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Italy

Via Francigena (Tuscany to Rome)

Guided Electric Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$2,090 P.P.
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New for 2021, join us on this electric bike tour in Italy, where we'll be tracing the steps of the Via Francigena, an ancient route packed full of historical gems and idyllic Italian countryside. Once the favoured route for merchants, armies and pilgrims travelling from Canterbury to Rome, our version of the Via Francigena picks up the trail in Tuscany and offers an inspiring journey through the heart of Italy, right up to the mighty St Peter's Square in Rome. 
Exclusively on electric bikes, this is a great option for any couples or friends with differing levels of fitness to ride together by adjusting the power of the bike according to personal preference. As the speed of the group on e-bikes is generally a little quicker than on standard bikes, this allows us more time to relax and enjoy the overnight towns and quaint accommodation that await us at the end of day. 
Starting just outside of the enthralling Siena, you'll have a chance to explore this unique, authentic town and admire the Duomo and Piazza Campo. Here you’ll get a great introduction to the Tuscan way of life, a landscape famed for its idyllic cypress lined horizons, endless fields of golden corn and medieval hilltop towns. We’ll then head south following the Via Francigena on a range of quiet country lanes, ancient Roman roads, over rolling hills, through woodland and passing through ancient towns. This route joins up some of the major Tuscan highlights, including Siena, Monteriggioni and San Quirico.
Our journey has two distinct halves and as we leave Tuscany and enter Lazio, the landscape changes as well as the feel of the towns, a change which only adds to the sense of journey. Heading ever south, we’ll cycle through varying scenery and changing terrain, eventually pedalling into the outskirts of Rome where our own pilgrimage comes to a dramatic end, riding into St. Peter's Square. Along the way we’ll stay in a range of good quality local hotels and agriturismi, which enable you to experience true Italian hospitality and of course indulge in some delicious local cuisine.
We also have a slightly tougher version of this trip available which follows alternative, off road routes, on standard mountain bikes, along the Via Francigena.

Highlights

  • Staying in Tuscan accommodation overlooking stunning landscapes
  • Discovering the amazing towns of Siena, San Quirico and Pienza
  • Sampling the best wines of Chianti, Montepulciano and Montalcino
  • Enjoying the journey from Tuscany to Rome on a variety of terrain, including ancient Roman roads
  • Exploring the lesser-known historical towns of Lazio, such as Sutri with it’s Roman amphitheater
  • The sense of achievement riding into St Peter’s Square in Rome

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Pisa Airport - Transfer to Siena
Non Riding Day

You will be met at Pisa airport and transferred (approx. 2 hours) to Siena and your first accommodation.

Depending on flight times, there will hopefully be some time today to explore Siena and immerse yourself in Tuscan culture right away, visiting the Duomo di Siena and taking an “Aperitivo” in Piazza Campo.

Day 2
Siena to San Quirico
34 Miles / 55 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast

We’ll start our journey today leaving Siena through the ancient town gates, heading south on the Via Francigena and the beautiful Crete Sienesi with a roller coaster ride through classic Tuscan landscape.

Picking up the Via again, we’ll head to Buonconvento were we’ll have time to stop for a refreshing break and, if inclined, visit the fortified walls. The next section will lead us, with the help of our e-bike gears, over the rolling hills, to San Quirico, a medieval hamlet with a quaint centre where we’ll stop for the night.

Day 3
San Quirico to Radicofani
25 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner

From San Quirico, we’ll head towards the Orcia valley and we’ll descend quiet lanes to the medieval hamlet of Bagno Vignoni, with its healing baths – home to the legendary water nymphs! After resting and taking time to explore the hot water springs, we’ll head right into the centre of the UNESCO heritage site of Val D‘Orcia, a natural paradise that cannot fail to stir the soul. From here we’ll take a detour, away from the Via Francigena and head towards Pienza, which was also a popular Renaissance town amongst the pilgrims, as birth place of Pope Pio II. Pienza’s location in the centre of the Val d‘Orcia, helps the town to embody the fundamental principal that humanistic architecture attempted to incorporate – the balanced relationship between Man and Nature.

Leaving Pienza after lunch, we’ll continue with a fantastic descent through the region with conical hills lined by cypress trees, the ultimate aesthetic of Italian landscape, joining up again with the official Via Francigena route. We ride on towards Radicofani and our Agriturismo stay for the night.

Depending on the time it takes to get to this medieval hilltop village, you will be able to take in a tour of the sights or relax at your accommodation for the rest of the day.

Day 4
Radicofani to Bolsena
34 Miles / 60 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Leaving the hamlet behind we’ll bike along the old Via Cassia, the Roman route to Rome, now a cobbled road, surrounded by stunning scenery and dominated by Monte Amiata.

We’ll take a break in Acquapedente, famous for the Romanesque crypt beneath the Basilica del Santo Sepolcro where, according to tradition, some stones bathed in the blood of Christ are thought to have been kept. Getting back in the saddle we’ll continue riding towards Lazio and the stunning Lake Bolsena.

The view of the lake will open up as we descend, a great way to finish a day in the saddle amongst the thick woods and meadows scattered with olive trees, until we reach Bolsena itself. There will be time in the evening to explore its fortress and narrow streets.

Day 5
Bolsena to Vetralla
29 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today’s ride starts with a stunning route through woods and olive groves as we make our way around Lake Bolsena and onto the region of Lazio.

