Italy: Tuscany to Rome Lifestyle Cycling Tour

Via Romea Francigena - Tuscany to Rome (guided) from $3059 NZD
9 Days
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • Best time to travel: May - September
  • Availability Guide:
  • Current date selected
  • Plenty
  • Limited
  • Closed or too close to departure (Call Us for options)

The ancient Via Romea Francigena is a network of tracks and roads which are now followed not only by faithful pilgrims on their way to Rome, but also walkers and cyclists who are looking for an exciting journey.

We start our adventure in San Gimignano, considered one of the gems of Tuscany and home to one of the 80 mansions where the Archibishop of Canterbury stayed during his return north after his ordination by Pope John XV in 990.

Heading south we’ll follow the Via Romea Francigena on quiet country lanes and ancient Roman roads. This is a great journey through stunning Tuscany as we meander over rolling hills, through woods, towns and villages. The route includes major highlights such as Siena, Montiriggioni and San Quirico.

Staying in a range of good quality small hotels and agriturismi, you’ll experience true Italian hospitality and indulge in some delicious local cuisine. As we leave Tuscany and enter Lazio, the landscape changes as well as the feel of the towns. The journey south, through varying landscapes and changing terrain, using sections of the EuroVelo 5 route, leads to the outskirts of Rome where our own pilgrimage comes to a dramatic end as we ride into St. Peter’s Square.

Tuscany to Rome

Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport
  • Lifestyle
  • Grade
  • €310 single room surcharge
  • €195 hybrid bike hire
  • €265 e-bike hire
  • This is a guided tour
  • Surfaces are mainly tarseal with some gravel roads
  • This tour is invoiced in EURO
This beautiful journey to Rome follows the Via Francigena as closely as possible throughout the week. The Via Francigena makes its way south on a multitude of different surfaces but for this holiday we have selected the back roads, strade bianche, country lanes through fields and woods, and secondary roads. Roads get busier closer to the bigger towns. Biking is on a mix of paved roads and gravel roads, country lanes and cycle paths leading into Rome and St. Peter's Square. This section of the Via Francigena takes you through two stunning Italian regions, Tuscany and Lazio. Tuscany is one of Italy’s most loved regions which combines beautiful countryside and a wealth of artistic heritage, including superb art and architecture, a wonderful history, excellent wines, and delicious food. Lazio might not carry the same landscapes of Renaissance masterpieces, but its deep-rooted Etruscan, Roman and medieval history is showcased through the landscape and its culture. Following the Via Francigena through these regions, on the way to Rome, you will appreciate the richness of Italian culture and variety. April, May, June and September are probably the best months to cycle in central Italy as the temperatures are pleasant without being too hot. During March and October there is an increased chance of rain and the temperatures are likely to be in the mid-teens centigrade. Occasional rain showers can be expected, especially in the hillier areas so don’t leave your waterproofs at home, or your mosquito repellent! We aim to use accommodation which showcases the style and hospitality of the area you are visiting. The majority of our accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be ensuite in 3 star guest houses, agriturismos or hotels. Occasionally accommodation will include a swimming pool. The fabulous hospitality will be one of the highlights of your holiday.

Full Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrival at Pisa Airport - Transfer to San Gimignano

No cycling

You will be met at Pisa airport and transferred (approx 1.5 hours) to San Gimignano, where we’ll stay in an agriturismo set in the outskirts of this famous town. There is also the chance to explore San Gimignano and immerse yourself in Tuscan culture right away. With a plunge into the infinity pool overlooking vineyards, your holiday begins!

Meals: No meals

DAY 2

San Gimignano to Siena

Cycling: 50 km approx

We’ll journey south along the Via Francigena, following quiet, country lanes through woods and over hills, through a constantly changing, rolling Tuscan landscape. The first section will partly be on well maintained farm gravel roads, alternating with country lanes with little traffic. We’ll pass through today’s highlight, Monteriggioni on our way to our destination, Siena. After stopping in the impressive Palio square for a well deserved drink, we’ll move on to our accommodation.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3

