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Fundraising cyclists on Venice to Rome cycle

Venice to Rome Cycle

Italy Cycle
CycleHotelLong DayORANGE 2
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About the Challenge

Our exciting challenge takes us south on flat roads from the canals of Venice to the rolling hills of Tuscany and Umbria, passing terracotta-roofed towns and small traditional villages hidden among the fields of 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.

Venice to Rome Cycle

  • Venice is renowned for its beautiful waterways and buildings, such as St Mark’s Square and Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs, and the Rialto Bridge. Dependent on flight times, you can enjoy some free time exploring the sights of this wonderful city. We meet up at our mainland hotel in the evening, and ensure our kit and bikes are fully prepared for the start of our challenge tomorrow. Night hotel. (Lunch not included)

  • Leaving Venice behind, we start cycling! We head south through fertile fields, crossing many small canals and rivers which drain into the Venetian Lagoon, still only a few miles to the east. Our terrain today is predominantly flat, allowing us to ease ourselves in relatively gently: it is, however, a long day in the saddle! We avoid the larger towns, but pass through several small towns and villages, all with a distinctive Italian flavour. Just before our halfway mark we cross the River Po – Italy’s longest river – at the neck of its delta, a vast area of sandbars and wetlands. Continuing south, and roughly parallel to the Adriatic coast, we ride alongside the huge lagoon of Comacchio; it could be windy here by the water’s edge. Not long afterwards we come to the outskirts of Ravenna, an ancient city with many buildings and monuments dating back to the 5th Century AD. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 172km (106 miles)

    Route Profile

    Venice to Revenna Route Profile.png

  • A tough day today, as we clock up almost as many miles as yesterday, but on much hillier terrain. This morning, however, is flat as we head southwest and further inland, passing through fields and farmland, and small towns. Skirting the busy city of Forli, we soon start to see hills on our horizons, and after the pretty town of Meldola our roads start to incline gently. The gradients grow steeper and our surroundings gradually change from flat farmland to wooded hills. At the pretty town of Santa Sofia the gradient becomes more challenging and we follow narrow twisting roads into the hills and along ridges. This area has National Park status and is beautiful. After a lovely descent and a few miles of flattish riding, we start to climb again, with twisting hair-pin bends taking us back up into the wooded hills. There are some steep sections, but we take it steady and enjoy our surroundings. An exhilarating 10-mile descent follows, and the last 20 miles form a fairly flat valley ride as we pedal alongside the river Arno. Our day ends at the wonderfully-preserved historic town of Arezzo. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 156km (96 miles)

    Route Profile

    Ravenna to Arezzo Route Profile.png

  • Today sees another demanding day as we head further into Tuscany. Although there are no particularly long climbs, we will be almost continually climbing and descending, with very few flat sections. The scenery is beautiful again. We set off south from Arezzo on a rolling road, coming to our first notable climb after about 10 miles. A long rolling morning follows, with fabulous views of small hilltop towns and rolling farmland. A short steep climb brings us to the picturesque walled village of Lucignano, perched atop the hill, before a fast descent and more rolling roads. A flatter stretch follows as we approach the ancient town of Chiusi, an important city around 500BC when it was part of the Etruscan civilisation. Then the climbing starts again, and we enjoy a hilly afternoon passing shady woodland and vineyards as we head south, crossing into Umbria. A couple more steep climbs await us towards the end of the day, but then we have roughly 10 miles of descent to finish our day. Orvieto is another ancient town, dominated by a huge cathedral, built on the top of rocky cliffs rising over the plains below. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 143km (88 miles)

    Route Profile

    Arezzo to Orvieto Route Profile.png

  • Today’s shorter mileage will come as a relief after yesterday’s big effort! We continue through beautiful old towns and villages, still in hill-country, with lovely views. A flattish road takes us out of Orvieto, but before long we start to climb gently. Our road then becomes steeper and winds up through the hills as we approach the old town of Bagnoregio. We then descend fairly gently for over 15 miles through fields of crops, interspersed here and there with rows of olive trees. Our last long climb takes us back into the hills again, then we enjoy another fabulous descent through woodland, catching small glimpses of the blue Lago di Vico below. A shorter climb and descent on narrow roads brings us to the larger Lake Bracciano, a lovely setting for our final evening. Night hotel

    Cycle approx. 88km (54 miles)

