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Venice to Rome Cycle for Macmillan Cancer Support

Italy Cycle TOUGH
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About the Challenge

This challenging ride 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 for Macmillan Cancer Support

  • 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

    Day 1 (1).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 wonderful historic city of Arezzo. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 156km (96 miles)

    Route Profile

    Day 2.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

    Day 3.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

    Day 4.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 mark 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

    Day 5.png

Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £250 Fundraising target £2,000 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £250 Fundraising target £1,500 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £250 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £850 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


    N.B. If you sign up to the full payment option, you commit to fundraising a total of £1,150

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • 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.

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.