Sicily to Rome Adventure Explorer

2019 Dates 

23 June to 3 July, 11 Days | 10 Nights

28 September to 8 October, 11 Days | 10 Nights

(5 day options available – click here to request information)

Description

Starting in Sicily and traveling through the tip of Italy into Abruzzo this amazing adventure showcases the best of everything that Southern Italy has to offer. This tour is not for the faint hearted as we have long days in the saddle and challenging routes but the rewards are huge; with the satisfaction that you will have ridden half of the length of one of the most iconic cycling countries in the world.

These beautiful regions have enticed and enchanted travellers for  millennia; with their dazzling diversity of ancient cuisine, wine, landscapes and cultural treasures. There is so much to see and do and we realise you have limited time so we have curated the best of everything into this one vacation. The best food, the best wine, the best hotels, the best cycling; the very best of everything.

So join us as we explore Italy by bike.

More Information

Rider Type: Advanced

Hotel style*: 3 and 4 Star Classic

Maximum Guests: 10 persons

Prices:
AUD 7,950 p.p. twin share
EUR 4,999 p.p. twin share
GBP 4,399 p.p. twin share
USD 5,900 p.p. twin share
Single occupancy option: 20% of the purchase price
Deposit: 25% of the purchase price
Balance: 90 days prior to tour commencement (installment option available)

Start: Catania, Sicily
Finish: Rome, Italy

Request Itinerary

Tour highlights

4 staff for 10 guests including professional ride guide, soigneur and mechanical support

All Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners (including Beer and Wine) included

Tackle challenging terrain including Mt Etna, Mt Vesuvio, Blockhaus and Gran Sasso

Expert cycling route designed with local knowledge

All Sports nutrition provided (bars, gels and electrolytes)

Supported, on-line training plan included to prepare you for your epic adventure

Total ride distance, 1,500 km (930 miles)

Total climbing, 22,000 metre (72,000 feet)

Day 1 - Arrive Catania

We will collect you from Catania airport and transport you to the Romano House Hotel. Once we arrive we will assist you with hotel check-in and bike building before we head out for a spin to shake the travel out of your legs.

As is our custom, we will meet over a drink (Aperitivo) before dinner and then walk to tonight’s restaurant for a group dinner with all guests and staff. Aperitivo is a daily ritual; stimulates the appetite and prepares you for the culinary delights we have planned for every night of this tour. It is also the perfect time to plan for tomorrow and relive the highlights of the day.

Today’s Ride:

We have a short 25 km recovery ride planned for today.

Shorter Option:

No shorter option today

Hotel: Romano House Hotel

Included Meals: Lunch | Dinner

Day 2 - Catania to Taormina

Today we climb the fabled Mt Etna; twice (well sort of). Both groups will ascend the mountain from the South and descend the Eastern section but the longer group will ride a large part of the course used by the Giro d’Italia in both 2016 and 2017 coming in from Paterno. Once the longer group descends to Zafferana Etnea they will ride up the north east sector of Etna through Fornazzo before descending into Linguaglossa and then in to Taormina. The shorter group will take a direct route from Zafferana Etnea to Taormina. It is impossible to describe the feeling of riding through forest and then into areas of solidified and molten lava flow ; you just need to experience it for yourself.

No matter which option you choose today the memory of climbing this magnificent mountain will stay with you for many, many years to come.

Today’s Ride:

Catania to Taormina
Approximately 130 km with 3,500 metres elevation

Shorter Option:

Catania to Taormina
Approximately 100 km with 2,400 metres elevation

Hotel: Taormina

Included Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 3 - Taormina to Tropea

This is a fabulous ride taking us from Taormina into Messina, across the Messina straight via ferry and then riding from Villa San Giovanni to Tropea. The coast along the tip of Italy is breathtaking with amazing cycling terrain which is mostly undiscovered (like many other parts of Italy). We will wind our way along the coast road stopping for coffee and pizza with the locals at lunch time and finishing off at one of the friendliest hotels in Italy; Hotel Borgo di Santa Barbara. The history of the hotel is very interesting and the food is amazing but we wont say any more now; you just have to join us to find out why we love it so much.

