Cycling The Renaissance
10 days 9 nights
from £1,498 per person (sharing a twin/double room)
Guided: minimum 6 people
Custom dates for groups of 6 or more
BECAUSE OF RECENT EARTHQUAKES THAT HAVE STRUCK THE REGION, PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TOUR IS SUSPENDED FOR 2017
8 Stages (option of 1 Rest day)
Total distance: 676 km Total climb 12900 mts
average mileage: 84 km/day
average climb: 1600 mts/day
The name Le Marche literally means 'The Borders' which, for centuries, has been the uneasy divide between the Papal state and the various dominations of Northern Italy. This rich past is now witnessed by perfectly preserved medieval towns. Most of the modern development has taken place on the Adriatic coast so our tour will indulge in the colorful patchwork of hills covered by fields, olive trees and vineyards. By no means will we neglect Le Marche's fierce mountains recently discovered also by the Giro d'Italia. Amongst the many local wines, we have a certain weakness for the red Rosso Piceno and Colli Pesaresi.
our price Includes:
- 9 nights Half Board accommodation in Agriturismo and 4 star hotel
- (in Ascoli all dinners will be in restaurants)
- Transfers from and to Rome airport
- Baggage transfers throughout the tour
- On-call assistance
- Daily maps and cue sheets
- Cycling guide
- Full van support throughout the tour
We meet you at the airport for transfer to our hotel in Ascoli Piceno where we will be accommodated for 3 nights in the city centre.
Stage 1: Ascoli loop 77 km - total climb 1500 mts
Today we ride the Park of Laga mountains. Cycling on the old national road, we cross the Abruzzo border and arrive at Civitella del Tronto where we stop for a visit and coffee break. After a brief descent the road starts to rise in steep switchbacks up to the massif. The second part of the climb is easier and after reaching the summit the way back is mostly downhill. We stop for lunch in the charming hamlet of Castel Trosino.
Stage 2: Ascoli loop 123 km - 2200 mts
Today we cycle the Park of Sibillini mountains. We leave Ascoli on the old Salaria road, one of the many originally built by the Romans, and follow the twisted course of the Tronto River to Arquata. The 15km climb summits at Forca di Presta. The landscapes along the climb are unforgettable but the true wonderment awaits at the top where lies a patchwork of bright multi-coloured floral meadows encircled by peaks. After crossing the highland we climb to the village for lunch. We leave down the other side of the highland crossing over Forche Canapine, the highest pass of the tour, and begin the long, twisted descent back to Ascoli.
Stage 3: Ascoli-Cupramarittima 56 km - 800 mts
After a few miles along the Tronto river we climb to Ripatransone, today's highest point, followed by a long descent leading to the coast at Cupramarittima. We end our ride here for a dive into the Adriatic for a restoring swim, followed by a seafood lunch. We then travel by van to Recanati, an exquisite town rich in history and architecture as well as the birthplace of illustrious artists like the poet Giacomo Leopardi, tenor Beniamino Gigli and the adopted town of the great Venetian painter Lorenzo Lotto whose masterpieces can be viewed at the local museum. We are here for 3 nights in a newly renovated hotel with the perfect mix of modern comfort and the ambiance of a XVII century Palace.
Stage 4: Recanati loop 80 km - 1300 mts
Before heading for the sea we have a few climbs to ride, starting with a short one to Osimo then rolling on hills to Offagna. Its amazing ‘Rocca’ deserves a photo break. On the way to Camerano we tackle a vertical wall, well known to local cyclists, and enter the Natural Reserve of Monte Conero. From here we are treated to spectacular views of the mountain dipping into the Adriatic sea. After a few false summits the road then descends, crossing the charming resorts of Sirolo and Numana. We stop for lunch on the beach after which the van will be available for a lift to the hotel. Otherwise, the climb continues to Loreto, its main square host to a splendid sanctuary. One last climb and we are back at the hotel.
Stage 5: Recanati loop 102 km - 1700 mts
Today we cycle inland to the medieval tower of Montefiore. The quiet and rolling road gives us great views of the countryside and towns and, of course, we aim for the highest: a 7 km climb that gets us to the fortified walls of Cingoli. This is Verdicchio wine country so, during the climb we will see olive groves give way to vineyards. We take a break in the cobbled plaza and resume the ride with a snaking descent to Lake Castreccioni. One more steep climb to Staffolo follows and the long descent back to Recanati will be interrupted by only two more climbs.
Rest day or Cycle: Castelraimondo-Cagli 86 km - 1300 mts
A rest day is welcome at this point so we travel by van to visit Cagli but if you prefer we can drop you off in Castelraimondo where you can start another nice ride. The route follows the Umbria border and through Matelica, Esanatoglia and Fabriano. We suggest you stop to visit this town, rich with art and home to an amazing Bicycle Museum. After Fabriano the road continues within the wild scenery of the Natural Reserve of Monte Cucco. Encircled by mountains, Cagli is aa town full of fine 'palazzi', monuments and pleasant bars. We stay 3 nights in an Agriturismo just outside the town. The jams, cheeses, vegetables and meats are produced on the spot. Also, this is THE place if you have a passion for porcini and truffles.
Stage 6: Cagli loop 85km - 2500 mts
The Giro d'Italia 2009 set its most difficult stage on the mountains around Cagli. We repeat that same itinerary but in 2 rides. In the early morning cool we start by climbing Monte Nerone. As we come out of the woods and over the tree line the view opens to most of the Central Apennines. The numerous switchbacks along the narrow road snakes its way up to meadows covered by flowers and only birdsong escorts our slow and silent journey. At the top, a Giro d'Italia memorial is backdrop for our photos. A 20 km technical descent will then lead us to Piobbico where we stop to refill. After a few ramps we are back in the valley where a rare flat stretch leads us to Cagli and we start the climb of Monte Petrano. From the top back to our Agriturismo, we will need to fasten our seat belts for a winding 15 km descent. For dinner we will drive to Urbino, built in the 15th century by the Dukes of Montefeltro. It is one of the finest Renaissance towns in Italy. A visit to tits art museum hosting masterpieces by its great son, Raffaello Sanzio, cannot be missed.
Stage 7: Cagli loop 67 km - 1600 mts
Today we cycle the lunar summit of Monte Catria, the tour's shortest stage, leaving us with the time and strength for toasting in Cagli, followed by an unforgettable farewell dinner at our Agriturismo.
Today we transfer you to the airport in Rome for your journey back home.
- Lunches and beverages
- Single room supplement of £216
- Transfers to and from airport other than Rome
- Bike hire: from £168 (includes cycle computer, repair kit, pump, lock)
- Gratuities and items of a personal nature
- Bicycle case storage
For groups of 6 or more:
All our cycling itineraries can be customized to your specific tastes and requirements.