Italia 150 - A Bicycling ExpeditionPlus! to Celebrate Italy's Birthday

Italia 150 - A Bicycling ExpeditionPlus! to Celebrate Italy's Birthday

Join us for our 2011 ExpeditionPlus! tour to Celebrate Italy's 150th Birthday by Bicycle

Bicycle from Sicily, 1,400 miles, to northern Italy's Piedmont region in honor of Italy's Sesquicentennial (one hundred fiftieth anniversary). In part we'll trace the route of Giuseppe Garibaldi who in May 1860 gathered an army and sailed from Genoa to Marsala in Sicily eventually conquering the island. He then crossed the Strait of Messina with the help of the UK's Royal Navy and marched north taking Naples. We'll head north by bicycle towards Rome, where Garibaldi eventually surrendered all of his territorial gain to the Piedmontese. Our bicycling journey continues along the coast of Tuscany, and over the Apennine Mountains to Emilia Romagna. The finale of our ExpeditionPlus! bike tour comes with our arrival in Turin, designated the first capital of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, the home of the House of Savoy, and the leader in uniting Italy under one flag. Along the way we'll learn about the unique features and customs of 9 of Italy's 20 regions as we pedal along quiet roads through country towns, medieval and renaissance castles and cities. Of course there will also be ample opportunities to sample some of each region's finest wines and foods. Join us for this special bicycling expedition.

There are no upcoming tours scheduled at this time.

Book This Trip Now Hold-A-Space/Questions Download Itinerary Request Custom Date

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 29 Days
  • Total Distance / 2100 - 2250 km (1300 - 1400 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 55 - 135 km (34 - 84 miles) average of 98 kms (60 mi) if you don't include rest days in the average. per riding day
  • Tour Level / 1.0
  • Countries / Italy
  • Begin/End / Marsala / Turin
  • Price / From 8850
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    • Bicycle the length of Italy on country roads
    • ,
    • Marsala, Segesta, Paestum and ruins of Pompeii
    • ,
    • Naples and Rome
    • ,
    • Etruscan Coast of Tuscany, Lucca, Pisa
    • ,
    • Emilia Romagna's Culinary Delights
    • ,
    • Piedmont Wines, Slow Food and Torino

    Keep 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.

    Varied terrain throughout, mostly back roads with little traffic. Shuttles into larger cities and back out. Extraordinary bicycling routes and travel companions as well as local events.
  • Includes
    Use of a 24 - 27 speed quality bicycle; 29 days, 28 nights in comfortable 3 and 4 star hotels and country estates; 28 breakfasts, 17 dinners, some lunches; van support; bilingual tour leaders; cultural activities as described in itinerary
  • Arrive / Depart
    Palermo Falcone-Borsellino Airport (PMO) / Turin Caselle Airport (TRN) or Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11
    12
    13
    14
    15
    16
    17
    18
    19
    20
    21
    22
    23
    24
    25
    26
    27
    28
    29

    Tour Level Note: This is an ExpeditionPlus! bicycle tour. We'll average 60 miles per day with 3 rest days.

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: May 7: Arrive in Marsala, meet the group

Highlights: Benvenuti to the Italia 150 Expedition!

We'll meet in Marsala, Sicily this afternoon to fit bikes and go for a test ride. Giuseppe Garibaldi landed in the port of Marsala on May 11, 1860 with his "thousand red shirts," and began the liberation of southern Italy from the Bourbon monarch in Naples. We'll enjoy a welcome drink with the mayor and tourism board members before dinner at the "trattoria Garibaldi" together.

  • Meals: Dinner

DAY 2: May 8: Bicycle the interior of Sicily

Highlights: Greek Ruins in Sicily, Segesta

It's national bike day in Italy today, and we've been asked to honor the city with our presence at the start line of their inaugural ride after our safety talk. We then depart toward Calatafimi and Segesta today then on to Alcamo. Calatafimi is the site of the first significant battle of Garibaldi and his red shirts against the Bourbon army. Segesta was home to one of the three indigenous people of Sicily who took up the Hellenic way of life and architecture. We'll have a chance to visit the ruins of this ancient city on our way to Alcamo. Dinner together this evening. Approximate Mileage: 65 km (40 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3: May 9: Bicycle to Alia

Highlights: Rock of Busambra

Our route today takes us through vineyards and orchards first and then through pasture lands that have been grazed for thousands of years. We pedal through the evergreen oak forest of Ficuzza underneath the limestone massif of the "Rock of Busambra." Dinner together this evening. Approximate mileage: 100 km (62 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4: May 10: Pedal to Troina

