Loop itinerary through the places of Dante’s exile

Tour description

A loop itinerary following Dante Alighieri’s footsteps, it starts whether from Florence, the city where the poet was born, or from Ravenna, where he is buried, discovering villages and art cities where Dante wandered during his exile between Tuscany and Romagna. A Grand Tour which crosses territories such as Mugello, Casentino Valley, Tuscan-Romagna Apennines and little historic villages such as Poppi, Brisighella, Bertinoro, Polenta, Bagno di Romagna, the Eremo of Camaldoli, places that inspired Dante to write the Divine Comedy. 

Itinerary details

This itinerary crosses the Apennines ridge along roads with little traffic and cycle paths with a dirt but compact surface. The routes are technically easy, they have some differences in height, but they are never too difficult to ride with an electric bike: three stages with a difference in height of more than 1,000 metres and four  below 1,000 metres.

Level: Medium, with e-Trek Bike

Daily average distance: 57 km 

Total distance: 400 km

Day-by-day itinerary

departure from RAVENNA

 

Day 1 Ravenna-Bertinoro

Meeting place and starting point in Ravenna, the city where Dante is buried for seven centuries. In Ravenna (with the DantePass) it is possible to visit at special terms numerous events organized on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death. The ride heads towards Forlì, where this year there is the official exhibition about Dante as he lived there twice during his exile. A short ride diversion leads to Terra del Sole, a jewel of Renaissance town planning commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici in 1564 as an example of perfect urban planning, Terra del Sole was also a fortress defending the northern borders, from there the tour moves to the Medieval village of Bertinoro, where the overnight stay will be. 

Distance: 58 km.

Day 2 Bertinoro-Bagno di Romagna

The day begins with a visit to Bertinoro “Town of Hospitality” even mentioned in the 14th canto of the Purgatorio to evoke the ideal of chivalrous living. The ride heads to the small town of Polenta. Guido da Polenta was one of Dante’s main patrons, as well as Francesca da Rimini’s father, she is mentioned by Dante in the famous episode of the lovers Paolo and Francesca. The tour then goes uphill towards the Apennines, where it is possible to stop in the tiny village of Civorio, whose centre revolves around a renowned local trattoria. The ride continues towards Bagno di Romagna, the overnight stay will be in a beautiful spa hotel, a worthy conclusion to this difficult day. Distance: 68 km.

Day 3 Bagno di Romagna-Poppi

The tour goes deeper and deeper inside the Tuscan-Romagna Appennine “selva oscura” [Dante’s dark forest] characterised by its dense forests and hidden hermitages. The first stage is the Sacro Eremo of Camaldoli, an ancient monastery still inhabited by monks. A long descent leads to Pratovecchio.Those who still have energy can climb for 5km to the Abbey of Romena built in 1152 and the nearby castle that hosted Dante in his first years of exile. Another short diversion leads to Porciano Castle, where Dante was a guest of the Guidi family. During his stay he wrote three of his famous Latin epistles. The route continues on to Poppi, a must-see on a route through Dante’s places. Poppi is dominated by the Castle of the Guidi counts, near which the famous battle of Campaldino took place. Dante fought in this battle on the Guelph side and which today is remembered by the “Column of Dante”, which will be seen along the way. 

Distance 56 km.

Day 4 Poppi-Florence

The route heads towards Dante’s birthplace, Florence, stopping at Vallombrosa Abbey, whose cloister contains a medal depicting Dante and Beatrice. From there, a pleasant descent leads to the plain area between Florence, Prato and Pistoia “Piana Fiorentina”, then crosses Pontassieve and finally reaches Dante’s hometown.

Distance 70 km

Day 5 Florence-Ronta

After visiting the house where Dante was born (with the Dante Pass), the tour continues to the Etruscan town of Fiesole, which has been cited both in the Divine Comedy’s Inferno and Paradiso. Between rows of cypress trees, olive groves and the gardens of patrician villas the ride reaches Vetta le Croci, the Mugello gateway. Borgo San Lorenzo is worth a visit as well as a 20km diversion on a cycle path to Vicchio, these small mentioned villages are two of Mugello’s most important towns. The day ends in Ronta, a small village immersed in the forests that inspired Dante when he began his exile and found himself walking through a “selva oscura” [dark forest].

Distance 41 km.

Day 6 Ronta-Brisighella

One of the natural scenery to be admired along the route between Florence and Ravenna is the Lamone Valley. The Valley is crossed after reaching Colla di Casaglia at an altitude of 1,190 metres. Some of the characters described by Dante in his Divine Comedy and the poet himself certainly looked at their reflection in Lamone River’s water. The river flows right alongside the road, bringing coolness to the ride which, in this part, is all downhill until the centre of Marradi. Finally, the ride ends in the picturesque village of Brisighella built to control the passage between Romagna and Tuscany. The overnight stay will be there.

Distance: 50 km.

Day 7 Brisighella-Ravenna

The ride will be mainly on the plain with a small diversion to the Tower of Oriolo, which once served as watch-tower over the surrounding valley and Faenza. Having crossed the Via Emilia, the route is completely flat, and passing through the countryside, it ends in Ravenna, the place where Dante is buried. The overnight stay will be there. 

Distance: 57 km.

