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Magical Umbria, cycling on the traces of St. Francis

 
Magical Umbria, cycling on the traces of St. Francis
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7 days cycling tour - bases in beautiful hotels and agriturismo’s
 


Overview

Genius Loci Travel Walking Hiking Kayaking Cycling Trekking Italy Tour holiday

Magical Umbria, cycling on the traces of St. Francis

Cycling through the Tiber valley and the Umbrian hills : good wine, great views and great Italian food

7-day cycling tour with different bases in beautiful hotels and agriturismo’s

Umbria is one of Italy’s smallest, and the only of its peninsular regions that is landlocked. Still with its combination of natural and cultural attractions, ranging from the splendid medieval city of Assisi with the world famous church of St. Francis and the ‘art city’ of Perugia, to the rolling hills covered by vine yards and olive groves, and the steep mountain tops of the Appenine mountain range, it more than merits a thorough visit by the conscious traveller looking for a taste of the real Italy, far away from the bustling crowds of popular seaside resorts and large noisy towns.

This tour will take you through the green and yellow hills of Umbria, from the medieval town of Assisi along broad valleys to the region’s capital Perugia and further on to the hills of Passaggio, dominated by olive yards. You will make your way along the Topino river to the hamlets of Bevagna and Montefalco, famous for its ‘vino rosso’. Towards the end of your journey you will cycle around Mount Subasio before returning to Assisi again. All linked together by great well paved and quiet roads, ideal for cycling.

You will cycle along world famous cultural sites and through pristine natural areas teeming with small country roads passing through rough mountain scenery as well as through attractive countryside, with vineyards and olive groves. You’ll visit the region’s main cultural attractions such as the medieval town centre and the church of St Francis at Assisi, the city of Perugia, nicknamed the ‘art city’ for the host of famous painters that have been born here. The city is famous as well for its chocolate production, culminating in the yearly chocolate festival every October. Cycling through the green hills you will pass through some of the nicest medieval villages of the area, where the traditional way of life is still evident and friendly locals will greet you with open hospitality. This is the land of some famous wines (the rosso di Montefalco!) and good local food (brasato ai tartufi, pappardelle al Sagrantino!), waiting for you to enjoy.

The first days you will cycle from Assisi to Perugia with plenty of time to visit both cities’ historical and artistic treasures. Over the next couple of days you will explore the more remote parts of the region, passing through lush green valleys and over slowly unwinding hill country. You will visit the wine village Torgiano where a museum has been dedicated to the locally produced wines, and the beautiful little towns of Bettona and Bevagna. From Bevagna you will cycle on the ‘Strada del Sagrantino’ towards Montefalco. You are now deep in the best wine producing land of the region, where the small hamlets on top of the rolling hills offer great views over a large part of Umbria. The last couple of days will take you through the quiet rural area of the Valle d’Umbria from Budino to Spello and around Mount Subasio back to Assisi.

Please note: this is a moderately easy tour suitable for all those with a basic physical condition. Rides are short and generally include few climbs a day, leaving plenty of time for sightseeing. Average cycling times: approx. 2-4 hours each day.

Day-to-Day

Genius Loci Travel Walking Hiking Kayaking Cycling Trekking Italy Tour holiday

Day 0 Rome (or Florence)
Arrival in Rome (or Florence) in case you arrive a day earlier. Both cities have an international airport. From Rome and Florence, Assisi can easily be reached by train. There are regular Regional Fast and Intercity trains: travel time about two hour; cost € 10,00 from Rome, around € 15,00 from Florence. Several hotels can be booked in Rome and Florence, according to your wish (either ‘downtown’ centrally located, or near the harbour or train station, ranging from 3 to 5-star).

N.B. If you arrive one day earlier you have the possibility to pay a visit either to Rome or Florence, both offering an endless array of historical and cultural points of interest.

Day 1 Arrival – Assisi
After your arrival at Assisi you will settle down in your hotel and pick up your bicycle. If you arrive early you can already visit the famous basilica of St. Francis (UNESCO World Heritage)  which was damaged severely by an earthquake in 1997, but has now been restored to its original splendour. In the evening you can go for a stroll in the medieval town centre and pick an appropriate spot for dinner.