Highlights: Spectacular landscapes of central Sicily

We pedal through the spectacular landscapes of central Sicily today on our way to Troina ("Truina" in Sicilian). Truina was a Greek town, a Roman town, and a central city throughout the history of Sicily including in July and August of 1943 when the allied forces pursued the German and Italian defenders here during their invasion to liberate Italy from the German occupation. Be sure and take a walk to the main square at the top of the town for great views of Mount Etna. Dinner together this evening. Approximate mileage 127 km (78 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5: May 11: Bicycle around Mount Etna

Highlights: Views of Mount Etna, Giardini Naxos,

Our ride today takes us around the west and north side of Mount Etna with spectacular views the entire way. You'll want to stop for a late lunch to explore the Gorge of the Alcantara River cut deep in the basalt that flowed out of Mount Etna in ancient times. Approximate mileage 115 kms (71 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6: May 12: Taormina and Ferry across the Straight of Messina

Highlights: Roman Theater in Taormina, the mainland

We pedal to nearby Taormina this morning for a view of Mount Etna from the Roman Theater and then we continue on to Messina where we catch a ferry to the mainland later this afternoon. We'll sleep in Calabria tonight in Villa San Giovanni. We'll have options for those who want to avoid the more busy sections of today's route. Approximate mileage 55 km (34 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7: May 13: Pedal to the coast of Calabria

Highlights: Two options today to ride

You have two choices today as we head north in Calabria. You can pedal into the rugged interior of Calabria with a climb up to the "Aspromonte," literally, "Bitter Mountain." Take your time on the climb and enjoy the long downhill to Gioia Tauro. Alternatively, avoid the climb and pedal along the coast through Bagnara Calabra and Palmi to Gioia Tauro. The two routes join here and continue on to Tropea, a delightful village on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Dinner is together tonight. Approximate mileage: Option 1 - 96 km (60 miles) Option 2 - 130 km (80 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8: May 14: Rest day on the beach

Highlights: Tropea

This is a rest day in Tropea. Take a swim, enjoy sitting in a seaside cafe and writing postcards to the friends at home! The Giro d'Italia happens to pass by Tropea today on its eighth stage from Sapri to Tropea (214 km total), so stay tuned for possible racer sightings!

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9: May 15: Bicycle the Toe of Italy

Highlights: Bicycle Calabria's mountains

We follow the coast for a bit today and then head into the mountains of Calabria on the flank of the Piccola Sila (the "Little Sila"), one of four major limestone massifs that make up the mountains of Italy's "toe". Dinner together. Approximate mileage 88 km (55 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10: May 16: Bicycle to Cosenza

Highlights: Bicycle back to the beach

Our ride today takes us through Cosenza, a provincial capital and major cultural and educational center in Calabria. We'll cross a coastal mountain range back to the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea today and we'll be on the beach this evening again. Dinner together tonight. Approximate mileage 125 km (78 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11: May 17: Pedal Basilicata and Campania

Highlights: Bicycle the coast to Sapri

We pedal along the seashore today to Sapri crossing another regional border and entering the region of Campania. We pass through a small part of the Region of Basilicata and the lovely town of Maratea on our way. By the time we reach our hotel tonight we will have crossed our 4th region of Italy! Approximate mileage: 90 km (56 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12: May 18: Bicycle the coast to Paestum

Highlights: Bicycle the Cilento of Italy

We pedal one of the most spectacular coastlines in southern Italy today as we ride the Tyrrhenian coast of the "Cilento". The ride here, through an important part of Magna Grecia, reminds of bicycling in Greece. And indeed, we end the day in Paestum, home to some of the finest Greek ruins in the world. Dinner together tonight. Approximate mileage 122 km (75 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13: May 19: Bicycle to Pompeii

Highlights: Visit Paestum and bicycle to Pompeii

Our route this morning takes us through the ruins of Paestum. We'll stop for brief walk together before heading north to Salerno and Pompeii, perhaps the most famous and important archeological site. Approximate mileage 86 km (53 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14: May 20: Rest day to visit Pompeii and shuttle to Naples

Highlights: Ruins of Pompeii, Naples

We'll visit the ruins of Pompeii today with a guided tour before shuttling into Naples. Our hotel is in the pedestrian area of beautiful downtown Naples. Take a walk, relax and rest up today. We'll enjoy a great pizza dinner together tonight as we are in the region best known for pizza and buffalo mozzarella. No bicycling today

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 15: May 21: Shuttle and then bicycle north

Highlights: Small town, quiet roads

We shuttle today to the plains of Campania north of Naples. Then we ride to Teano, where Garibaldi passed the symbolic key to southern Italy to Vittorio Emmanuele II, King of Savoy and future King of Italy. We continue on to the small town of Mondragone. Dinner together tonight. Approximate mileage 52 km (33 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16: May 22: Pedal to Montecassino

Highlights: Anagni

Our route today provides a view of the famous Abbey of Montecassino where one of the most famous battles of World War II took place. We continue on to Anagni, an important Medieval town. Dinner together tonight. Approximate mileage 124 km (77 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 17: May 23: Pedal the ancient Appian Way

Highlights: Rome!

