A loop itinerary in the footsteps of Dante Alighieri, which starts in Ravenna, the city where the poet is buried, discovering villages and art cities between Romagna and Tuscany where Dante wandered during his exile.
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 and the Eremo of Camaldoli, all places that inspired Dante to write the Divine Comedy.
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 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.
Considering the ascents and descents, in order to simplify the trip, a daily luggage transfer for every stage is included in the provided services. The services include the presence of a tour leader qualified as a bike touring guide as well.
For groups of at least 10 participants, a van service is also provided to accompany the group throughout the tour.
Level: Medium, with e-Trek Bike
Daily average distance: 57 km
Total distance: 400 km
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 numerous events at special terms organized on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death. The ride set off to 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 ends in Bertinoro, a beautiful Medieval village.
Distance: 58 km.
Day 2 Bertinoro-Bagno di Romagna
The day begins visiting 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 the father of Francesca da Rimini, 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” [dark forest] characterised by 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, 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 it is still remembered by the ‘Column of Dante’, which can 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 here, a pleasant descent leads to the plain area between Florence, Prato and Pistoia “Piana Fiorentina”, then crosses Pontassieve and finally reaches Dante’s hometown, where a lot of places recall Dante’s life.
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 round trip diversion on a cycle path to Vicchio, these small 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 the waters of Lamone. 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. In Brisighella it is possible to enjoy a tasting experience of the renowned Brisighello DOP oil qualities. The overnight stay will be in Brisighella as well.
Distance: 50 km.
Day 7 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 ride ends in Ravenna, where the overnight stay will be.
Distance: 57 km.
Day 8 End of the tour in Ravenna
After a delicious breakfast it is possible to take part in a guided tour discovering the traces of Dante’s passage in Ravenna.
End of the adventure. See you next time!
Type of itinerary
loop, in group
with a guide
8 days, 7 nights
minimum 6 people
15th of April | 15h of July | 7th of October
Price per person in double room
- 7 overnight stays in a double room in a 3-star hotel or similar accommodation, breakfast included
- 7 dinners
- Dante Pass
- APP and GPX tracks
- luggage transfer
- authorised tour guide
- van service for groups of at least 10 participants
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil tasting experience
Services not included
- tourist tax
- medical/luggage insurance
- bike rental and bike fitting
- anything not specified under “included services”
Bike rental price per day from Ravenna:
e-bike trekking: € 47
strada premium titanio: €43
tandem: € 55
Bike rental price per day from Florence:
e-bike trekking: €47
trekking bike: €32
premium strada titanium: €44
tandem: € 55
Single room supplement
DB-TG8 / itbg4094