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.
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Day 1: 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.
Day 2: Bicycle over the Brenner Pass to Italy
Highlights: Spectacular Alpine Views, bike pathsOur ride today takes us south from Innsbruck and over the Brenner Pass. This is one of the most important Alpine passes in Europe. It is also the lowest pass connecting Germany and Austria with Italy. At the summit we'll be at 1370 meters (4,495 feet). This makes for a gentle climb from Innsbruck (at 574 meters or 1883 ft.) up an old railroad grade. We'll be in Italy in Bressanone this evening. Distance 85 km (49 miles)
Day 3: Bicycle Bressanone to Trento
Highlights: Brenner bike path, Bolzano, glaciated Adige River valleyWe continue south along the Tyrol bike path to Bolzano today. Take time for coffee or an early lunch in Bolzano, famous 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 108 km (67 miles)
Day 4: Bicycle Trento to Vicenza
Highlights: Foothills of the Alps, Palladio's architecture in VicenzaWe'll pedal through down and out of the Alps today on our way to Vicenza, famous for it's 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 100 km (63 miles)
Day 5: Rest Day in Vicenza
Highlights: Enjoy a rest day in VicenzaTake time to explore Vicenza and enjoy the architecture of Andrea Palladio. We'll take a guided visit of Palladio's Olympic Theater this afternoon.
Day 6: Vicenza to San Dona' di Piave
Highlights: Palladian Villas, Sila River natural areaYou'll pedal by as many Palladian villas as you can today on your way toward 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 105 km (65 miles)
Day 7: San Dona' di Piave to Lido di Venezia
Highlights: Barrier beaches of Venice, Ferry to the Venetian LagoonToday we pedal through reclaimed marshlands around the Venetian lagoon and take time to dip your toes in the Adriatic Sea in the beach in Lido di Jesolo. You'll reach your destination, the Lido of Venice by lunchtime. Dinner on your own this evening in Venice.
Day 8: Venice, a rest day
Highlights: Enjoy exploring VeniceThis is a rest day to enjoy walking through the most unique Medieval city in the world. Alternatively, find a cafe, and rest your legs while people watching.
Day 9: Venice to Ferrara
Highlights: Ride the Lido, the Venetian Lagoon, Chioggia and Po Delta, FerraraYou'll hope 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 most intact 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. Distance 120 kms (70 miles)
Day 10: Ferrara to Ravenna
Highlights: Wetlands,Ravenna mosaics, lunchWe leave Ferrara on bike ways and head back to the Po delta towardsArgenta where we'll stop at a local agriturismo (farm cooperative), to enjoy a late lunch of homegrown vegetables and other local specialties. A short bike ride after lunch 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's highlights. Distance 80 kms (50 miles)
Day 11: Ravenna to San Marino
Highlights: Crossing the Rubicon, the Republic of San Marino, Hand made pastaAs 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, "The Most Serene Republic of San Marino" dating to 301 AD. This region is famous throughout Italy for its handmade pasta. So we enjoy dinner together this evening. Distance 80 km (50 miles)
Day 12: San Marino to Urbino
Highlights: San Marino, San Leo, hill riding, UrbinoAfter several days of flat riding your ride starts to introduce you to the foothills of the Apennine Mountains today. San Leo is a fortress town like San Marino though much smaller. That 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)
Day 13: Urbino to Fabriano
Highlights: Caves of Frasassi, ridgeline and hill ridesYou entered Italy's Marches region after passing San Marino. Today you are in the heart of "le marche" now. Stop at the grotto of Frasassi, the longest limestone cave in Italy at 5 km long for a visit. Those who are interested can visit the cave on their own before continuing on to Fabriano. Dinner together. Distance 90 km (56 miles)
Day 14: Fabriano to Ascoli Piceno
Highlights: Hill riding under the spectacular Sibillini Mountains, Ascoli PicenoToday'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. Tomorrow you'll take a rest day in Ascoli Piceno tomorrow. Dinner together tonight. Distance 115 km (71 miles)
Day 15: Rest day in Ascoli Piceno
Highlights: Walled city with picturesque Medieval quarter, piazza del popolo and narrow streetsRelax and bask in the delightful squares and sidewalk cafes of this historic and picturesque city. The City has an art gallery and is rich in both Medieval and Renaissance period architecture
Day 16: Ascoli Piceno to Atri and Pescara
Highlights: Adriatic Sea, PescaraOur 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 115 km (71 miles)
Day 17: Pescara to Termoli
Highlights: Adriatic coastal cyclingYou'll bicycle along the coast today and into the foothills a bit but weather permitting, this is your chance to take a swim in the Adriatic Sea. Termoli is an ancient city with a walled Medieval fortress center on a promontory overlooking the sea. Distance 99 km (62 miles)
Day 18: Termoli to Rodi Garganico
Highlights: The Gargano PeninsulaItaly's Gargano Peninsula, "spur" on Italy's boot is like a Greek Island that has floated across the Adriatic Sea and attached itself to the Italian mainland. Rodi is one of 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 together this evening.
Day 19: Possible rest day
Highlights: Rest day on the beachWe are finalizing itinerary details, but you'll likely have a rest day or short ride today along the coast as we rest up before continuing south along the Adriatic.
Day 20: Rodi Garganico to Manfredonia
Highlights: Spectacular coastal rides and sea views, villages of Peschici and ViesteOur ride takes us around the perimeter of the Gargano with wonderful views of the sea and of Peschici and Vieste. Stop for coffee and a pastry in Peschici and grad your picnic supplies in Vieste for a picnic in an olive grove overlooking the coast. Distance 95 km (59 miles)
Day 21: Manfredonia to Andria
Highlights: Flat riding, the battlefield of Cannae where Hannibal defeated the RomansOur 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 in Andria for dinner together tonight. Distance 85 km (53 miles)
Day 22: Andria to Matera
Highlights: Castel del Monte, Gravina in Puglia, MateraWe 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 87 km (54 miles)
Day 23: Rest day in Matera
Highlights: Views across Basilicata, the "sassi" of MateraMatera 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, the best examples of this type of dwelling in the entire Mediterranean region. Dinner is on your own
Day 24: Matera to Martina Franca
Highlights: Trulli of Alberobello, landscapes of trulli, baroque architecture of Martina FrancaWe head out of Basilicata and back across the murgia plateau of Puglia. We pedal through the fair 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 spectacular town of Martina Franca where we'll spend the evening. Distance 87 km (54 miles)
Day 25: Martina Franca to Lecce
Highlights: Ostuni and the baroque architecture of LecceOur 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 96 km (60 miles)
Day 26: Lecce to Santa Maria di Leuca
Highlights: Heel of Italy, coastal cyclingOur 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. Final dinner together this evening.
Day 27: Arrivederci, end of our ride
Highlights: Continued travels or going homeWe will offer a complimentary shuttle (departing at 9:00AM) to the airport or central train station in Bari, or to the train station in Brindisi.
HighlightsInnsbruck, Austria, Vicenza and Venezia, San Marino, Italy, Distinct regional specialties, Trulli of Alberobello, Italian food
Includes"The Usual" plus... Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 27 days, 26 nights, all breakfasts, 2/3 of dinners, guided walks in historic towns,
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)
What to ExpectExplore the pleasures of Italy from top to bottom, including culinary delights, varied architecture, small villages, agricultural landscapes and historic sites.
NotesPlease fill out our Expedition Application if you have not traveled on an Expedition Trip with ExperiencePlus!
|Sep 22 - Oct 18, 2014||$11,500||$1000||Sold Out - Wait List Available.||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.|
Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.
City (on route)
City (not part of route, provided for reference)
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