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We meet in Mira in a authentic historic villa in an enviable idyllic location near Venice but far from the undesired hubbub. During the day we have time to prepare and check over the bikes and have our pre-tour briefing, We then take a ferry into Venice for our first dinner together after a brief stroll and "aperitivo" in Venice.
Hotel: Villa Margherita
Departure: Mira - Venice
Distance: 110 km / 69 mi
Elevation gain: 400 m / 1200 ft
Our first stage is relatively easy and gives us a chance to meet everybody and get into the swing of things. We roll out of Venice and follow the "Riviera del Brenta" which is lined with wonderful Venetian villas. The only hills of the day are the Euganean hills just south of Padua. They are gentle hills but very picturesque as is the town of Arqua Petrarca where we will stop for lunch. The ride then goes through the flat countryside of southern Veneto until we reach beautiful Ferrara, frequently called the "city of bikes".
Distance: 93 km / 58 mi
Elevation gain: 950 m / 3000 ft
Hotel: Palazzo Loup
We say good bye to Ferrara and explore the agricultural areas of the region of Emilia-Romangna. We will stop for lunch before we start the steady climb into the Apennines. We have a beautiful route with very little traffic that takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery the "appennini bolognesi" have to offer.
Distance: 102 km / 63 mi
Elevation gain: 1400 m / 4700 ft
Hotel: Relais Villa L'Olmo
Stage 4 takes over the top of the Appenines (Passo della Futa) and drops us into beautiful Tuscany and right into Florence. We ride right through the center of Florence and cross Ponte Vecchio. Before we ride out we visit Piazza Michelangelo for a stunning view of the city. The last climb of the day takes us to Imprenuta where we will stay at a beautiful hotel.
Arrival: Ponte d'Arbia
Distance: 91 km / 57 mi
Elevation gain: 1200 m / 4000 ft
Hotel: Agriturismo Pievespenna
Stage 3 takes us through the heart of Tuscany. We ride through the Chianti region and stop for lunch in small villa surrounded by vineyards. Before we roll into Siena we will do some of the nicest gravel sections of the Eroica!! Our lodging for the night is in a classic "agriturismo" with a beautiful pool.
Departure: Ponte d'Arbia
Distance: 106 km / 66 mi
Elevation gain: 1550 m / 4500 ft
Hotel: La Badia
Stage 5 takes us through southern Tuscany and some beautiful classic rolling hills. Before the main climbs of the day we roll through the stunning Val d'Orcia. The main climb of the day takes into a natural reserve before desceding into Orvieto and our "magical hotel"; an old converted monastery.
Distance: 147 km / 91 mi
Elevation gain: 1800 m / 5500 ft
Hotel: Donna Camilla Savelli
The last stage takes us through the northern part of region of Lazio and past the lakes of Vico and Bracciano (good spot for lunch). Our route takes us on a beautiful cycling path along the river Tiber that avoids all the traffic of Rome.