|Meet the SFIDA Cycling staff at Bologna Airport (BLQ) or at the designated hotel.
If you are one of the lucky clients that have just finished our amazing SFIDA Italia Mezzogiorno and continue with us, then you will be in Bagno di Romagna already.
We will transfer to Bagno di Romagna, 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 Bagno di Romagna.
We will have the first taste of some of the climbs we will be doing this trip: Passo dell’Incisa and Passo della Biancarda.
Back to our Spa hotel, time for some relaxation by the pool!
Bagno di Romagna has been a stage final for the Giro d’Italia recently, in 2017 and 2021, and when riding around this region you understand why, besides having a very good hospitality offer, the riding (read climbing) is superb and with a lot of options.
Starting from Bagno it is straight up to Passo dei Mandrioli, a great climb with good views over the valley, here we enter Tuscany briefly. From the top we will descend to Poppi, one of the Beautiful Borghi d’Italia, its castle can be seen from the distance.
From Stia we follow the last part of stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia all the way back to Bagno di Romagna. We start with the Passo della Calla, the highest today. A very winding road through the forest will take us to the top, time for lunch. Once we start descending we enter Emilia Romagna again, next stop is Santa Sofia, via a glorious road through a lonely valley.
From Santa Sofia, we start the last climb of the day, Passo del Carnaio, a nice and shorter climb. From the top is a quick descent back to our hotel.
111km / 2,780m
CLIMBS: Passo dei Mandrioli 1,171m Passo della Calla 1,296m Passo del Carnaio 782m
Today’s ride will take us through three different regions, we leave Bagno di Romagna and start climbing towards Monte Fumaiolo via the Valico de Montecorornao, this part of Italy is so mountainous!
Soon after our descent we will be leaving Emilia Romagna and entering once more into Tuscany for a while, and at the top of the next climb, Passo della Spugna, we will enter the Marche region, less visited than Tuscany or Emilia Romagna but with plenty of interesting places to visit. On this climb, we will enjoy a few kilometres of sterrato, Italian gravel.
Mercatello sul Metauro is part of the Borghi d’Italia, easy to see when visiting its main piazza and the medieval streets.
Our final destination today is Urbino. Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance painter Raphael, Urbino is one of the most important cities in the Marche region. In the late afternoon, we will have time to visit this amazing city
Sometimes we are amazed at how we get to put together some of the stages we offer our clients. Today is one of them, is not long, not excessive climbing but definitely, this is a very beautiful and remote ride.
Leaving Urbano behind we head up towards Monte Nerone, which is one of the highest mountains in the Marche region. It was supposedly here where the battle of the Metaurus happened during Roman times.
We descend to Pianello and leave the Marche and enter Umbria for the next few days. Before reaching Gubbio we will climb the Monte Cerrone.
Gubbio is an amazing medieval town with plenty of sights to see.
Leaving Gubbio behind, today’s ride is our longest and will take us through some amazing roads in Umbria and Marche.
The ride itself is a continuous undulating terrain, with around seven climbs, some with names others without…use your imagination with the nameless climbs…hahaha.
Today it is important to pace yourself and focus on getting to Norcia, very worth the effort.
The walled town of Norcia is located at the feet of the Monte Sibillini range, in 2016 a powerful earthquake destroyed most of the old city centre, now the town is trying to recover and tourism is an important source of income for the locals. We at SFIDA Cycling are proud of the prospect to bring clients for the third time to this beautiful area.
In Norcia, we will have the most luxurious accommodation of our trip at the Palazzo Seneca, part of the Relais & Chateaux association.
Taking advantage that Norcia is located at the feet of the Monte Sibillini range, today we will go on an expedition through this rarely visited National Park.
With amazing views and intriguing medieval towns, we will head towards Castelluccio di Norcia, one of the most romantic spots in Umbria, also famous for its great gastronomy. Continuing our riding we will enter the Marche again via the Forca di Presta climb.
Then descent to Arquata del Tronto and head up again to Forca de Canapine and enter Umbria again.
We want to arrive back in Norcia with time to enjoy the afternoon strolling around this amazing place, also we need to rest a bit before getting ready for our dinner…
To complete our stay in this amazing place, what about dinner at Vespasia, a one-star Michelin restaurant where chefs Fumiko Sakai and Fabio Cappiello will offer us a variety of dishes showing the best of the products grown around this amazing region.
Today we start with a one-hour van transfer to the Campotosto lake area, a very popular place for holidays for the locals. This is necessary in order to be able to stay at the accommodation we plan for the next couple of days.
We start riding by the Campotosto reservoir and soon are close to 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 2018, and the winner at the top was Simon Yates.
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 never get there. But eventually, you will arrive at the top and enjoy a great lunch at the rifugio!
The top of the Gran Sasso is mostly downhill and flat to Santo Stefano Sestanio, 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.
After enjoying a leisurely start to the day, we will ride towards Castelo del Monte, via Valico di Capo di Serre. We should reach Castelo del Monte, one of the Borghi piu Bello d’Italia by mid-morning, the perfect time for our second coffee of the day.
This is a very picturesque medieval town, we are deep in the Abruzzo, here you can feel what is to live in remote Italy.
We continue our loop down 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.
Our last ride of the trip will take us up the other big mountain of the Abruzzo, the Majella or Blockhaus, another epic Giro d’Italia climb.
A pleasant descent from San Stefano, on the same road we climb up yesterday, will take us to a flatter terrain until we arrive at Scafa, where the 25 km Blockhaus starts. The higher we go the more spectacular the road and the landscape become.
This is a major climb by any standard, comparable to any other big mountain further north in the Alps. It has it all, distance, altitude gain, steep sections, and great views from the top.
After the descent, we will transfer by van to our hotel in Rome. We prefer to do this two-hour transfer today so tomorrow you can enjoy a quiet start of the day in the Eternal city.
HOTEL: A.Roma Lifestyle Hotel
After breakfast transfer by van to Fiumicino airport (FCO). Expect to get there by 11:00, so plan your flights accordingly.
TWIN room: 4,350 Euros pp
SINGLE Supplement: 950 Euros
Rental bike: 650 Euros
Rental ebike: 750 Euros
600 Euros when making the booking. Balance to be paid 90 days before the trip starts.
9 nights accommodation between 3 – 4 Stars
ALL MEALS INCLUDED.
9 lunches, picnic-style on longer days.
9 dinners, including wine.
Hotel extras: mini-bar, spa, massage.
Tips for the staff.
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.
Adapting to our current COVID-19 pandemic, and incoordination, with most of the hotel’s terms and conditions, we are adjusting our cancellation policy accordingly as follows:
If there’s a travel ban from your country to travel to the country you are doing a trip with us, you will receive a full refund on any payments you have made to SFIDA Cycling.
For any other reasons not related to COVID-19, the following will apply:
61 days before the trip starts – the return of your deposit.
60 days before the trip starts – the return of the full amount of the trip less 300 Euros cancellation fee, plus any amount that we can’t recover from Hotels and other costs that we have already incurred in the trip preparation.
Less than 30 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 understand that it is difficult to commit too much in advance given the situation we are all living in.
For this reason, 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.