Umbria & Tuscany: in the footsteps of the Etruscans and Romans

an 8- or 10-day tour
Cycling tour
Cycling Tours
Difficulty level 3,5
Individual tour
Self guided tour
code: ITUMB03C
Italy
Tuscany, Umbria

Prices

from 685€

Fascinating Ancient Civilizations: Etruscans & Romans

Assisi-Perugia-Lake Trasimeno-Cortona-Chiusi-Città della Pieve-Orvieto-Todi

An evocative bicycle tour in the Etruscan and Roman heartlands of Umbria and Tuscany. Water courses and magnificent scenery landmark these regions, which have been shaped by the forces of nature and by human hand. You pass through lush, fertile land, visit interesting towns and enjoy the food & wine of these regions.

Road biker in Umbrian landscape
Cyclist in Umbria

The tour starts in Assisi, the most atmospheric and mystical town of Umbria. 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 equaled. A grand example of this is the Basilica of St. Francis.

From here, you pedal in a scenery of palpable harmony, where each stretch of land and each citizen has an unmistakable identity: the fruit of millennia of civilizations, which have left thick layers of memories and timeless masterpieces. The towns of this tour Orvieto, Todi, Chiusi, Perugia and Cortona will all amaze you !

Pozzo San Patrizio, Orvieto
Pozzo San Patrizio Orvieto

Tuscany and Umbria are lands of magnificence, where a single fresco can capture a thousand different facets and moods: paths set between rolling hills rich with vineyards and olive groves; water courses immersed in greenery and lakes of an intense shade of blue; medieval villages; necropolis and other Roman and Etruscan remains of incomparable value. By the end of the trip, having crossed these two regions, one thing is clear: that humankind and nature can achieve a balanced fusion.

The 8-day tour can be extended by 2 nights. Two longer routes are split up with an extra night in Città della Pieve and Bevagna

The daily program of the 8-day tour

You arrive at your hotel in Assisi, a medieval town of global renown. The town is rich in both famous and lesser-known artistic treasures. Embraced within its old town walls on the slopes of Mount Subasio. Assisi is a magical place and the fact that it has hardly changed since ancient times has preserved its charm.

At the end of the afternoon drop off bicycles, if rented, bike fitting and route briefing. Overnight with breakfast in *** or **** star hotel near the old town centre.

Following quiet roads dominated by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves, you arrive at Ponte S. Giovanni, located at the foot of Perugia. Here you can visit the Ipogeo dei Volumni, which is an Etruscan tomb site discovered in 1840.  From Ponte San Giovanni you can also visit the old town centre of Perugia by public transport. In just 15 minutes you are in the heart of Etrusca Perusia (Perugia) and you can appreciate the extraordinary Etruscan civilization by visiting the Etruscan Well (Pozzo Etrusco) 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. Overnight stay in **** star hotel in Ponte San Giovanni.

 

Distance: 30,4 km / 18,9 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +293m – 495m

To reach Passignano on the lake you cycle along roads, from which you enjoy a panorama of the rolling green hills.  Passignano is located 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. Overnight stay in Passignano at a *** hotel or **** with pool and room with lake view.

 

Distance: 64 km / 39,7 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +602m –540m

In the morning, you leave Passignano to head for Castiglione del Lago, a charming village at the western shore of Lake Trasimeno. Your journey through Tuscany begins here, in the farmlands of the Val di Chiana. Your route crosses a number of ‘food trails’ – cheese, fruit, olive oil, wine and Chianina beef – adding flavour to the list of attractions alongside history, art and water. Your Etruscan journey continues through legends and mysteries, ancient town walls and necropolis such as those of Cortona. This town is well worth exploring. Enjoy it in all its aspects. There is something of interest for everyone: art, food & wine and shops.

Castiglione del lago is built on a promontory and from the old centre, you have a nice view over the lake and its islands. Overnight stay in Castiglione del Lago in a *** hotel or a B&B the Charme

 

Distance: 51,1 km / 31,8 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +548m –512m

The first part of this stretch offers you some wonderful atmospheric scenery. You pedal immersed in a green hilly landscape with glimpses of Trasimeno Lake and Chiusi Lake. You can decide to make a detour and visit Chiusi. Among the most interesting monuments to see in Chiusi we point out: the Cathedral, the Chiesa di San Francesco, the Bishop’s Palace, the Museo della Cattedra, the remains of the Fortress and Porsenna’s labyrinth. You then climb up to Città della Pieve, where are several important monuments from the 13th to 17th centuries. The town is the homeland of Perugino, the Maestro of Raphael. Pedalling along a route with rises and dips until you reach Orvieto, an ancient town rich in art and culture. It is certainly worthwhile to book an extra night in this lovely town to dedicate to its old town centre.