Hotel in Assisi – BB

Day 2 From Assisi to Perugia
Your first trip takes you on a ride through the plain to the region’s capital city Perugia. Enjoy the views of the monumental churches of Assisi while you leave them behind and breath the fresh country air while crossing the Tevere river in the midst of the glowing hay fields. You can have a lazy picnic near the river’s banks and stop for a cup of coffee or why not, a glass of ‘rosso’ in a local bar. Shortly before arriving at Perugia you will have to gradually climb up the road to the ancient town walls after which you enter the city through one of its majestic city gates. The historical centre of the city teeming with renaissance ‘palazzi’ makes for a perfect back drop for a relaxing evening stroll and a pre-dinner ‘aperitivo’ on the city’s main boulevard, the Corso Vannucci.

Distance : 27 km – Cycling time : 2,5 hours
Hotel in Perugia – BB

Day 3 From Perugia to Passaggio
Before leaving Perugia, you may want to discover the city some more. Art lovers will have a great time at the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria where several works of Italian painters of the 13th to the 19th century are on display. After leaving the city you then cycle through the valley of the Tiber river to the village of Torgiano. Here you can visit the precious wine museum containing an extensive collection of archaeological artefacts and literary sources on the production of wine. When leaving Torgiano, don’t forget to stop along your route to taste what you have just learned! A small climb then brings you to the city of Bettona, dating back to the 6th millennium BC. Continuing into the hills near Passeggio you finally arrive at your very comfortable agriturismo. The 17th century complex with great views over the Topino valley also sports a private swimming pool for you to relax by.

Distance : 29 km – Cycling time : 3 hours
Agriturismo in Passeggio – BB

Day 4 From Passaggio to Montefalco
Today’s trip starts with an easy ride over the flat road along the Topino river, mentioned by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Commedy! After passing the river you come to the little town of Bevagna, officially shortlisted as one of Italy’s most beautiful hamlets. Here you can have a hearty lunch in one of the local restaurants. Leaving Bevagna you will start following the ‘Strada del Sagrantino’ that takes you through the heart of the area producing both the excellent ‘rosso’ and ‘sagrantino’ of Montefalco. The last part of today’s trip takes you up to the medieval centre of Montefalco itself, beautifully located on top of a low hill. From the village you can enjoy some great views over large part of Umbria. At dinner tonight, don’t forget to taste the wine!

Distance : 31 km – Cycling time : 3 hours
Agriturismo in Montefalco – BB

Day 5 From Montefalco to Spello
After breakfast you will leave for an easy stage through the Valle d’Umbria taking you to nicely situated Spello. While descending from Montefalco you will enjoy cycling through shady olive groves and fragrant  vine yards. You ride along the river Topino again before crossing a quiet rural area to the peaceful village of Budino situated in the territory of the city of Foligno. Foligno is known for its ‘Giostra della Quintana’, a historical ring jousting tournament on horseback held each June and September. A last stretch of road will then take you to the old walled town of Spello, situated on the lower southern flank of Mount Subasio. You may want to visit the town’s medieval centre and take some time for a drink before settling down in your agriturismo.

Distance : 25 km – Cycling time : 2,5 hours
Agriturismo in Spello – BB

Day 6 From Spello to Assisi
The last stage of your tour brings you back to Assisi from Spello, by way of cycling around Mount Subasio. From the mountain’s slopes pink coloured stones were quarried for use in many of the Franciscan buildings of Assisi. Cycling on the slopes of the mountain, you will pass through several tiny quiet little hamlets where you may stop for a cup of coffee or a cappuccino, or quiet simply to take in the atmosphere. Climbing around the mountain is not that easy so you may want to opt for a shorter and easier route to Assisi.
When arriving at Assisi again, you still have plenty of time to further discover its monuments and wander through its quiet little alley ways or maybe take a walk through its lush countryside. For your last dinner this night you may want to sample once again the region’s wines and good genuine food.

Distance : 25 km – Cycling time : 2,5 hours
Hotel in Assisi – BB

Day 7 End of the tour
The tour ends in Assisi after breakfast today. A train transfer can take you back to Rome or Florence. A taxi transfer to other destinations can be arranged on request.

