About the challenge
Cycle through Italy, from the unique city of Venice on the Adriatic Coast to Rome, the Italian capital, renowned for its ancient history. Our exciting challenge takes us south on flat roads from the canals of Venice, crossing farmland and waterways. We then come to the rolling hills of Tuscany and Umbria, passing terracotta-roofed towns with striking bell-towers and Renaissance churches, and small traditional villages hidden among the fertile fields growing corn, fruit and olives. The terrain is hilly, with some long climbs and steep gradients – it’s wonderful cycling country, but not to be undertaken without training! We come down out of the hills on our last day and have a relatively flat run-in to Rome, where we finish a stone’s throw away from some of the main sights. This trip combines diverse, challenging cycling with a wonderful Italian experience.
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|27 Sep 2016||6||Open challenge||Limited||£149||+||£1750||Or||£875||Contact office|
|01 May 2017||6||Open challenge||Spaces||£149||+||£1900||£950||Book now|
|25 Sep 2017||6||Open challenge||Spaces||£149||+||£1900||£950||Book now|
|30 Apr 2018||6||Open challenge||Spaces||£175||+||£1950||£975||Book now|
|24 Sep 2018||6||Open challenge||Spaces||£175||+||£1950||£975||Book now|
Cycle between two iconic Italian cities
Stunning scenery of traditional hilltop towns, vineyards and olive groves
Hills of Tuscany and Umbria provide rewarding challenge
Hotels in historic towns en-route
Day 1: Arrive Venice; meet group
Day 2-3: Initial flat open terrain becomes forested and hilly with long climbs
Day 4-5: Beautiful rolling roads through ancient hilltop towns
Day 6: Flatter ride into Rome; Depart Rome
What makes it tough?
Challenging cycling with few flat sections
First day flat warm-up over 100 miles
Rest of trip relentlessly hilly
Longer climbs include Madrioli Pass (1173m)
Daily average 90 miles with morning ride into Rome
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The tour cost includes all accommodation and meals except four as specified in the itinerary. It also includes full trip support of experienced Discover Adventure leaders, drivers and mechanics.
The tour cost does not include personal travel insurance, meals as specified, or a bicycle. It also does not include flights, drinks and personal expenses, or entrance fees to any optional sites or attractions you may wish to visit. Remember to allow extra for drinks, snacks, souvenirs and other personal expenses. Please note that costs may fluctuate and we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
We do not arrange group flights for this challenge, enabling you to take advantage of the many competitive fares between Venice / Rome and different UK cities.
Accommodation is in 2-3* hotels, picked for their proximity to our route. The hotels are comfortable with en suite facilities; standards may vary between the hotels. In Rome we stay in a hotel of 4* standard.
All food is included except four meals where specified. Lunches are generous buffet-style with plenty of energy food to keep you going. Dinners are generally eaten in the hotels.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in towns or cities and you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit every budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.
All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. The number of crew and support vehicles looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but the team will be looking after every aspect of your trip whether that’s transporting your luggage, ensuring your route is well-marked, making you lunch and sorting out any mechanical problems. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: cyclist ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Support vehicles are with the group all the time. All luggage, spares, food and water is carried by them.
Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft sailing bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack or large waist-pack for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening. Bikes can be transported on flights in bike bags or – a much cheaper option – cardboard bike boxes: ask your local bike shop if they have any. You should also bring a small daypack or waist-pack to carry items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and mobile phones, first-aid kits, and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
The cycling is predominantly flat for the first day, and very hilly for the majority of the other days. We ride mainly on small quiet roads. Distances are long, with approx 95 miles on most days with a ‘shorter’ day of approx 80 miles. You should make sure you are fit enough to manage these distances confidently – especially in hilly terrain. It is important that you are used to cycling and very familiar with the range of your gears. Traffic is light most of the time but you must be vigilant for traffic and other cyclists, especially in poor visibility or on narrow bends. Watch out for traffic overtaking on descents as you are riding up – they may be on your side of the road. While Italy is passionate about cycling, its drivers are rarely more considerate to cyclists than other road users, so be alert and cautious in traffic.
You cycle approximately 370 miles on this trip overall, though this can vary depending on exact hotel location and any necessary deviations. Because of the terrain, distance is no indicator of how hard any given day may be!
We are always happy to talk through the trip in more detail with you if you are worried about your fitness at any stage.
We strongly recommend that you ride a road bike/racing bike for this trip due to the long distances involved on well-surfaced roads. For a trip of this difficulty, it’s really important that you ride the bike you have been training on so you are used to it. Although training in the gym is useful, there is no substitute for getting out into all weathers and really getting to know your bike – especially the range of your gears as you climb.
There will be a range of spares in the vehicle along with a full tool kit; however, it is impossible for us to carry spares for every eventuality. It is vital that if you bring your own bike it is in excellent working order before departure. It is imperative that you supply your own helmet and wear it at all times while cycling, with straps done up.
It can be very hot cycling in this region – or wet and cold! Rain and mist is always a possibility and it may be windy in the valleys; the weather and temperature can change rapidly especially in hillier areas.
Clothing & Equipment
We could be exposed to bad weather at any time even in the height of summer so be prepared for all weathers and temperatures and remember that weather conditions can change quickly. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
A valid ten-year passport is essential; we recommend it is valid for at least three months after arrival in Italy. There is currently no visa requirement for UK citizens. Other nationalities should check entry requirements.
We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and highly recommend protection against Polio. You should always check with your GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with The Conversation Volunteers and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.