Your overnight stay is in the historical centre of Orvieto at a *** or  **** star hotel 

 

Route NOT passing Chiusi:

Distance: 69,8 km / 43,4 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +1223m –1209m

Route passing Chiusi:

Distance: 72,6 km / 45,1 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +1337m –1321m

Before leaving the splendid Umbrian town of Orvieto don’t forget to visit the Duomo, a masterpiece of Italian Gothic architecture. Its façade is decorated with magnificent bas-reliefs and sculptures designed by the Sienese architect Lorenzo Maitani. Also not to be missed are the Pozzo di San Patrizio, a great work of hydro engineering. In the saddle once more, you leave Orvieto to reach a panoramic road by Lake Corbara. Pedal slowly, enjoy all the shades of colour nature offers you and stop to breathe the fresh air. Today’s ride finishes in Todi, which in 1992 Prof. Richard S. Levine of U.S. Kentucky University defined as “the most livable town in the world”.  Overnight stay in Todi at a *** or **** star hotel

 

Distance: 45,4 km / 28,2 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +1014m –1035m

In the morning, you leave Todi and pedal through a hilly landscape of farmed fields and vineyards to get to Bevagna.  This charming medieval village, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, is rich in art, history and cultural events that celebrate folklore and traditions (such as the ‘Mercato delle Gaite’). Leaving Bevagna you pass through lush, fertile land which belongs to the Sagrantino DOCG area. This is a wine with definite character and intense flavour, which is famous worldwide. You are now coming to the end of this evocative journey through the art, history and nature of the two unique and uncontaminated regions of Umbria and Tuscany. The last stretch of your trip brings you back to Assisi. Overnight stay in Assisi at a *** or **** star hotel

 

Distance: 54,7 km / 34 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +1049m –951m

After breakfast ends your tour through the Umbrian & Tuscan lands.

Chocolates and typical cakes
Local chocolates and cakes

The daily program of the 10-day tour

You arrive at your hotel in Assisi, a medieval town of global renown. The town is rich in both famous and lesser-known artistic treasures. Embraced within its old town walls on the slopes of Mount Subasio. Assisi is a magical place and the fact that it has hardly changed since ancient times has preserved its charm.

At the end of the afternoon drop off bicycles, if rented, bike fitting and route briefing. Overnight with breakfast in *** or **** star hotel near the old town centre.

Following quiet roads dominated by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves, you arrive at Ponte S. Giovanni, located at the foot of Perugia. Here you can visit the Ipogeo dei Volumni, which is an Etruscan tomb site discovered in 1840.  From Ponte San Giovanni you can also visit the old town centre of Perugia by public transport. In just 15 minutes you are in the heart of Etrusca Perusia (Perugia) and you can appreciate the extraordinary Etruscan civilization by visiting the Etruscan Well (Pozzo Etrusco) 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. Overnight stay in **** star hotel in Ponte San Giovanni.

 

Distance: 30,4 km / 18,9 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +293m – 495m

To reach Passignano on the lake you cycle along roads, from which you enjoy a panorama of the rolling green hills.  Passignano is located 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. Overnight stay in Passignano at a *** hotel or **** with pool and room with lake view.

 

Distance: 64 km / 39,7 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +602m –540m

In the morning, you leave Passignano to head for Castiglione del Lago, a charming village at the western shore of Lake Trasimeno. Your journey through Tuscany begins here, in the farmlands of the Val di Chiana. Your route crosses a number of ‘food trails’ – cheese, fruit, olive oil, wine and Chianina beef – adding flavour to the list of attractions alongside history, art and water. Your Etruscan journey continues through legends and mysteries, ancient town walls and necropolis such as those of Cortona. This town is well worth exploring. Enjoy it in all its aspects. There is something of interest for everyone: art, food & wine and shops.

