Day 1: Arrival to Chioggia
Welcome to Chioggia and the Venetian Lagoon! We meet this afternoon at our hotel in the center of Chioggia. We'll fit bicycles and go over route details. Take a walk around the center of Chioggia and admire the canals, bridges and main pedestrian walking street. If you arrive early we can suggest a ride along one of the islands in the lagoon.
Overnight in Chioggia
Day 2: Chioggia – Po River Delta (36-63 miles/58-101 km)
We leave the Venetian lagoon today towards the Po River Delta. Enjoy cycling on levee roads and birdwatching. Grab some picnic supplies from the local grocery store or stop at a cafe for lunch today. Those who want extra mileage can enjoy a great ride into the delta this afternoon. Our destination tonight is a small country farm bed and breakfast.
Overnight in Po Delta Veneto
Day 3: Po Delta – Comacchio (46 miles/74 km)
It's another day of leisurely riding today. Our destination is a small lagoon town that at one point was more powerful than Venice in the 700 and 800s. The lagoon town of Comacchio, has a fabulous museum that showcases a Roman boat and its cargo that was excavated from one of the canals. Built on 13 islands this town is now landlocked but surrounded by the Po River and freshwater wetlands. Enjoy a small float around the canals with a local fisherman before dinner.
Overnight in Comacchio
Day 4: Comacchio – Ravenna (31 miles/49 km)
We pedal along the Valley of Comacchio wetlands towards Ravenna. Ravenna was 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.
Overnight in Ravenna
Day 5: Ravenna – Faenza (32 miles/ 51 km)
Exiting Ravenna, you have the choice to visit another very important Byzantine masterpiece: Sant'Apollinare in Classe. Cross the plains through fruit plantations and arrive to Faenza. Your hotel is a restored convent near the central square of this regional market center and famous ceramics town. Enjoy the bustle in the market square and the main "piazza" which is always full of bicycle riders of all ages. Faenza is world-renowned for its hand-decorated ceramics; we recommend a visit to the International Ceramics Museum as well as several of the local artists' studios specialized in this colorful pottery.
Overnight in Faenza
Day 6: Faenza over the Apennines (9 or 39 miles/15 or 63 km)
We head into the Apennines today, passing first through the medieval village of Brisighella. Take a break and pick up some snacks for climb if you feel like it. If you decide you want to train up and over the mountain, feel free to do so! For those who decide to bicycle, begin climbing (easily at first!) over the Apennines -- remember to look around as you pedal since the scenery changes dramatically as you leave the plains and enter the mountains. Just before we reach the toughest part of our climb there is a very conveniently located train station which allows you a choice in how you reach our destination! Dinner is included tonight.
Overnight in Borgo San Lorenzo
Day 7: Florence (26 miles/41 km)
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 recommend waiting until after lunch to ride into town and the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore this capital of Renaissance Italy.
Overnight in Florence
Day 8: Departure
After a buffet breakfast in the hotel, you're ready to become a tourist again. You're on your own now, so get out there and visit Michelangelo's David at the Accademia, Botticelli's Birth of Venus and the other masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery, and more.