Day 8 End of the tour in Ravenna

There are numerous traces of Dante’s passage through the city. With the DantePass, we can join a guided tour on Dante to conclude the tour. 

End of the adventure. See you next time!

Day-by-day itinerary 

departure from FLORENCE

 

Day 1 Florence-Ronta

Meeting place and starting point in Florence, the city where Dante Alighieri was born. The tour continues to the Etruscan town of Fiesole, which has been cited both in the Divine Comedy’s Inferno and Paradiso. Between rows of cypress trees, olive groves and the gardens of patrician villas the ride reaches Vetta le Croci, the Mugello gateway. Borgo San Lorenzo is worth a visit as well as a 20km round trip diversion on a cycle path to Vicchio, these small mentioned villages are two of Mugello’s most important towns. The day ends in Ronta, a small village immersed in the forests that inspired Dante when he began his exile and found himself walking through a “selva oscura” [dark forest]. The overnight stay will be in this quiet village.

Distance 41 km.

Day 2 Ronta-Brisighella

One of the natural scenery to be admired along the route between Florence and Ravenna is the Lamone Valley. The Valley is crossed after reaching Colla di Casaglia at an altitude of 1,190 metres. Some of the characters described by Dante in his Divine Comedy and the poet himself certainly looked at their reflection in Lamone River’s water. The river flows right alongside the road, bringing coolness to the ride which, in this part, is all downhill until the centre of Marradi. Finally, the ride ends in the picturesque village of Brisighella built to control the passage between Romagna and Tuscany. The overnight stay will be in the centre of Brisighella.

Distance: 50 km.

Day 3 Brisighella-Ravenna

This ride is mainly on plain with a small diversion to the Tower of Oriolo, which once served as a watch-tower over the surrounding valley and Faenza. Having crossed the Via Emilia, the route is completely flat, and passing through the countryside, it ends in Ravenna, the place where Dante is buried. The overnight stay will be there. 

Distance: 57 km.

Day 4 Ravenna-Bertinoro

The ride sets off for Forlì, where this year there is the official exhibition on Dante as he lived there twice during his exile. A short ride diversion leads to Terra del Sole, a jewel of Renaissance town planning commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici in 1564 as an example of perfect urban planning, Terra del Sole was also a fortress defending the northern borders. From there the tour continues towards the Medieval village of Bertinoro, “Town of Hospitality” even mentioned in the 14th canto of the Purgatorio to evoke the ideal of chivalrous living.

Distance: 58 km.

Day 5 Bertinoro-Bagno di Romagna

The ride heads to the small town of Polenta. Guido da Polenta was one of Dante’s main patrons, as well as the father of Francesca da Rimini. She is mentioned by Dante in the famous episode of the lovers Paolo and Francesca. The tour then goes uphill towards the Apennines, where it is possible to stop in the tiny village of Civorio, whose centre revolves around a renowned local trattoria. The ride continues with an ascent followed by a pleasant descent towards San Piero in Bagno and the lovely Bagno di Romagna, where the overnight stay will be in a beautiful spa hotel, a worthy conclusion to this difficult day.

Distance: 68 km.

Day 6 Bagno di Romagna-Poppi

The tour goes deeper and deeper inside the Tuscan-Romagna Appennine “selva oscura” [dark forest] with its dense forests and hidden hermitages. The first stage is the Sacro Eremo of Camaldoli, an ancient monastery still inhabited by monks. A long descent then leads to Pratovecchio. Those who still have energy can climb for 5km to the Abbey of Romena built in 1152 and the nearby castle that hosted Dante in his first years of exile. Another short diversion leads to Porciano Castle, where Dante was a guest of the Guidi family. During his stay he wrote three of his famous Latin epistles. The route continues to Poppi, a must-see on a route through Dante’s places, dominated by the Castle of the Guidi counts, near which the famous battle of Campaldino took place. Dante fought in this battle on the Guelph side, his participation is remembered by the “Column of Dante”.

Distance 56 km.

Day 7 Poppi-Florence

The route heads towards Dante’s birthplace, Florence, passing by the small village of Prato di Strada and stopping at Vallombrosa Abbey, whose cloister contains a medal depicting Dante and Beatrice. From here, a pleasant descent leads to the plain area between Florence, Prato and Pistoia “Piana Fiorentina”, then the route crosses Pontassieve to finally reach Dante’s hometown where a lot of places recall Dante Alighieri’s life. This beautiful ride ends in Florence.

Distance 70 km

Day 8 End of the tour in Florence

End of this unforgettable experience after a nice breakfast. See you next time!

Type of itinerary

loop, self-guided

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Duration

8 days, 7 nights

Number participants

minimum 2 people

Departing calendar

every day

Departure

Ravenna or Florence

Arrival

Ravenna or Florence

Price per person

470€ – double room

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Included services

  • 7 overnight stays in a double room in a 3-star hotel or similar accommodation
  • 6 breakfasts
  • Dante Pass
  • APP and GPX tracks
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Services not included

  • tourist tax
  • medical/luggage insurance
  • bike rental and bike fitting
  • anything not specified under “included services”

e-Trek Bike rental price

30€ per day

Extra services:

Single room supplement: 180€

Half board option (7 dinners): 210€

Extra night stay in Ravenna: 60€ per person 

Luggage transfer: 900€ per group

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