As we descend into the lower plains, we’ll cross an area famous for the production of extra virgin olive oil, before arriving in Montefiascone were we’ll take time in one of the Piazzas to have yet another cappuccino break!

The next section leading into Viterbo is across cultivated countryside, with the option of stopping off at the thermal waters of Bagnaccio for a quick dip in the open air pools, where pilgrims would also stop before proceeding towards Viterbo. In Viterbo, we’ll allow time to admire the splendid Palazzo dei Papi and the Longobard cloisters of Santa Maria Nuova. We’ll then carry on to Vetralla, our home for the night.

Day 6
Vetralla to Campagnano
29 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

We’ll continue our journey south, first riding through a dense forest and then open countryside, through fields of hazelnuts.

We’ll come across the Torri d‘Orlando, the ruins of an abandoned monastery, on our way to Sutri, a fascinating little town with dwellings carved out of the tuff. We’ll stop for a short visit to the Roman amphitheatre which dates back to Emperor Augustus and which is completely carved out of the hill. Moving on, the ride heads into the hills (time to turn up your power!) and we’ll pass the waterfalls of Mount Gelato, an ideal location for a refreshing stop.

A short sharp climb will lead you onto your accommodation for the evening at Campagnano.

Day 7
Campagnano to Rome
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Leaving Campagnano we’ll enter the regional Park of Veio (with our e-bikes we’ll tackle the roller coaster route with ease.) We’ll stop to rest in the village of Formello with its fine medieval buildings. As we approach Rome, the roads get busier and we’ll make our way to the cycle path alongside the River Tevere, enjoying the final ride along its banks, leading us to the gates of the Vatican City.

As we enter St. Peter’s Square, with its grandiose architecture, our cycling journey of the Via Francigena will come to a celebratory end!

Day 8
Departure from Rome - Transfer to Rome Fiumicino Airport
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

Time for one last delicious breakfast, before transferring to the airport for flights home. Ciao! (Transfer approx 1 hour.)

Do let us know if you’d like to extend for a couple of days in Rome, and we’d be happy to help organise some extra nights.

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The Cycling

Terrain

Terrain We follow the Via Francigena pilgrimage route as closely as possible making our way south on a multitude of different surfaces. This electric bike tour mostly follows back roads, strade bianche, country lanes and a few rough dirt tracks so you must be confident riding on gravel. You’ll encounter a few cheeky climbs (quite steep in places!) and this is where the e-bike gearing will come in useful. Roads can get busier closer to the bigger towns so you may encounter traffic in these areas. For this tour we provide electric mountain bikes and recommend this if bringing your own, however some leisure/hybrid style electric bikes may be suitable.

Grading We have graded this tour as a 3 out of 5. The often gravelly and uneven nature of some of the terrain and the cheeky climbs throughout make the route relatively challenging (and would be graded as a 4 if using standard mountain bikes). Since however, this tour is offered on electric bikes, this enables us to more confidently tackle and conquer these challenges, allowing for a less strenuous ride and more time for sightseeing along the way.

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Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
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5
Grade 3 : Moderate

Distances generally between 20-45 miles / 32-72 kms per day

For the leisure cyclist with a good level of physical fitness

May include some steeper, cheeky climbs

Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc).

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Although you may not cycle everyday, you do keep yourself relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on your bike at the weekend. Your preference is perhaps for flatter terrain but you don’t mind tackling some hills, and the occasional steep climb if you can take it at your own pace. For those happy to tackle some ups and downs, and possibly some sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc) we’d recommend our grade 3 trips. We’d generally expect those on a Grade 3 trip to have a decent level of physical fitness and be comfortable with some longer days in the saddle.

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Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
12/06/2021
Contact Us
Return Date
19/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,090.00
Start Date
28/08/2021
Return Date
04/09/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,090.00
Start Date
11/06/2022
Return Date
18/06/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,090.00
Start Date
27/08/2022
Return Date
03/09/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,090.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double rooms) in hotels / agriturismi

B) Meals as per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Pisa airport (PSA)

G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Rome Fiumicino airport (FCO)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Single room (available if required)

D) Travel insurance

E) Meals not stated in the itinerary

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en-route

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

This tour starts in Siena and ends at Rome. Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday. To join the airport transfer on arrival you’ll need to arrive into Pisa Airport (PSA) before 12.10 for a 12.30 transfer.

At the end of the tour, we will transfer the group to Rome Airport (FCO), with an estimated arrival time of 09.30 – please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight.

Most flights from North America require overnight travel, and a stop over in an intermediary airport. Please note that flying from North America may involve multiple travel days. Flights with multiple airlines and non-direct options may be available, please chat to our team.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your holiday. Please check with us before making any travel arrangements, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your arrangements fit with our scheduled transfers. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

From small, boutique hotels to traditional Tuscan homesteads, each guarantees to provide a unique place to rest your head.

The majority of our accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be ensuite in 3 star guest houses, agriturismos or hotels. Occasionally accommodation will include a swimming pool.

The fabulous hospitality will be one of the highlights of your week.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to rent.

These bikes are typically Univega Summit or Focus Jarifa Ex E-Mountain Bikes.

Rental bikes will be provided with a front handle pannier and tyres will be suitable for gravel roads.

This is an e-bikes only tour and so we aren’t able to provide regular mountain bikes.

We can provide helmets locally on request. Please let us know at the time of booking if you’d like us to organise this for you.

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News, Reviews & Stories

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