ABRUZZO, ITALIA’S BEST KEPT SECRET.

We are pleased to introduce to you our newest Italian trip. SFIDA Abruzzo.

After many visits to some of the most known parts of this region, like Gran Sasso and Blockhaus (Majella), it was time for SFIDA Cycling to dedicate a full trip to, for us, one of the best cycling regions in Italy.

Abruzzo has it all, amazing climbs and spectacular landscapes, beautiful villages and towns and great food.

We will climb iconic climbs visited regularly by the Giro d’Italia and also the Tirreno – Adriatico races. In Abruzzo, there are many villages and towns part of the Borghi Piu Belli d’Italia (BPBI) and we will be visiting and riding through a good number of them.

Accommodation will be great and varied too, from comfortable hotels to Albergos Diffusos, all offering fantastic hospitality and service.

This trip also have two SFIDA Signature Rides, these rides are unique to the trips we design and, definitely, take you deep in the regions we visit.

Don’t hesitate and join us on the SFIDA Abruzzo and experience riding in Italy’s best kept secret.

Dates 2024: 24 May to 2 June.

Distance: 845km               daily average: 94km
Climbing: 18,400m          daily average: 2,050m 

 

BOOK THIS TRIP
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  • Duration:9 days
  • DATES : May 24 - Jun 02
    • HOTELS:3-4 Stars
    • MEALS:All meals included
    • ARRIVAL:Rome (FCO)
    • DEPARTURE:Rome (FCO)
    • RENTAL BIKE:Available
    • RENTAL E-BIKE:Available
  • PRICE :

    4,550.00

DAY 1: Welcome to Abruzzo, Italy at its best.
Meet the SFIDA Cycling staff at Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) or at the designated hotel.

We will transfer to Sulmona, one of Abruzzo’s main cities, in the very heart of this mountainous region where we will spend the first couple of nights of our trip.

After our orientation meeting, lunch, and build-up bikes we will head to the countryside and enjoy a short ride through the amazing landscapes surrounding Sulmona. 

We will have the first taste of the mountains in Abruzzo climbing up to Passo San Leonardo via the beautiful town of Pacentro (BPBI).

 

Day 1
46km / 1000m
CLIMBS: Passo San Leonardo 1,282m.
HOTEL:  Hotel Santacroce Ovidius

DAY 2: SFIDA Sulmona loop, first signature ride.

Today we will have our first SFIDA Signature Ride of the trip, it takes just a few kilometres out of Sulmona to feel you are already riding in an amazing place. 

First place of interest is Pescocostanzo (BPBI), then we will continue to Rocarasso and Castel di Sangro. Today we have three major climbs and we will be riding through some very quiet regions on our way back to Sulmona.

Scanno, Anversa degli Abruzzi, Bugnara (BPBI), in this order, will take us close to the end of this amazing part of Abruzzo between the Parco Nazionalle della Majella and the P.N d’Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise.

After our ride and back to the hotel, we will walk around Sulmona, also know as Italy’s confetti capital. We will taste these sugar coated almonds are usually given to family and friends in special ocassions.

Day 2
134km / 2,325m
CLIMBS: Rocarasso 1,228m. Colle della Croce 1,166m. Valico di Monte Godi 1,556m.

HOTEL: Hotel Santacroce Ovidius

DAY 3: From Sulmona to the foothills of the Blockhaus.

Today’s ride will take us around the foothills of the P.N della Majella, most of the time we will have this majestuous mountain range in our left.

 

From Sulmona, we will start gradually to climb up to Valico della Forchetta, this is around 30km and with 1,000m of elevation gain, an easy one. Then we will continue riding on undulating terrain for the rest of the ride.

 

Our final destination today is Guardiagrele (BPBI), here we will spend a couple of nights in a very different type of place, as there are no big hotels, a few small Bed and Breakfast owners are trying to work together in order to offer suitable accommodation to groups. We are sure this will be a fantastic experience!