Don’t worry if you are riding the shorter route; you will ride the sector from Villa San Giovanni to Tropea so you wont mess out on pizza and coffee with the locals.

Today’s Ride:

Taormina to Tropea
Approximately 140 km with 1,700 metres elevation

Shorter Option:

Messina to Tropea
Approximately 90 km with 1,200 metres elevation

Hotel: Hotel Borgo di Santa Barbara

Included Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 4 - Tropea to Diamante

We have to get an early start today as we have an epic day in the saddle, over 200 km with a beautiful climb through the southern reaches of the Valle dei Fiume Argentino. We traverse the coast for 45 km and then climb out of Marina di Cetraro for 16 km reaching maximum elevation of 710 metres. We descend for 18 km before climbing again for 20 km and then we have a magnificent descent into the coastal town of Marina di Belvedere. The group taking the shorter option completes the climb but commences their ride at Amantea.

We will finish today in Diamente. Hugging the shore of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Diamante is a favorite tourist resort for Italians coming south from Rome or north from Reggio Calabria. It is known for a fabulous promenade high above the shore and really interesting murals that adorn many buildings within the old city. The food and hospitality of the locals is amazing and this hidden treasure is rarely visited by non-Italian tourists.

Today’s Ride:

Tropea to Diamente
Approximately 200 km with 2,800 metres elevation

Shorter Option:

Amantea to Diamente
Approximately 150 km with 2,000 metres elevation

HotelFerretti Hotel

Included Meals: BreakfastLunch | Dinner

Day 5 - Diamente to Capaccio Paestrum

We will ride out of Calabria, through the province of Basilicata and into the province of Campania today continuing on our odyssey through southern Italy. The marvel of this route is the variety of terrain; from seaside cliffs to flood plains to forests, this is an assault on the senses (in a good way) with just the right amount of challenge to keep you on the pedals. The vista riding into Capaccio is stunning as a flood plain that is home to one of the most amazing archaeological sites in the world opens up before you . The amazingly well preserved Greek style temples are just so unexpected and in our opinion far superior to the Greek Parthenon; so we will ride past them on our way to our accommodation just to give you a taste for what a major ancient Greek city dating back to 600 BC on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea looks  like!!

Our hotel for tonight is on the hill above Paestum with a panoramic view and an amazing restaurant. The Scariati family, have long links to the land of this region and have developed a hotel that captures the essence of the The Valley of the Temples; a real labour of love and a magical place to rest and relax.

Today’s Ride:

Diamente to Capaccio Paestrum
Approximately 165 km with 2,000 metres elevation

Shorter Option:

Sapri to Capaccio Paestrum
Approximately 105 km with 1,400 metres elevation

 

Hotel: Borgo la Pietraia

Included Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 6 - Capaccio Paestrum to Naples

Today we charge off to Naples. If you have never been, then you are in for a treat and if you have been then we are certain you will be excited to return because Naples is raw, high-octane energy, a place of soul-stirring art and panoramas, spontaneous conversations and unexpected, inimitable elegance. Italy’s most unlikely masterpiece.

In terms of cycling, Mt Vesuvio may not be as epic as Mt Etna but it is still a volcano; and how may times have you climbed 2 volcanoes in the same week! We will only be on the saddle for around 4 hours today so plenty of time for a massage and to explore some of Naples.

Today’s Ride:

Capaccio Paestrum to Naples
Approximately 120 km with 1,900 metres elevation

Shorter Option:

Capaccio Paestrum to Naples (minus the Mt Vesuvio climb)
Approximately 100 km with 1,100 metres elevation

Hotel: Naples

Included Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 7 - Naples to Rocca di Mezzo

We leave the sea today and head inland to the Abbruzzo Apennines. Topping out at over 2,400 metres the Apennines contains a number of winter playgrounds and is a favourite for the Roman winter holiday makers. For us it is a chance to enjoy the mountains on what is mostly a gentle slope rising to around 1,300 metres in the last 120 km.

