C., Berkeley, CA
    • Really enjoyed this trip. The route was fantastic, and all three guides were wonderful--conscientious, enthusiastic, and competent. Hard to pick out one [thing we liked best]. One of the things we liked about this trip was that every day was different. You never felt 'I've done this before'. We really like the longer trips ... we like 2-week vacations, and it's fun to be biking the whole time... It was a really great trip. We love Italy, and biking is a wonderful way to see the country.

      Susan C., Berkeley, CA
    • Our trip was the best experience I have ever had! Before the trip, I thought I would enjoy myself, but we both just fell in love with Italy. Your tour organization was everything I could have hoped. The guides were invaluable and great fun to travel with. I especially liked how we were able to ride at our pace through the back roads. There were a couple of time where I could smell what someone was cooking! This was a trip of a lifetime (unless we are able to return)! Thank you so much.

      Bob C., Fort Collins, CO
    • The ExperiencePlus guides were terrific! The hotels were very nice, the food was absolutely yummy, and we are regarding it as the trip of a lifetime! I even made it up all three "mountains" under my own power!!! We will be recommending "our" local company to anyone who wants to listen, AND to anyone who doesn't want to listen!!!

      Barbara C ., Fort Collins, CO
    • We intended to write immediately about how great the tour was and especially note our three excellent tour leaders. Each of them added much fun to our travels, while at the same time, they were very responsible and took their work seriously. They are the #1 reason we would like to find another ExperiencePlus! tour.

      Jane O.,Leawood, KS
    • I loved the trip and cannot wait to do this again! Excellent in all respects--extremely well-organized, great group, marvelous food and cultural activities..not to mention the feeling of accomplishment each day.

      Suzanne B., Santa Monica, CA
    • All the meals were wonderful. I appreciated the special attention and focus on the regional favorites. You offer an excellent value for all you provide in your trips. I hope to travel with ExperiencePlus! to Costa Rica and France.

      Penny S., Mountain View, CA
    • Your travel format allows one to see and feel the country. It is easy, economical, fun, and it sure beats riding in a tour bus. Cheap travel is an oxymoron, but your trip was a vacation value.

      George B., Burleson, TX
    • Of all the tours we investigated, ExperiencePlus! offered and delivered the most complete Italian experience

      Tom & Carol H., San Francisco, CA
    • The tour guides were wonderful. They were the best tour guides we've ever experienced. This is our fourth tour company and our favorite so far. We loved the trip and plan to travel with ExperiencePlus! again soon.

      Tom & Cindy M., Landenberg, PA
    • I was back in the Middle Ages - lying on the bed in Firenze resting after a day of riding - when from the shuttered windows I heard a low murmuring river of sound. I slowly realized that it was the sound of humans, a multitude of shopping, chatting, living life three stories down on the road filled with shops. No cars, no discordant blares, only voices and bells. Magical!

      Sheri C., Berkeley, CA
    • The trip was the most organized and well thought-through adventure I have been on to date. Marking the route with chalk dust arrows was a bonus. The meals were great and our tour guides made our trip perfect.

      Kathy E., Norfolk, VA

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