DURATION | 8 DAYS / 6 CYCLING DAYS
TOTAL DISTANCE | 427KM / 265MI
TOTAL ELEVATION | 11195M / 36729FT
PRICE | € 2250
This tour invites you to discover not just the best strade bianche (white roads) in the Marche region, but also the history and the art of ancient Urbino, UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the most famous cities of the Renaissance.
We stay right in the centre of this jewel of a city. Soon we will realise that the heart of this hilly, rural territory is it’s deep respect for the traditions and simplicity of everyday life, and also the passion for sharing food and joy with each other.
We will dig deep into the past and admire the slow pace of living, simple but excellent food and wine. Explore the remote stretches of unpaved roads and the silence around.
You are welcome to share this trip with your non-cycling companions as there is plenty to do in the day while we ride, between visiting museums or city cathedral, or exploring many hiking routes around the hills of Urbino. This tour surely will be a ride into the past on the bike of the future.
Arrival | Bologna
Departure | Bologna
Day 1 | Saturday | Arrival & delivery of rental bike
Day 2 | Sunday | Raffaello Gravel Course
Day 3 | Monday | Malatesta Loop
Day 4 | Tuesday | Furlo Canyon Gorge lunch at Doddo's
Day 5 | Wednesday | Monte Santa Maria
Day 6 | Thursday | Monti delle Cesane
Day 7 | Friday | Panoramica Rossini View Wine Tasting
Day 8 | Saturday | Goodbye
Morning group airport transfer
WHAT’S INCLUDED 7 nights luxe accommodation (twin share) | breakfasts | lunches | dinners | 1 restaurant lunch, 1 wine tasting lunch | full guide and vehicle support | on-road snacks and supplements | daily pack | kit laundry service | one-time group airport transfer on arrival and departure and in between destinations.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
Flights | insurances | bike hire | alcoholic beverages | coffee stops | personal hotel expenses | single room occupancy
DAY 1 | SATURDAY | WELCOME TO THE GRAVELART
Start your adventure with a complimentary transfer from Bologna Airport to our beautiful hotel in the middle of the ancient city of Urbino. After we tune up your rental bikes, we will have a welcome drink and talk about the cycling program for the days ahead.
Urbino is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a remarkable historical legacy dating back to the Renaissance. It is the birthplace of the famous painter Raphael, and now is the home of the University of Urbino situated in the historic city centre.
Before dinner we will take a stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets and enjoy a traditional Aperol Spritz in one of the numerous bars around the main square.
DAY 2 | SUNDAY | RAFFAELLO GRAVEL COURSE
From day one of your Italian cycling adventure, you will be immersed in the warm and joyful atmosphere of Marche region. Today's route involves cycling along the dusty roads of the Raffaello Gravel course, a special route designed for the Gravel event in this region. These green, rolling hills were once ruled by the Montefeltro, one of the most powerful families in the region. As we ride, you will be able to admire a variety of medieval villages surrounding the main city of Urbino.
DAY 3 | MONDAY | MALATESTA LOOP
Today we point our wheels towards the Adriatic Sea. Our destination is the romantic region of Romagna, with its warm hospitality and joyful, carefree attitude toward life. Italians are very proud of their history and heritage. So while we sip our morning cappuccino in picturesque Saludecio village, known as Il Balcone del Mare Adriatico (The Balcony of the Adriatic Sea), you will hear about the infamous Malatesta Family, and their struggles for power and love with the rivals, the Montefeltro Family during the Middle Ages.
The return route will be up and down, as we make our way through a mix of white gravel and tarmac roads.
67KM 41MI 1572M/5160FT
DAY 4 | TUESDAY | FURLO CANYON GORGE
Today we will take an awesome ride through the rocky cliffs of the Furlo Canyon Gorge, also known as the Italian Grand Canyon. This narrow canyon road was originally built by the Etruscans, and later expanded during the Roman period. As a major trade route to Rome, it has been the site of many battles and conflicts over the centuries. From the recent history, Mussolini used to stop there on his way to Rome. We will be able to see his dining room in the main bar of Furlo, which has now been turned into a little museum.
Our route from Urbino to Furlo is mostly downhill, as it heads towards the central Apennine Mountains. There are no shortage of strade bianche (white roads), as our journey takes us into the Pietralata Enduro Bike Park.
For lunch, we will gather at Dodo's Taverna, where you will have the chance to taste most delicious Crostolo di Urbania: soft handmade flat bread stuffed with prosciutto crudo, burrata and caramelised figs.
Dodo has owned this place since his youth. Now, his children run the restaurant, but the recipes and his presence have remained unchanged.
DAY 5 | WEDNESDAY | MONTE SANTA MARIA
So, how do you like our Marche? It is the green heart of Italy, with its white roads criss-crossing the region like arteries, carrying blood in every direction. Every beat brings another breath-taking climb or picturesque village. Today, we explore the core of this region, as we climb the quiet, secluded roads of Monte Santa Maria. We will breathe the air of freedom, as the region is so remote, we will be truly lost in nature.
Once we reach the top, we will be rewarded with great views all the way down to the coast. Our coffee stop today will be in the beautiful hilltop village of Mombaroccio. After our espresso, we will return to our home base, the artistic city of Urbino.
DAY 6 | THURSDAY | MONTE CESANE
Today we ride through the national park of Monti delle Cesane, up and down through the pine forest, with uninterrupted views on the central Apennine Mountains. The park is quite large, and fairly quiet, except on weekends when you will find mountain bikers, road bikers, hikers and rock climbers enjoying the mountains and cliffs.
DAY 7| FRIDAY | PANORAMICA ROSSINI VIEW
Today we ride the roads that everyone wishes they would have outside their own homes. Monte San Bartolo Regional Natural Park is the striking sloping headland overlooking the Adriatic Sea, connecting Gabicce to the city of Pesaro. The views are spectacular, and the villages are equally as lovely. We have arranged a wine tasting at Tenuta Carlini vineyard, nestled among our indigenous old vine varieties, Sangiovese, Pinot Nero and Albanella.
We will learn about the local cultivation and production methods, while enjoying some of the region’s most delicious sparkling white, and of course, our exceptional red Sangiovese wine. Most likely, our vineyard visit will be so enjoyable that we would prefer return back to Urbino in our minivan.
DAY 8| SATURDAY | GOODBYE, A PRESTO!
See you at our next cycling trip adventure. Based on your flight times, we will arrange one-time airport transfer to Bologna.