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Itinerary for Bike Tour Bologna Tropea

Italy Bike Tour: Bologna - Tropea

Difficulty: 5  Italy Bike Tour difficulty rating
only for very advanced riders

Discover why riding in Italy is so special. An amazing journey up and down the backroads and through the charming villages of the Appennini.
More than 1200km in 9 stages! 9 regions crossed:  Emilia, Toscana, Umbria, Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Basilicata and Calabria. 
The most daring and comprehensive bike tour of Italy to date.


PROGRAM


DAY 1 – Arrival at Bologna Airport, Van transfer to Rastignano (45 min)

DAY 2 – 1st stage:Rastignano – Bibbiena 149 km (tot climb 2400 mts)
Italy bike tour: Bologna-TropeaVery appropriately our tour starts  with a long climb to Passo Raticosa. We are in the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, the hills that separate Bologna from Firenze and, at the pass, we cross the border of Toscana. The first  winding descent takes us to Firenzuola where the 2nd climb to Passo del Giogo begins. The following descent takes us to Scarperia in the Mugello discrict. In this cute medieval town we pause for lunch. We digest our meal cruising  Val di Sieve down to Dicomano. Here we attach the 3rd and last summit of the day: Passo Croce ai Mori. The next descent takes us down the Arno Valley. And the going gets easy until the last km up to Bibbiena. Our hotel is right in the historic uptown.

Bike Tour: Bologna-Tropea:AssisiDAY 3 – 2nd stage:Bibbiena – Foligno 153 km (1200 mts)
After yesterday's many, today we have only one climb. Right off the start we tackle Passo La Verna in the Park of Foreste Casentinesi. The descent lands at Pieve S.Stefano where we start cruising the Tevere Valley. We can't miss a coffee break in the beautiful piazza of Sansepolcro. At Città di Castello we cross the Umbria border. The road crosses some of the finest towns of Umbria. After lunch in the walled Umbertide we ride through Assisi and Spello. Our hotel is in the old Foligno's main square.

Italy bike tour Bologna-Tropea: MonteleoneDAY 4 – 3rd stage: Foligno – L’Aquila 151 km  (2300 mts)
Today we cross Umbria, land of saints, truffles and climbs! The 1st climb to Valico del Soglio is pretty easy but the 2nd is quite nasty. It goes on and off for 22km with stretches at over 10%. But the views will relieve most of the pain. When we summit at the medieval hamlet of Monteleone we are certainly ready for lunch. The descent leads to Leonessa at the foot of the Terminillo Mts. We ride now in a rolling and lusciously green area of Lazio. A short climb in a chestnut wood introduce us to the wild landscapes of Abruzzo. We descend into the Aterno Valley for the last, flat miles to L'Aquila.. 

Italy bike tour Bologna-Tropea: Sagittario gorgesDAY 5 –
4th stage: L’Aquila – Barrea 131 km (2100 mts)
Be prepared for one of your finest ride. For 50k we cruise down the Aterno Valley crossing medieval villages immersed in the wilderness and endlessly rows of mountains looming at  the horizon. We wake up from this dreamy ride on the slopes of Monte Selva, 6km at almost 10% avg. The long descent rockets us into the National Park of Abruzzo. The views on the next easy incline are a joy for the eye. After lunch in Anversa, through a tunnel bored in the rock, we enter the Sagittario gorges. The road is attached to the rock with a roaring stream running alongside in the deep canyon. As we gain altitude the stream forms mirror of still water reflecting the mountains above. After circling its Lake we arrive in Scanno where we start the long but regular climb to Passo Godi. With its 1630 mts this pass is the Cima Coppi (max elevation) of this tour. On the following descent  I've heard many traveled riders scream for pleasure. We land on the shores of Lake Barrea and get to town with the 2k mandatory mountain finish. Night in hotel in Barrea.