Siena to San Quirico

Cycling: 55 km approx

We’ll leave Siena through the ancient town gates and continue our journey south on the Via Francigena and into the beautiful Crete Sienesi with a roller coaster ride through classic Tuscan landscape. Picking up the Via again, we’ll head to Buonconvento where we’ll have time to stop for a rest and, if inclined, visit the fortified walls. The next section will lead us over rolling hills to San Quirico, a medieval hamlet with a quaint centre where we’ll stop for the night.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4

San Quirico to Radicofani

Cycling 36 km approx

From San Quirico, we’ll head towards the Orcia valley and cycle down quiet lanes to the medieval hamlet of Bagno Vignoni, with its healing baths – home to the legendary water nymphs! After resting and visiting the hot water springs, we’ll head right into the centre of the UNESCO heritage site of Valle D‘Orcia, a natural paradise that cannot fail to stir the soul. From here we’ll start a steady climb towards Radicofani. Depending on how long it takes to reach this medieval hilltop village, you may have time for a tour of the sights or instead just relax at your accommodation for the rest of the day.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 5

Radicofani to Bolsena

Cycling: 55 km approx

Leaving the hamlet behind we’ll bike along the old Via Cassia, the Roman route to Rome, now a cobbled road surrounded by stunning scenery and dominated by Monte Amiata. We’ll take a break in Acquapedente, famous for the Romanesque crypt beneath the Basilica del Santo Sepolcro where, according to tradition, some stones washed in the blood of Christ are thought to have been kept. Back in the saddle we’ll continue towards Lazio and stunning Lake Bolsena. The view of the lake will open up as we descend through the thick woods and meadows scattered with olive trees, until we reach Bolsena. There will be time in the evening to explore its fortress and narrow streets.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6

Bolsena to Vetralla

Cycling: 48 km approx

Today we start with a stunning ride through woods and olive groves around Lake Bolsena and onto the region of Lazio. As we descend into the lower plains, we’ll cross an area famous for the production of extra virgin olive oil. Then after arriving in Montefiascone we’ll stop at one of the Piazzas to have yet another cappuccino break! The next section leading into Viterbo is across cultivated countryside, with the option of stopping at the thermal waters of Bagnaccioa for a quick dip in the open air pools, where pilgrims would also stop before proceeding towards Viterbo. In Viterbo, we’ll allow time to admire the splendid Palazzo dei Papi and the Longobard cloisters of Santa Maria Nuova. We’ll carry on to Vetralla, our home for the night.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7

Vetralla to Campagnano

Cycling: 47 km approx

We’ll continue our journey south, first riding through a dense forest and then open countryside through fields of hazelnuts. We’ll come across the Torri d‘Orlando, the ruins of an abandoned monastery, on our way to Sutri, a fascinating little town with dwellings carved out of the Tuf. We’ll stop for a short visit to the Roman amphitheatre which dates back to Emperor Augustus and which is completely carved out of the hill. The ride then heads into the hills and we’ll pass the waterfalls of Mount Gelato, an ideal location for a refreshing stop! A short sharp climb leads you onto your accommodation for the evening at Campagnano.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8

Campagnano to Rome

Cycling: 50 km approx

Leaving Campagnano we’ll enter the Park of Veio and stop to rest in the village of Formello with its fine medieval buildings. As we approach Rome, the roads get busier and we’ll make our way to the cycle path alongside the River Tevere, enjoying the final ride along its banks which lead to the gates of the Vatican City. As we enter St. Peter’s Square with its grandiose architecture, our cycling journey of the Via Francigena will come to a celebratory end!

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9

Departure from Rome

No cycling

After our final breakfast, there will be a group transfer (approx 1 hour) to the airport for those taking flights home. Ciao! Or maybe you would like to extend your time in Rome or other parts of Italy!

Meals: Breakfast

Tour Inclusions and Exclusions:

Tour Includes:

  • Accommodation: 8 nights in hotels and agriturismi
  • Group transfer (day 1) from Pisa Airport at specified time
  • Group transfer (day 9) to Rome's Fiumicino Airport at specified time
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary (8 breakfasts, 5 lunches)
  • Local English speaking cycling guide(s)
  • Support vehicle for luggage (and cyclists if required)

Tour Excludes:

  • Flights and airport taxes
  • Bike hire (available at extra cost)
  • Single room (at extra cost)
  • Personal expenses and drinks
  • Airport transfers if outside group transfer times on day 1 & day 9
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for guide(s) and support crew
  • Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route