Castiglione del lago is built on a promontory and from the old centre, you have a nice view over the lake and its islands. Overnight stay in Castiglione del Lago in a *** hotel or a B&B the Charme

 

Distance: 51,1 km / 31,8 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +548m –512m

Leaving Castiglione del Lago, you say goodbye to Lake Trasimeno. You cycle through a rural undulating landscape until the Etruscan town of Chiusi, which rises on a hill on the southern side of the Valdichiana. Between 7th and 5th century B. C. Chiusi got to its greatest splendour under the King Porsenna’s domination. Among the most interesting monuments to see in Chiusi we point out: the Cathedral, the Chiesa di San Francesco, the Bishop’s Palace, the Museo della Cattedra, the remains of the Fortress and Porsenna’s labyrinth. You then climb up to Città della Pieve, where are several important monuments from the 13th to 17th centuries. The town is the homeland of Perugino, the Maestro of Raphael. The city retains some of his most important works. Your overnight stay is in a **** star hotel

 

Distance: 30,4 km / 18,9 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +625m –423m

You leave Città della Pieve and pedalling along a route with rises and dips until you reach first the small town of Fabbro and then Orvieto, an ancient town rich in art and culture. It is worthwhile to book an extra night in this lovely town. Interesting to visit is the Duomo, a masterpiece of Italian Gothic architecture. Its façade is decorated with magnificent bas-reliefs and sculptures designed by the Senesce architect Lorenzo Maitani. Also not to be missed are the Pozzo di San Patrizio, a great work of hydro engineering built by request of Pope Clement VII to ensure a water supply to the town in the case of a siege. He had taken refuge in Orvieto  during the Sack of Rome in 1527.

Your overnight stay is in the historical centre of Orvieto at a *** or  **** star hotel

 

Distance: 42,8 km / 26,6 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +721m –913m

Before leaving the splendid Umbrian town of Orvieto don’t forget to visit the Duomo, a masterpiece of Italian Gothic architecture. Its façade is decorated with magnificent bas-reliefs and sculptures designed by the Sienese architect Lorenzo Maitani. Also not to be missed are the Pozzo di San Patrizio, a great work of hydro engineering. In the saddle once more, you leave Orvieto to reach a panoramic road by Lake Corbara. Pedal slowly, enjoy all the shades of colour nature offers you and stop to breathe the fresh air. Today’s ride finishes in Todi, which in 1992 Prof. Richard S. Levine of U.S. Kentucky University defined as “the most livable town in the world”.  Overnight stay in Todi at a *** or **** star hotel

 

Distance: 45,4 km / 28,2 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +1014m –1035m

Also today, you pedal through a hilly landscape of farmed fields and vineyards to get to Bevagna. This charming medieval village, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, is rich in art, history and cultural events, which celebrate folklore and traditions (such as the ‘Mercato delle Gaite’). You can see the remains of the Roman forum and of a Roman temple with half columns and pilasters. Not far from this is the site of the Roman baths, of which the frigidarium remains.  The other buildings are of medieval and renaissance origin and demonstrate a perfect example of architectural harmony between the forces of municipal hegemony and ecclesiastical power. You will stay in the centre in a *** or **** star hotel

 

Distance: 33,1 km / 20,6 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +735m –828m

Leaving Bevagna you go to Montefalco cycling through lush, fertile land which belongs to the Sagrantino DOCG area. This is a wine with definite character and intense flavour, which is famous worldwide. In addition, Montefalco is a hilltop town, called the balcony of the Valle Umbra, because of its stunning views over the valley. Then you descend into the valley and you pass Foligno, a lively town famous for its cosy restaurants and shopping streets. Your route takes you to Spello, another medieval town, which is well preserved, like Assisi. A panoramic road amongst olive groves will bring you back to Assisi, start point of this tour. 

 

Distance: 36,7 km / 22,8 mi;  Ascent/Descent:  +563m –388m

After breakfast ends your tour through the Umbrian & Tuscan lands.

Impressions

Self guided tour
Difficulty level 3,5
Umbria & Tuscany: in the footsteps of the Etruscans and Romans
an 8- or 10-day tour

Assisi-Perugia-Lake Trasimeno-Cortona-Chiusi-Città della Pieve-Orvieto-Todi

Code | ITUMB03C
LEVEL 3,5

This tour is moderate to difficult: more leaning to difficult ! The 10 day tour is less strenuous because the longer stretches are divided in two. The tour is designed for those who like more challenging rides in a rolling terrain with hills. You have to be trained with a good physical condition. Cycling is an important part of the day, but there will be still time left to explore the towns you pass through. There are significant differences in height. Not suitable for children under 14.

Average daily distances:
8 day tour: 33 and 76 km / 20,5 and 47 miles.
10 day tour: 32 and 64 km

Total km:

316-323 km / 196-200 mi (8 days); 336 km / 209 mi (10 days)

DEPARTURES:

Daily from April until end of October

PARTICIPANTS:

2 or more people.

START / FINISH:

Assisi / Assisi

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