We will stay at the Grand Hotel delle Rocche tonight. This is a charming chalet style hotel with an amazing array of facilites including an indoor pool and a games and billiards room. So if you where the last one up the climb today perhaps you can redeem yourself over a game of billiards.

Today’s Ride:

Naples to Rocca di Mezzo
Approximately 200 km with 2,000 metres elevation

Shorter Option:

Cassino to Rocca di Mezzo
Approximately 125 km with 1250 metres elevation

Hotel: Grand Hotel delle Rocche

Included Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 8 - Rocca di Mezzo to Loreto Aprutino (via Gran Sasso)

The Italians typically name their mountains after a cyclist that conquered the mountain and achieved fame and stardom in the process. As Eddy Merckx is forever linked with Blockhaus so to is the Gran Sasso forever referred to as Marco Pantani mountain; and today we get the chance to climb that same mountain.

After we descend out of Rocca di Mezzo we intersect the course covered on stage 9 of the 2018 edition of the Giro d’Italia and follow that same course to the peak of Campo Imperatore at 2,135 metres. We will then descend to our hotel in Loreto Aprutino where you are in for another unique experience.

Enough said for now but all is revealed in the detailed itinerary.

Today’s Ride:

Rocca di Mezzo to Loreto Aprutino
Approximately 180 km with 3,200 metres elevation

Shorter Option:

Rocca di Mezzo to Loreto Aprutino (without the last climb into Campo Imperatore)
Approximately 160 km with 2,400 metres elevation

Hotel: Castello Chiola

Included Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 9 - Loreto Aprutino to Blockhaus to Loreto Aprutino

We did say that this was an epic journey and today we retrace the routes of giants of cycling again as we tackle the Blockhaus climb. We will approach the climb from Scarfa which is the hardest of the 3 sides that we could choose to ascend the giant of Abruzzo. The opening slopes of the climb are relatively gentle, between 4% and 7%, but the road kicks up to above 9% around 10 kilometres from the summit. The steepest section comes at around 4 kilometres to go and there is little chance to recover save for the briefest of dips in the final kilometre.

Once you have conquered the giant we will head down the mountain via the northern pass and make our way back to Castello Chiola for a massage and a rest before dinner in a local restaurant.

Today’s Ride:

Loreto Aprutino to Blockhaus to Loreto Aprutino
Approximately 125 km with 2,800 metres elevation

Shorter Option:

No shorter option today

Hotel: Castello Chiola

Included Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 10 - Loreto Aprutino to Tivoli

Given the fact that we have ridden 1,300 km and climbed over 20,000 metres over the past 9 days there would be no shame in hoping into the support vehicles until we reach Celano where we will lunch today. But, if you are still feeling the ‘good sensations’ in the legs and you want to crack the 1,500 km marker then you will enjoy the gentle rise up to 1,100 metres as we make our way out of Abruzzo into Lazio and towards Rome.

We will stay outside of Rome tonight in the beautiful town of Tivoli with abundant antiquities, gardens and ancient villas, including Hadrian’s Villa (dating back to 2nd century). We also love Tivoli because of the old town with narrow alleys and amazing restaurants such as Restaurant and Pizzeria Il Ciocco. This is were we will have our final group dinner and we could not think of a better venue to wine, dine and reminisce about our adventure riding the entire Southern half of Italy.

Today’s Ride:

Loreto Aprutino to Tivoli
Approximately 200 km with 2,700 metres elevation

Shorter Option:

Celano to Tivoli
Approximately 95 km with 900 metres elevation

Hotel: Tivoli

Included Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 11 - Depart Rome

Unfortunately our adventure ends today. If you have time then we suggest that you wander the streets of Tivoli soaking up the atmosphere and the sights of this ancient city. Either way we will help you pack your bike and drop you to the airport where we are certain you will start to plan your next adventure with us as we Explore the World by Bike.

Today’s Ride:

No ride today

Included Meals: Breakfast