Italy bike tour Bologna-Tropea: Cerreto SannitaDAY 6 – 5th stage: Barrea – Cerreto Sannita 120 km (1300 mts)
We leave Barrea with a short climb that allows spectacular views of the lake surrounded by mountains. We descend into Alfedena and resume climbing to top Colle Il Calvario. On the following descent we cross into Molise. For the hardcores we have a detour to ride the high road up to the highlands of Matese Mts. For the rest the going in the Lete Valley is much easier. Only the short wall that leads to Ailano before the lunch in Piedimonte Matese where the 2 routes meet again. We are now in Campania and the ride continues on a sweet rolling road crossing  delightful villages up to the last vertical km to Cerreto Sannita, a town with a remarkable architecture and famous for its ceramics. Night in hotel with swimming pool.

Italy bike tour: Bologna-Tropea: Foresta OgliaraDAY 7 – 6th stage: Cerreto Sannita – Paestum 173 km (2000 mts)
The longest stage of the tour requires an early start. Again we ride on a gentle rolling road that shows ample views of the Volturno Valley dotted by villages. After a 5k km climb to Fragneto we cross Pietrelcina and descend to Benevento where we pause for coffee. Then we cruise among the vineyards of the Sabato Valley and cross Tufo, famous for its Greco wine. After the short climb to Prata we get to Atripalda where we stop for lunch. As we approach the long climb of the day the vineyards leave room first to hazelnuts and walnuts and then to a thick wood of chestnuts that shades the steep switchbacks of the climb to Foresta Ogliara. The long descent ends in Giffoni. Another short climb to Montecorvino and our pains are over for the day. We descend on the Tirrenean coast and paceline on the flat coastal route to Paestum. The swimming pool of our Agriturismo will be a sight for sore eyes.

DAY 8Italy bike tour Bologna-Tropea: Paestum- Paestum: Rest day
The Agriturismo where we stay is an outstanding producer of buffalo mozzarella and an unrivalled interpreter of the best traditional Neapolitan cuisine. Paestum is one of the most famous and important archaeological sites in Italy.  Few places will reward you as the ruins of this ancient Greek community. Unlike Pompeii or Herculaneum, Paestum can often be deserted, and its gleaming white marble temples, set against the silver mountains and deep blue sea, provide a uniquely Greek experience in Italy.

Italy bike tours: Bologna-Tropea (Pisciotta)DAY 9 – 7th stage: Paestum – Maratea 142 km (1800 mts)
After Agropoli we ride on the coastal road of the Park of Cilento. The road crosses cute beach resorts and it's mostly flat but here and there a few bumps send us through olive and pine trees opening our view on the sea. Then it's time again for a little climb. The first hill ends in Ascea, the second in Pisciotta where we have our coffee break. Descending among centuries old olive trees we get to Palinuro. The road with its tunnels bored into rock  flattens up until Marina di Camerota but here starts snaking  up the mountain. This 10k climb offering breathtaking views is the longest of the day. At the top in the village of S.Giovanni a Piro we stop for lunch. The following descent takes us to the Gulf of Policastro. Flat terrain until Sapri where we cross into Basilicata. The last kms are spectacular: the road goes up and down with the rocky mountain on one side and the sea down below on the other. Our hotel is right on the beach of Maratea.

Italy bike tours: Bologna-Tropea (Maratea)DAY 10 – 8th stage: Maratea – Amantea 130 km (1200 mts)
After a few miles we cross into Calabria, the southernmost region of continental Italy. We ride the Tirrenean coastal route cutting through the nicest beach resorts like Praia, Scalea, Diamante where we pause for the coffee break. Other towns like S.Nicola Arcella and Paola, today's lunch stop, require a little climbing but the rest of the ride is an easy rolling. At our arrival in Amantea we can choose between swimming in the sea or in the hotel's pools (indoor and outdoor).

Italy bike tours: Bologna-Tropea (Pizzo Calabro)DAY 11 – 9th stage: Amantea – Tropea 88 km (500 mts)
The last stage is an easy spin to let you savour your accomplishment. After circling  the Gulf of S.Eufemia a short hill gets us to the delightful piazza of Pizzo Calabro. Here we stop for coffee and to taste the local sweets. The ramp to Tropea is ideal if you like to go for a last mountain sprint before starting to toast.  The early arrival gives you time to enjoy the beauty of Tropea, the Pearl of the Tirrenean coast, and its beaches.

DAY 12 – Van transfer to Lamezia Airport (1 hr) – Departure