Venice to Florence Cycling Holiday

Book-ended by two of Italy’s most iconic cities, there’s no shortage of art, culture, history and scenery on this popular cycle route. Ride from seductive Venice, around the Venetian Lagoon to charming Chioggia and through the wild Po Delta to the Roman city of Ravenna. Finally you cross the Apennines by train and descend to the Renaissance city of Florence.

After enjoying time in Venice your cycling adventure begins with some island hopping around the Venetian lagoon to Chioggia – a mini Venice. From there it’s on to Adria, the charming city that was once on the coast and gave the Adriatic Sea its name and then to Comacchio with its ornate churches and serene canal.

En-route near the Po River

In the Po Delta you’ll follow quiet lanes through a huge wetland wilderness where nature still holds sway and shortly afterwards you’ll pass some inviting beaches where you may be tempted to stop for a dip before overnighting in the historic port city of Ravenna.

In the Appenine foothills you’ll spend a night in the delightful medieval village of Brisighella, overlooked by a beautiful Venetian Fortress. The following day a short train ride takes you over the steepest Appenines leaving you with an enjoyable ride down to the Renaissance City of Florence.

Almost anyone can tackle this Italian cycling tour. It’s mainly flat terrain, although as you head into the Apennines on days six and seven there are some hills to contend with. Thankfully the climbs are invariably short and more often rewarded with enjoyable cooling descents. The route covers paved farm tracks and quiet back roads as much as possible, with only a few very short sections on roads with more traffic.

Venice to Florence Cycling Holiday

Book-ended by two of Italy’s most iconic cities, there’s no shortage of art, culture, history and scenery on this popular cycle route. Ride from seductive Venice, around the Venetian Lagoon to charming Chioggia and through the wild Po Delta to the Roman city of Ravenna. Finally you cross the Apennines by train and descend to the Renaissance city of Florence.

After enjoying time in Venice your cycling adventure begins with some island hopping around the Venetian lagoon to Chioggia – a mini Venice. From there it’s on to Adria, the charming city that was once on the coast and gave the Adriatic Sea its name and then to Comacchio with its ornate churches and serene canal.

En-route near the Po River

In the Po Delta you’ll follow quiet lanes through a huge wetland wilderness where nature still holds sway and shortly afterwards you’ll pass some inviting beaches where you may be tempted to stop for a dip before overnighting in the historic port city of Ravenna.

In the Appenine foothills you’ll spend a night in the delightful medieval village of Brisighella, overlooked by a beautiful Venetian Fortress. The following day a short train ride takes you over the steepest Appenines leaving you with an enjoyable ride down to the Renaissance City of Florence.

Almost anyone can tackle this Italian cycling tour. It’s mainly flat terrain, although as you head into the Apennines on days six and seven there are some hills to contend with. Thankfully the climbs are invariably short and more often rewarded with enjoyable cooling descents. The route covers paved farm tracks and quiet back roads as much as possible, with only a few very short sections on roads with more traffic.

Itinerary

Almost anyone can tackle this Italian cycling tour. It’s mainly flat terrain, although as you head into the Apennines on days six and seven there are some hills to contend with. Thankfully the climbs are invariably short and more often rewarded with enjoyable cooling descents. The route covers paved farm tracks and quiet back roads as much as possible, with only a few very short sections on roads with more traffic.

Day 1 : Arrive Venice/Mestre/Marghera

On arrival make your way to your first hotel in Mestre or Marghera. After check-in you’re free to relax or explore Venice itself. It will take around 20 minutes to get into Venice by bus or train. There is much to see and do and besides visiting the well known landmarks we highly recommend losing yourself in the quieter backstreets to get a real flavour of this most unique city.

Day 2 : Marghera/Mestre/Venice – Choggia/Sottomarina
22 miles/35 kms

Your first day of cycling will take you from Marghera or Mestre and the mainland across the bridge into Venice, where you’ll take your bikes on a local ferry to Lido, a long, thin island sheltering Venice from the Adriatic. You cross the water again to cycle the length of Pellestrina island before taking a final quick ferry across to Chioggia, a fishing village on the mainland well known for its fine fish restaurants.

Day 3 : Chioggia/Sottomarina – Adria
31 miles/50 kms

Today you’ll make your way along the back roads of Veneto, cycling first to the River Adige and then following its course past fertile fruit plantations and tranquil villages to the city of Adria. This compact city has plenty of Italian charm with its winding narrow streets, cosy cafes and inviting restaurants.

Day 4 : Adria – Comacchio
40 miles/65 kms

A longer day of riding today, first following the path of the River Po, Italy’s longest river, to the Po di Goro tributary. You’ll then ride through a section of the Po Delta to the Adriatic Sea, where you can stop for a dip before continuing to Comacchio, a town of splendid old mansions and ornate Renaissance churches. You’ll spend the night in this pleasant old town.

Day 5 : Comacchio – Ravenna
40 miles/65 kms

Today you’ll explore the Po Delta nature reserve, a wetland area of unique flora and fauna. Cycling along the breakwater offers fabulous wildlife spotting opportunities and flamingos are among the local residents. After a short ferry ride (€2 payable locally) you cycle past beaches on the Adriatic shoreline to the city of Ravenna where you will spend the night. Many of the churches in this historic city boast incredibly ornate mosaics from the 5th and 6th centuries.

Day 6 : Ravenna – Brisighella
34 miles/55 kms

From Ravenna head inland. As you ride the scenery will slowly change to the gently rolling landscape of the Apennine foothills. Take time to explore Faenza, a traditional city famous for its ceramics where you can stop and watch the artisans at work. From here it’s a short ride to the beautiful and perfectly preserved medieval village of Brisighella where you wil spend the night.

Day 7 : Brisighella – Florence
22 miles/35 kms

Your last full day will start with a scenic train ride through the Apennines to Borgo San Lorenzo (included). From here the day’s ride will begin. As you’re now in the mountains there will be a couple of short uphill stretches, but these will be richly rewarded with a long sweeping descent almost all the way to Florence. You’ll spend the last night of your tour surrounded by art and culture in the birthplace of the Renaissance. Must sees include the Uffizi Gallery full of well known masterpieces, the Duomo – the city’s most iconic landmark and the Ponte Vecchio, for centuries the only bridge to cross the Arno River. Simply wondering the narrow streets of this atmospheric old city is also highly recommended.

Day 8 : Florence - end of trip

After breakfast it’s time to check-out and head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

On this tour you can choose between a regular bike, a regular Plus bike or an electric bike.

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

The regular Plus bike offers a step up in terms of components (hydraulic Magura brakes HS 11, Shimano Deore XT) and the frame provides a more sporty riding position. High quality, suntour suspension forks ensure a comfortable ride on these bikes. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are available to buy (payable locally, €35). This must be advised at the time of booking.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Venice/Mestre: Hotel Mercure

Chioggia: Hotel Grande Italia

Adria: Hotel Stella d’Italia

Comacchio: Locana La Comacina

Ravenna: Hotel Centrale Byron

Brisighella: Hotel La Rocca

Florence: Hotel Una Vittoria

Local taxes

Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night

Getting there

Ideally you should fly into Venice and out of Florence if possible but if you book return flights from one of them you’ll find there are good rail connections between the two cities.

Research flights from the UK here

If you need to take a train

Research trains in Italy here.

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