We pedal through the Colli Albani, south of Rome, today and along the ancient Appian Way for a short distance. The ancient Roman paving stones are almost impossible to pedal without a full suspension mountain bike so we'll regroup for lunch and shuttle to our hotel. You'll have time to enjoy Rome later this afternoon and evening (and tomorrow!). Dinner together tonight. Approximate mileage 61 km (38 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 18: May 24: Rest day in Rome

Highlights: Guided walk of Rome, relax

This is a rest day in Rome. We'll take a guided walk together in the morning and you'll have the afternoon to explore on your own.

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 19: May 25: Bicycle out of Rome

Highlights: Ride along the Tiber River, Tuscania

Our ride out of Rome takes us on a bike path along the Tiber River from the Vatican. Enjoy the views of this great city as we head north to Tuscania for the evening. Dinner together tonight. Approximate mileage 100 km (62,5 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 20: May 26: Bicycle the Etruscan Coast

Highlights: Pedal back to the beach

We pedal across the "Tuscia" today, a remote part of Italy that formed the southern part of Etruria. This is a horizontal landscape with layers of airborne volcanic ash. Our destination is Talamone where Garibaldi docked with his ships to prepare for his final push to southern Italy in May of 1860. Approximate mileage 104 km (65 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 21: May 27: Bicycle into Tuscany

Highlights: Enter another region of Italy, Etruscan Coast of Tuscany

The southern coast of Tuscany has always been difficult of access so our route takes us first into the hills, then through Grosseto and back to the coast. The Etruscans traded throughout the Mediterranean from ports along here. Tonight we are in San Vincenzo near the beach. Approximate mileage 134 km (84 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 22: May 28: Bicycle to Lucca

Highlights: Walled city of Lucca, vineyards of Tuscany

We continue north along the first line of hills on the Tuscan coast today through vineyards and wheat fields full of poppies. Our destination is Lucca, a wonderful medieval town that still retains an intact 17th century wall. Dinner together tonight. Approximate mileage 130 km (81.5 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 23: May 29: Rest day in Lucca

Highlights: Enjoy Lucca, or take a side trip to Pisa

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 cafes. Take a day to relax, or if you feel the urge we can organize a trip to Pisa for a visit to the leaning tower. No bicycling today.

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 24: May 30: Bicycle the Garfagnana north of Lucca

Highlights: Pedal the foothills of the Appennines

We ride into the foothills of the Apennine Mountains. We'll spend a good part of the day in the Garfagnana, a vast chestnut forest north of Lucca. Dinner together tonight. Approximate mileage 91 km (57 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 25: May 31: Pedal over the Appennines

Highlights: Cross into your 6th region of Italy, Emilia Romagna

We have flirted with Italy's Apennine Mountains for over three weeks now without crossing them. Well, today we head up and over to the north side of the Apennines. We leave "Mediterranean" Italy and head into the Po Valley which enjoys a more subcontinental climate. Approximate mileage 141 km (88 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 26: June 1: Bicycle North towards Turin

Highlights: Rolling hills and flat riding

Our ride today takes us through the foothills of the "Oltre Po Pavese," south of the Po River through the foothills of the Apennine Mountains and out onto the flat Po Valley. Dinner together tonight. Approximate mileage 130 km (81.5 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 27: June 2: Asti

Highlights: Enter Piedmont Region

We follow the flat Po Valley for the most part today on our way to Asti, Piedmont. We end in one of Italy's most up and coming wine regions where vineyards produce many of the famous Piedmont wines, including Barbera d'Asti and Asti Spumante. Approximate mileage 97 km (61 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 28: June 3: Bicycle into Torino

Highlights: Finish the Italia 150 with a reception in Torino

Our final ride is relatively short today and it takes us into Torino, the seat of the House of Savoy and the first capital of a unified Italy beginning in 1861. We'll have a reception and lunch to celebrate the end of our expedition and journey through Italy. Approximate mileage: 75 km (47 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 29: June 4: Farewell

Highlights: Departure

Mille grazie for joining us to celebrate Italy's 150th birthday. Buon viaggio!

Travel Information

Travel Information

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Keep 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.

Varied terrain throughout, mostly back roads with little traffic. Shuttles into larger cities and back out. Extraordinary bicycling routes and travel companions as well as local events.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • Begin your chosen training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days (120 days for Bike & Barge/Boat tours) prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two), one water bottle , and a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

Similar Tours

Awards, Memberships and Reviews