    Route Profile

    Orvieto to Lake Bracciano Route Profile.png

  • We ride along the lake’s edge for several miles before heading off southeast, again on small roads. Our roads are now fairly flat as we approach Rome’s outskirts through woodland and quiet towns. Rome’s busy streets are not very conducive to easy cycling, so we follow a cycle path that runs along the River Tiber, taking us right into the heart of this ancient city, finishing within a stone’s throw of some of its most famous sights. After the obligatory photos, we head off for our final lunch together to celebrate our achievements. Head back to the airport depending on your homeward flight – or of course you can stay on longer and make the most of your time to explore Rome’s iconic sights.  (Dinner not included)

    Cycle approx. 70km (43 miles)

    Route Profile

    Lake Bracciano to Rome Route Profile.png

Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    This challenge requires a minimum of 20 participants
    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £199 Fundraising target £2,000 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £199 Fundraising target £1,500 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £199 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,000 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure


    • All meals except where specified, and accommodation on a twin-share basis
    • Discover Adventure leaders, mechanics and drivers
    • Full vehicle support throughout the trip
    • Maps and route information
    • Bike transfer from/to specified airport in Venice/Rome (within agreed time-frame)


    • Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Flights to Venice and from Rome
    • Bicycle
    • Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions


    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis in hotels convenient to our route. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller in a shared room.

    There may be a limited number of single rooms subject to request, on a first-come first-served basis, after you have booked. Extra charges will apply.

  • We usually stay in hotels or lodges of a 2-3* standard or equivalent. Standards may vary between the hotels but they are generally comfortable and convenient for our route. Hotels are often on the outskirts of towns to minimise unnecessary extra mileage and avoid traffic.

  • The food provided is plentiful and will give you plenty of energy. Lunches are generally buffet-style while dinners are usually eaten at the hotel. Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. 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.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders and support crew, including mechanics. Our leaders are selected for their knowledge and experience, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises; they are also trained in first aid. The crew will have mobile phones and/or radios where appropriate, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary.

    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. Support vehicles are with the group all of the time, and carry all luggage and spares.

  • 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 communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They 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 medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

  • For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check
  • Your booking is part of a group challenge, and the tour costs and fundraising targets listed on our website are based on a minimum number of participants which is shown on the challenge  Our typical groups run with approximately 20-30 participants; however you may find your group is smaller or larger than this.

    We will confirm at least 12 weeks prior to departure that your challenge is guaranteed to run. Occasionally it may be possible to still run the challenge with less than the minimum numbers, subject to a small group supplement.  If we think a small group supplement may be necessary, we will discuss this with you as soon as possible, usually 5 months before your departure date. 

    Minimum numbers and groups sizes may vary on Bespoke Charity challenges.  If you are booked onto a bespoke challenge please contact your charity for full details.

  • In the unfortunate circumstance that you need to cancel your booking, we would ask that you notify us in writing either by post or email.  Your cancellation will be considered effective from the date the notice is received. Registration fees, amendment fees and insurance premiums are non refundable and, depending on your payment option and how close it is to your challenge departure date, you may be liable for a cancellation charge.

    Full details of all cancellation charges may be found in the Terms and Conditions of booking.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. 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.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience, fitness and ability as well as all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. If you have concerns about your fitness or if you have reduced mobility please do contact us for a confidential chat about whether this challenge is appropriate for you.

    For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may 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.

  • Travel Insurance is compulsory on our challenges; we strongly suggest that you arrange insurance cover as soon as your booking with us is confirmed. Should you need to cancel on medical grounds, you will need insurance to cover the costs involved (registration fee and any trip costs depending on cancellation date). 

    You should also ensure that you have adequate cover for the type of challenge you are taking part in as well as medical emergencies, evacuation and repatriation.

    You can obtain a quote with Insure to Travel from our website here, or you may choose to take out your own travel insurance, just remember to let us know the policy number and emergency phone number!

    For more information about travel insurance, please click here.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check your requirements using our partner, Visa Machine, website here; please ensure you allow plenty of time.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.


Phil - November 2016

Firstly I want to thank you for a great trip. It was an amazingly developmental experience, even at 61 years of age! A great route, well signposted (my fault entirely that I got lost!), the organisation was brilliant and the food amazing! Even when there was an
Read more +
incident, your team dealt with the situation calmly and effectively.
Read less -

Lynn - November 2016

The team, the hotels, the staff, the food, the scenery - I can't choose one!


Trips are graded Yellow, Orange or Red, in increasing level of challenge. This trip lies within the ORANGE range.

Orange colour

The grade is determined by factors such as terrain, distance, climate, altitude, etc. Each colour grade has a spectrum which reflects the difficulty of these factors; trip duration, accommodation and living conditions (see icon) are also taken into account. 

Trip grading explained


Challenges 2019-2020

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Our 2019 / 2020 Challenges Brochure is available by Post or Download