Stage 1 – Rome to Romagna and onwards to Venice
We will meet in the ancient city of Rome where we’ll explore for a day or so. Then we leave the city to enjoy 9 days and 450km of spectacular riding through the mountainous spine of Italy, the Appenines, visiting old towns and villages and staying in comfortable hotels and agriturismos along the way. We ride through Umbria, into Tuscany and finish in the mountains of Romagna. A minibus will be carrying spares, our luggage (and, occasionally perhaps, a tired rider!). The route will take us on singletrack, doubletrack and dirt roads through forests and mountains. Each day will see us enjoying some 5-7 hours on the bikes over distances of 50 to 65km. We will have a day off the bikes in the middle of the route in a magical hilltop village. We finish this stage with a ride into the thermal spa town of Brisighella. After a night here we will drive to Venice for a night to explore this famous city of canals and piazzas.
Stage 2 – From Venice through the mighty Dolomites and beyond
From Venice we drive a short distance up into the heart of the Dolomites to the town of Cortina D’Ámpezzo. The soaring rock walls and plateaux of the Dolomites are some of the most spectacular Alpine scenery anywhere in the world – home to skiing, climbing and ingenious mountain bike routes. After a day or so taking it all in and fixing any bikes that need some TLC we get amongst it for 6 days threading a 300km route through valleys and over passes for 6 days to arrive on the shores of Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. We finish at Riva del Garda, a town at the head of the lake that is renowned as a MTB town. Riva is the finishing point for the famous Transalp MTB stage race, a real mountain bike town.