Cycling Umbria

Vacations in the Green Heart of Italy

Cycling In Italy

Riding in Italy is an experience that will have you never wanting to leave. The roads are clean and the views are breathtaking. From thick forests to open plains, from challenging climbs to flat-out speed, the options of where we will ride are endless. The sunflowers along the road follow the path of the sun as it bathes the surrounding countryside. You will feel an international camaraderie when we are welcomed by some of the best Italian cyclists in the region. No matter where the road takes us, we will be sure to find a fresh spring in a small town and a café where we can get an espresso to recharge for the journey home.

The Riding

The terrain that we cover is challenging, so we encourage you to be in good riding shape before your vacation. That said, we don't expect you to be a racer; we want you to experience the beauty of Italy at a gentlemanly pace. You should be used to riding for about 3–4 hours, at an average pace of 16–18 mph.

Because this is a vacation, the ride schedule is relatively relaxed. We will usually be on the road by 9:30 AM, after breakfast. That will help us avoid the afternoon heat, but still allow for a leisurely morning. We'll come home for lunch after the ride, either at a local trattoria, or delivered by your hostess Valentina. There are five planned rides, but there is plenty of free time available for those who want more, and Jeff, your ride leader, is always happy to be on his bike.

Sample Routes

The idea for this vacation was born in August and September of 2008 when Jeff visited Umbria. Using a GPS-enabled phone, he was able log and take photos of his rides. Follow the links to the Garmin page to see some of the possibilities for your vacation.

  • The Tuoro loop takes us up a great climb with a descent back toward the lake down some fast and twisty roads to the border of Umbria and Toscana. The route heads North, usually with a tailwind along a roller road on the way home.

  • Bettona loop is a rolling shorter loop which heads South before turning back toward town. The kicker is riding up and over the top of Perugia to get back to home, a steady burn for 500m.

  • Spello Collepino is one of the more challenging loops with three summits. The first is a warm-up over Perugia, the second and highest is at Collepino, and the third another trip over Perugia where you can really feel the burn. This loop wanders far off the beaten track; the narrow roads and lack of cars will make you think you're on a bike path. There is a race in late September which does the main climb.

  • The Assisi loop takes us up a back road to the other side of the ridge where we have a couple more climbs on the way to Assisi. Assisi is a great place to take a break and enjoy the city with multiple churches and beautiful views. The ride back is flat until the climb to Perugia.

  • The Orieto loop is very challenging with endless amounts of uphill riding but views that are seen by few. The Duomo in Orvieto is a sight to behold with a marble facade which rivals the church in the center of Florence.

  • Torgiano named for the Torre di Giano, heads out from town and up over the back side of Perugia to descend to the flat terrain heading to Torgiano. On the way we pass multiple vinyards, the most famous of which is Lungarotti.

Photos