This leisurely tour offers a different perspective on rural Italy as you explore the backroads of Umbria by bicycle, giving you the chance to soak up the rustic beauty of the rolling fields, vineyards and small villages. Visit the tiny medieval village of Civita di Bagnoregio, founded by the Etruscans 2,500 years ago on a crumbling volcanic outcrop in a rugged valley. Delve further into local custom and tradition on a local farm where you’ll dine on traditional regional foods and learn about life in this tranquil and scenic part of Italy.
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel in Orvieto or Todi and take you to a local bicycle shop, where you’ll meet your guide and be kitted out with an electric bike and helmet. From here, make your way out of town led by your private guide, first on a busy local road but soon turning off onto rural routes where vineyards, green fields and old stone farmhouses flank the roads.
The initial part of the tour is uphill, but with your electric bike you’ll make easy progress, passing the Abbey of Saints Severo and Martirio, which dates back to the 6th century, before reaching the plateau near Canale, where you’ll get panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Arriving in Bagnoregio, your first glimpse of Civita de Bagnoregio is the most arresting. A tiny medieval village perched on a volcanic plug of rock that rises steeply from the rugged ravines of a canyon-like valley, its precarious position is exaggerated by the long footbridge that marks the only way in or out of the village.
Leaving your bikes at the entrance to the bridge, set off on foot across the elevated walkway and enter the village through a heavy Romanesque arch. Inside, the tiny village lanes and old stone houses are a glimpse back to the Middle Ages. In places, you can see where the soft rock of the bluff has collapsed, taking houses with it. Your guide will tell you a little about the history of the village, its fame as the birthplace of Saint Bonaventure, its handful of permanent residents and its struggles to survive geological and social upheaval.
Once you’ve had some time to look around, return to your bikes and set off on the return journey to Orvieto by a different route. Along the way, you’ll stop at a local agriturismo, a farm where you can meet some local people and enjoy a hearty lunch of traditional, regional dishes and some local wine. From here, it’s about a 15-minute cycle back to Orvieto where you’ll return your bike and your guide will take you back to your hotel.
The complete route is roughly 22 km (13.6 miles) and takes about six hours to complete.