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FASCINATING & MYSTERIOUS ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE ETRUSCANS AND ROMANS

an 8 days cycling holiday crossing the land of Etruscans and Romans

 

 

 The beauty of Umbria and Tuscany is seductive and often seems to meet perfection. The secret lies in the enviable equilibrium between human activity and nature, creating evocative landscapes which are without a doubt among the most beautiful in Italy. Hills, rivers, streams and lakes embellish the expanses of woods, grazing land and artfully cultivated fields.

 Pedalling through these lands you discover that the Umbrian and Tuscan people have a great sense of attachment to their land and their very rich history. Thousands of years of history, people and civilisations have left these regions an archaeological heritage that it is difficult even to quantify: there is no town, large or small, which does not preserve testimony to the ancient Etruscans or Romans.

The food and wine are part of the attraction of these regions: from the wonderful expanses of vineyards and olive groves which you admire during the tour to the generous and intense flavour which the gastronomic products of these lands offer you. There are famous wines, extra virgin olive oil, cured meats, cheeses and other treats, all to be tasted...!

This bike tour takes you on a journey of discovery in these fascinating areas which were already renowned in ancient times. You will enjoy unique and spectacular views and appreciate the variety of places encountered and also the variety of the cycling experience, from steep climbs to gentle downhill runs and long flat stretches.

 

 

 

 

Programme in short:

1. arrival in Assisi                                     

2. to Ponte San Giovanni (Perugia; 33 km / 20,5 miles)

3. to Passignano al lago di Trasimeno (65 km / 40,3 miles)

4. to Castiglione del Lago passing Cortona (65 km / 40,5 miles)

5. to Orvieto passing Città della Pieve (68 km / 42 miles)

6. to Todi (47 km / 29,1 miles)

7  returning to Assisi (53 km / 32,9 miles)

8. departure

 

 

Programme

Day 1

Assisi

On the first day you arrive in Assisi, a small town rich with artistic treasures. Some of these well known, such as the basilicas of St. Francis and St. Clare, while others are lesser known, such as the Roman Forum (Foro Romano). Assisi is a magical place and the fact that it has hardly changed since ancient times has preserved its charm. You cannot miss the opportunity to admire the Basilica of St. Francis, an architectural masterpiece which consists of two churches, one above the other, and is brimming with frescos by great masters such as Giotto, Cimabue and Simone Martini. To fully appreciate this historical town, however, it is also worth visiting historical sites dating back to the Roman period, such as the Roman Forum with its archaeological remains and the Temple of Minerva. Wander the narrow streets and allow yourself to be enchanted by the beauty of all the town's buildings, both sacred and secular. You stay in a *** star hotel 900m from the historical centre of Assisi.

 

Day 2

Assisi - P.S.Giovanni (Perugia)

On the second day you cross a part of the fertile Valle Umbra and you follow the Tiber river to get to Ponte San Giovanni, where there is an Archaeological Park and the most extensive Etruscan Necropolis of this region. From here in just a few minutes by train, you can reach Perugia, or Perusia as it was called in the past. You will have time enough to visit its beautiful historical centre. Here you can appreciate the extraordinary Etruscan civilisation by visiting the Etruscan Well (Pozzo Etrusco) and the necropolis in the suburbs as well as stopping to admire the old town walls and arches. Perugia is an eclectic and particularly beautiful city which is rich in culture, architectural monuments, events, shops and characteristic wine bars where you can taste the famous Umbrian wines. You stay in a ****star hotel in P.S.Giovanni

Distance 33 km / 20,5 miles

 

Day 3

P.S.Giovanni - Passignano

On the third day you cycle through a wonderful hilly landscape and along the cycle path by the lake to reach Passignano, a small village (borgo) with an enchanting view over Trasimeno lake. Passignano is on the gently sloping northern shores, where the lake meets the rocks. The town is often referred to as l'isola felice (“the happy island”) because it is a meeting place for nature and history, art and folklore, peace and vitality. It was along these north shores, between Malpasso and Passignano, that the epic battle between the Carthaginians and the Romans took place; the battle which marked the beginning of the legendary 20 year war between Hannibal and the Romans. Overnight stay in Passignano at a *** hotel 