Day 3
91km / 1,990m
CLIMB: Valico della Forchetta 1,226m.
HOTEL:  Relais del Borgo

DAY 4: Blockhaus (Majella), Pretoro side.

We have climbed the Blochaus a few times from the Scafa side, probably the most used by the Giro d’Italia. Today we want to take a different approach and we ride from Guardiagrele to Fara Filloum Petri and start climbing from here.

This side is most know as the Pretoro (BPBI) side and it goes through the Passo Lanciano. At the top we are in one of the most majestic places in Abruzzo, on clear days you can see the Adriatic Coast and beyond.

We will have lunch at the refugio before returning to Guardiagrele via Bocca di Valle.

Dinner will be at the Macelleria below our accommodation, no need to order, food will just come!

Day 4
80km / 2,325m
CLIMB: Passo Lanciano 1,308m. Blockhaus (Majella) 2,068m.
HOTEL:  Relais del Borgo  

DAY 5: Nothing is flat on the road to Teramo!

Leaving Guardiagrele behind, today’s ride is our longest and will take us through some amazing landscapes on our way to Teramo.

This could be the hardest ride of the trip, a dozen unclassified climbs, meaning you are always climbing or doing the short descends that doesn’t give you much time to rest…I don’t know if this is a good selling point…

On our way, we ill ride through Citta Sant’Angelo (BPBI). At this point we will be very close to Pescara and the Adriatic Coast. Then we will head inland again to Teramo via Val Vomano.

Teramo is surrounded by vineyards and olive trees, making this region one of the most important producers of wine and olive oil in Abruzzo.

We will have time to walk around the city centre as our hotel is very well located nearby.

Day 5
136km / 2,390m
CLIMBS: A dozen unclassified climbs, a classic SFIDA day…
HOTEL: Hotel Gran Sasso

DAY 6: Teramo to Fonte Cerreto with a beautiful detour up Prato di Tivo.

We will leave Teramo and ride mostly flat for the first 22 kilometres, then we will climb the rarely visited Prato di Tivo, this is a 14km at 7% climb with 24 switchbacks used sometimes during the Tirreno – Adriatico stage race in March.

 

Prato di Tivo is north of the Gran Sasso and both summits are very close in distance, however are in very different valleys.

 

This climb has only one way up, so we will descend back to the main road and continue our ride. Next will be the Valico di San Franco, a 30km only 1,000m of elevation gain climb. A fast descend and a short climb will take us to Fonte Cerreto, where a cable car takes visitors up the Gran Sasso, Campo Imperatore summit. 

 

But that will be tomorrow for us, and on a bike. Tonight we will stay at an hotel nearby.

Day 6
98km / 2,760m
CLIMBS: Prati di Tivo 1,454m. Valico di San Franco 1,473m. 
HOTEL: Hotel Nido dell’Aquila

DAY 7: The Gran Sasso, in the heart of the Abruzzos!

Today may looks suspiciously short and with not much climbing, and it is correct…after three consecutive days climbing more that 2,000m each day, is time to have an easier day. Of course there’s a catch but wait until tomorrow’s ride to find out.

We start riding from Fonte Cerreto, we are now in the Gran Sasso National Park area, and the landscape changes dramatically once we start climbing.

The Gran Sasso has been climbed a good number of times at the Giro d’Italia, the last one in 2023, and the winner at the top was the Italian rider Davide Bais.

The climb itself is spectacular all the way, from the lower section to the top one, when you can see the observatory and it looks like you will never get there. But eventually, you will arrive at the top and enjoy a great lunch at the rifugio!

From the top of the Gran Sasso is mostly downhill and flat to Santo Stefano Sestanio (BPBI), where one of the most amazing and original accommodations is waiting for us. And the best part is that we will stay two nights there.

Day 7
53km / 1,300m
CLIMBS: Valico di Monte Cristo 1,767m  Gran Sasso d’Italia 2,130m 
HOTEL: Albergo Diffusso Sessanio

DAY 8: A beautiful loop in the heart of the Abruzzos.

After enjoying an “easier” day yesterday, today is time for the second SFIDA Signature Ride.