Tour details

Genius Loci Travel Walking Hiking Kayaking Cycling Trekking Italy Tour holiday

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS

All nights are spent in beautiful, characteristic hotels or agriturismo’s (generally 3-star). All rooms have en-suite facilities.

No dinners nor picnic lunches are included. You will have plenty of opportunities to eat out each evening, choosing from several typical restaurants. Picnic lunches can be prepared for you by the accommodation holders, or materials for picnics can be purchased in the villages where you stay.

Night 1: The first night is spent in a beautifully located 3-star hotel in the centre of the medieval town of Assisi. The hotel is within easy reach of all of the town’s major monuments.

Night 2: Tonight you are staying in a cosy 3-star hotel in the city of Perugia. From the hotel the whole of the historical centre of town can be reached easily.

Night 3: This night is spent in a beautiful agriturismo in the hills near Passaggio, offering a taste of peaceful country life. After your day’s cycling you can relax next to the agriturismo’s private swimming pool.

Night 4: Tonight you stay in yet another typical agriturismo at the wine village of Montefalco above the Topino valley. You can eat your dinner, based on local specialties, on the agriturismo’s premises.

Night 5: This night you will stay in an agriturismo close to Spello on the slopes of Mount Subasio. The wonderful panorama is for free.

Night 6: The last night of your tour you will stay again in the hotel in the centre of Assisi.

ON THIS INDIVIDUAL SELF-GUIDED CYCLING TOUR WE PROVIDE YOU WITH:

•    Accommodation: 2 nights Assisi, 1 night Perugia, 1 night Passaggio, 1 night Montefalco,
1 night Spello in good *** hotels and agriturismo’s
•    Meals: 6 breakfasts
•    Extensive route notes, with description of the route & tourist information
•    Maps at 1 : 50.000 scale (or better) ; GPS waypoints and tracks (optional)
•    24/24 h local assistance
•    Luggage transport
•    Private transfers as specified

Not Included

•    Departure taxes & Visas
•    Travel Insurance
•    Drinks and meals not mentioned in the itinerary
•    Optional additional tours or activities
•    Tips
•    Items of personal nature
•    Bicycle rental (available on request)

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

Moderately easy (2/3): Mostly easy rides with only few moderate climbs, only occasionally quite steep. All roads are well paved with a few short unpaved sections. They are mostly quiet with little traffic. Extensions or shortcuts are possible on some days.

Fitness: The trip requires a basic physical condition. Day-to-day rides are short (up to 30 km) and mostly involve only one climb, generally at the end of the day reaching your night’s accommodation. Short cycling distances mean you have plenty of time for sightseeing and sampling local culture, and cuisine.

ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE

Arrival: The tour starts in ASSISI which can easily be reached by train from either Rome or Florence. Both cities have an international airport.

Departure: The tour ends after breakfast on day 7 in ASSISI. A short transfer can bring you to the local train station, from where Rome and Florence are easily reachable.

Dates & Prices

Please contact us for the latest prices

AVAILABILITY & CONDITIONS
GuaranteedYou can book this tour with a minimum of 1 person.
LimitedThere are a very limited number of available places on these dates. Immediate booking is recommended.
On RequestAvailability and prices on request.
  • Prices are per person and based on the season within which the first night of the tour falls.
  • Prices are based on 2 people sharing double or twin accommodation. Single rooms (double rooms – single) are available on most trips however the supplements listed apply.
  • If you are travelling alone then on some trips (which include taxi transfers) a ‘Solo Traveller Supplement’ will be applied instead of the normal single supplement.
  • Prices are expressed in Euro’s. There will never be a currency surcharge.
  • Actual exchange rates: GB £ - US $ - CAN $ - CHF - DKK - SEK - NOK - Other currencies.

Tour variations

Genius Loci Travel Walking Hiking Kayaking Cycling Trekking Italy Tour holiday

EXTRA NIGHTS
It is possible to include extra nights in any of the accommodations ‘en route’. Extra cycling and/or sightseeing options can be provided! As well is it possible to extend your tour with a few days in Umbria (Assisi, Perugia or any smaller locality) or at Rome or Florence. Details & prices on request.

UPGRADE
It is possible to book an upgrade in some of the places en route. Details & prices on request.

 

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Magical Umbria, cycling on the traces of St. Francis
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