Distance: 65 km / 40, 3 miles

 

Day 4

Passignano - Cortona - Castiglione del Lago

The next day you will go to Castiglione del Lago passing Cortona.This town is an important cultural and artistic centre for the valley, well worth exploring and enjoying in all of its aspects, and something of interest can be found here for everyone: enthusiasts of history and art, lovers of nature and adventure, those keen on sport and fitness, food and wine experts and those interested in fashion and shopping. Worthwhile is to visit the Etruscan museum. After Cortona you will descend and you pedal surrounded by a landscape rich in waterways and intensely green fields. Castiglione del Lago has a medieval centre with a Castle and impressive palazzi. Your overnight stay is in the old town centre in a *** star hotel

Distance: 65 km / 40,3 miles

 

Day 5

Castiglione del Lago - Città della Pieve - Orvieto

On the fifth day you leave Lake Trasimeno and a climb will bring you to Città della Pieve, which has many interesting monuments to visit. In the Cathedral you can admire  an altarpiece by Perugino, the teacher of Raphael. The last stop in this day of cycle touring is Orvieto, which was known by the Romans as 'Volsinii'. The town, now in the Province of Terni, was near a famous sanctuary, Fanum Voltumnae, the chosen venue every year for many Etruscans to celebrate religious rites, games and events. From the 8th to the 6th century BCE the town enjoyed considerable economic development. Remains of the Etruscan civilisation can be found in the rocky crags and above all in the nearby necropolis.

Your overnight stay is in the historical centre of Orvieto in a *** star hotel (on request also possible a overnight stay at a **** star)  

Distance: 68 km / 42 miles

 

Day 6

Orvieto - Todi

Another great day with nice views as you cycle along the panoramic road of Lake Corbara to Todi, an enchanting town built on a hilltop, which in 1992 Prof. Richard S. Levine of U.S. Kentucky University defined as “the most liveable town in the world”. Todi is another Etruscan town, but was founded between the 8th and 7th centuries BCE by the Umbri (whose settlements were on the other side of the Tiber from the Etruscans) and named Tutere, which means 'boundary town'. In 340 BC the town developed significantly when it was conquered by the Romans. It acquired the name 'Colonia Julia Fida Tuder (1st century BC) and was granted the right to mint its own currency. The town's most beautiful Roman constructions were built after it became part of the Roman Clustumina tribe.

Overnight stay in Todi at a *** star hotel (on request upgrade to **** possible)  

Distance: 47 km / 29,1 miles

 

Day 7

Todi - Assisi

The last day consists of a pleasant ride passing medieval Bevagna and Cannara before reaching the immaculate town of Assisi. Embraced within its old town walls, Assisi is a serene and atmospheric town which is a symbol of peace and harmony. It is a place of saints, churches, monasteries and convents; buildings in which devotion and art live together in a symbiosis which few places have ever equalled.

Distance: 53 km /32,9 miles

 

Day 8

After breakfast finishes this cycling tour

 

 

 

Included in this tour:

  • Overnight stays in ***  stars hotels with breakfast 

  • luggage transportation

  • road book with route instructions and maps

  • assistance during the tour

  • Tourist information

  • rout briefing in your hotel

 

 

 

Period

Daily from April till November. 

Level 3

Difficult, because of significant differences of level. Cycling in a hilly country side with daily distances between 35 – 68 km. A tour for cyclist with some experience and in good condition. Cycling along quiet asphalted country roads or dirt roads (Children from the age of 14 years). Total kilometres: 315 km / 195,3 miles

Prices p.p. 2017

in double room     € 695,00

in single room   € 758,00

3rd person in a triple    € 410,00

half board supplement    € 170,00

It is possible to rent bikes (hybrid, ebike or road bike), tracks for gps can be send for free one week before arrival date, extra overnight stays in all towns and upgrades are possible 

 

 

                                                

Are you interested in this tour: please ask us the detailed programme in pdf !

See also our other  level  3 cycle tour in Umbria