We will leave Santo Stefano climbing up the beautiful Valico di Monte Cecco d’Antonio, a great way to start today’s ride. Then we will continue to Vado di Sole and ride clockwise around the Valli d’Angri, this is a little visited part of the Abruzzo and probably not many riders have gone through here. We are very much excited to ride in this area!

We continue our loop up to Ofena before climbing back to Calascio and eventually arriving back at Santo Stefano Sestanio. 

In the afternoon we will have some time to walk around this medieval town that is getting revitalized, since the first time we came here with our clients, we see more and more activity back in the old centre.

Day 8
117km / 2,710m
CLIMBS: Valico di Monte Cecco d’Antonio 1,634m. Vado di Sole 1,641m. Forca di Penne 919m. Calascio 1,200m.
HOTEL: Albergo Diffusso Sessanio

DAY 9: Santo Stefano to Alba Fucens, fantastic riding to the end.

Our last ride of the trip will take us to a place that, may not come easily associated with the mostly mountanious terrain we have been riding in the last days. 

There are a few places of interest on our ride today: Monastero Fortezza di Santo Spirito, Ovindoli and Celano. We will have short stops and enjoy a cafe or two, until we arrive to our final destination for the trip.

Alba Fucens is Abruzzo’s archeological jewel, funded in 302 BC by the emperor Maximian. This stunning and quiet place nowadays, was a garrison and a trading post before a strong earthquake destroyed it during the ancient Rome period. 

We decided to end our trip here, in order to show the rich history of this region besides its stunning landscapes and beautiful towns. 

Day 9
91km / 1,600m
CLIMB: Rocca di Cambio 1,370m. Ovindoli 1,378m. 

HOTEL: Antico Borgo di Albe

DAY 10: Arrivederci!

After breakfast transfer by van to Fiumicino airport (FCO). Expect to get there by 12:00, so plan your flights accordingly.

MORE INFORMATION

PRICES:

TWIN room:  4,550 Euros pp
SINGLE Supplement:  950 Euros
Rental bike:  750 Euros

Rental ebike: 800 Euros

PAYMENT TERMS:
800 Euros when making the booking. Balance to be paid 120 days before the trip starts.

INCLUDED:
9 nights accommodation between 3 – 4 Stars

ALL MEALS INCLUDED.
9 breakfasts.

9 lunches, picnic-style on longer days. 
9 dinners, including wine.

NOT INCLUDED:
International flights.

Travel insurance.
Hotel extras: mini-bar, spa, massage.
Tips for the staff.

SUPPORT:
We will have ride leaders and at least one mechanic on our trip.

Our staff/client ratio is 1:4 staff.
Our passenger vans come fully equipped with all necessary to give the best support during the rides.
We carry gels, energy bars, powder mix, water, fruit, riding food, tools, pumps, spare tubes and tyres to make sure our first-class support helps you through the trip.
Professional first aid kit.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

Adapting to the changes in international change after the COVID-19 pandemic, and incoordination, with most of the hotel’s terms and conditions, we are adjusting our cancellation policy accordingly as follows:

120 days before the trip starts – the return of your deposit minus any expenses that we may not be able to reimburse.

90 days before the trip starts – partial refund of the amount of the trip less 300 Euros cancellation fee, plus any amount that we can’t recover from Hotels, and other costs that we may have already incurred in the trip preparation.

Less than 60 days before the trip starts – no amount will be refunded. We will, however, try to credit as much as possible towards a future trip. This depends on the amount that we can get back from the hotels and other costs that we have already incurred in the trip preparation.

We highly recommend to contract travel insurance as soon you pay the deposit and buy your international flights.

Make sure your travel insurance covers:

  • Refund of the amounts paid in case you need to cancel for any reason.
  • Covers the cost of possible damages to your rental bike. Check our T&C for this.

For the reasons, we won’t be holding any spots until the full deposit has been paid.

Hotels are now more strict with how many rooms they are willing to have on hold for groups, so until deposit payments are made we won’t be able to confirm your spot.

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