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Exploring Emilia Romagna

EXPLORING EMILIA ROMAGNA | DAY BY DAY

Hotel Galletti Abbiosi
AAAA
Ravenna Days 1+2

The magnificent Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi Hotel is conveniently positioned right in the heart of Ravenna’s historic quarter, located within easy reach of all the city’s top landmarks and attractions, including the famous ‘6C Basilica of Saint Apollinare Nuovo’ with its figurative mosaics that date back to 500AD.

This luxurious hotel is housed in an 18th century palace, once the former residence of 18th century Ravenna nobility, there’s even a 60-seat chapel inside the building, which Count Galletti Abbiosi commissioned himself and dedicated it to the “ Greek Virgin”, the patron Saint of Ravenna.

The hotel has now been fully modernized, fashionably blending traditional charm and sophistication with contemporary design and comfort. It boasts stylish public areas and elegantly decorated guest rooms, each equipped with the latest amenities including free Wi-Fi internet access.

Further details on the hotel website.

Day 1     Arrive in Ravenna

We meet you at Bologna airport and take you (1 hour) to your luxurious hotel, perfectly positioned in the heart of Ravenna’s historic quarter. You’ll spend two nights here.

Day 2     At Ravenna (Optional cycle: 22km/13.5mi or 32km/20mi)

Ravenna’s early Christian churches and superb Byzantine mosaics have collectively been designated a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, and showcase a wonderful blend of Greco-Roman tradition, Christian iconography and Oriental-meets-Western styles. You could easily spend the day exploring its old streets, fine shops and peaceful squares. But, if you do fancy venturing further afield, the beautiful beaches of the Adriatic are just 5 miles away – we provide you with a choice of circular cycling routes so you can choose depending on how energetic you feel!

Day 3     Ravenna to Comacchio 43km/28mi

Leaving Ravenna this morning, you’ll pedal gently north through the protected landscapes and wetlands of the immense Po Delta Nature Reserve, a haven for wildlife and an ornithologist’s paradise! Look out for pink flamingos, herons and great crested grebes, don’t forget the binoculars! Your final stretch takes you along flat country lanes to delightful Comacchio, also known as “Little Venice” for its network of canals and pretty brick bridges. Enjoy an early evening aperitivo watching locals cycle past on old rickety bikes as retired fishermen play cards in the piazza.

Locanda La Comacina
***
Comacchio Days 3+4

Right in the heart of beautiful Comacchio, in one of the most characteristic and suggestive parts of the town, along narrow paved streets and just steps from the town’s 19C clock tower, lies the wonderful Locanda La Comacina. A boutique-style hotel with fourteen elegantly furnished, air-conditioned rooms, each with modern amenities like LCD TV and minibar. The hotel is managed by the ever-present Carli family who for generations have been looking after their guests, ensuring their stay is as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Dining is outdoors on a terraced boat set in the waters of the Maggiore Canal and illuminated by the old ‘Lumiere’ and candle light for a romantic dinner based on antique recipes of fish and local dishes.

Further details on the hotel website.

Day 4     At Comacchio (Optional cycle: 13km/8mi or 52km/33.5mi)

Spend the early part of day exploring the hidden maze of Comacchio, visiting perhaps the C9 abbey and adjacent bell tower (dating to 1063). We then suggest taking the dedicated cycle path to Porto Garibaldi, an atmospheric fishing port and original beach resort. If you get here in time for lunch, there are some amazing seafood restaurants with stunning views. Alternatively, a longer ride north through the Valle Bertuzzi Nature Reserve, takes you to the historic Benadictine monastery of Pomposa, where the “Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Si-Do” scale of musical notes was invented!

Day 5     Comacchio to Runco 48km/30mi

Today’s route takes you alongside the clear waterways of the Comacchio lagoon, an area rich in fish and rare bird species, before heading inland down poplar-lined country lanes, towards the bread basket of the region: Ferrara. You’ll spend the next 2 nights as guests of Giovanni and Christina Tosti at their rural, vine-engulfed farmhouse, crammed with paintings, antiques and period pieces, the familiar atmosphere is reminiscent of a nobleman’s estate and exudes elevated country living!

Agriturismo Le Occare
AAA
Runco Days 5+6

Located in rural countryside on the outskirts of Ferrara, lies Farmhouse Le Occare. An ancient vine-engulfed country house built in the mid-18th century and surrounded by gardens and 30,000 square meters of woodland. This 3-bedroom property is owned and managed by a husband and wife team Giovanni & Cristina Tosti, it has been in Giovanni’s family for the last four generations. The house is furnished with antiques and period pieces including hand-woven rugs, ornate polished silverware, black and white photographs and oil paintings.

Cristina and Giovanni have restructured their land, by planting pine, poplar and walnut trees, to encourage the growth of truffles and they often go truffle hunting with guests over the autumn.

In the farmhouse restaurant Cristina serves only typical Ferrarese dishes, which are all home made (even the pasta and bread!) using the organic ingredients grown in their garden.

Further details on the
hotel website.

Day 6      In Runco (Optional cycle: 54km/33.5mi)

The tiny hamlet of Runco lies in the rural countryside close to Ferrara. Take the train or enjoy a lovely relaxed cycle through immaculately-tended vineyards and fruit orchards, passing aristocratic villas, rivers and canals, to reach the splendid UNESCO World Heritage city of Ferrara. Known as Italy’s “bicycle capital”, this vibrant university city, boasts a wealth of intricately decorated palaces, hidden squares and alleyways, all surrounded by well-preserved walls and gateways, and packed with medieval and Renaissance art.

Day 7     Runco to Budrio 38km/23.5mi

Your final days’ cycling takes you south on a series of usually traffic-free country roads, through charming farming hamlets to the ancient medieval town of Budrio. A pretty town with cobbled streets and atmospheric piazzas, it is best known for the invention of the ocarina, a musical instrument similar to a flute and made from terracotta. There are lots of little cafes if you fancy a spot of people-watching, before you make your way to Roberta's charming agriturismo, home for the next two nights.

la dondina

Agriturismo La Dondina AAA

Budrio (Days 7+8)

The Agriturismo La Dondina is ideally situated just outside the small town of Budrio, sitting among cultivated fields and ancient farmhouses. The origins of the building date back to the 16C when it was a hunting lodge used by the Dondini counts, before being transformed into a farm with stables. In 2001, the property undertook its final transformation, and the stables were converted into the characterful agriturismo that it is today, with each bedroom being named after the last horse that lived there. The comfortable rooms are brightly decorated, with antique furniture and exposed wooden beams; all are ensuite with views onto the garden. Your evening meal is taken in the agriturismo’s cozy restaurant. The produce here is organically grown and features heavily in the traditional dishes on the menu. The pasta and bread is also all home-made, and vegetarians are particularly well catered for.

Further details on the
hotel website.

Day 8     At Budrio

Considered by Italians to be the gastronomic capital of the nation, the university capital of Bologna is just 25 minutes away by train. With one of the largest, and most perfectly preserved historic centers in Italy, this great art city is also home to the oldest university in Europe. There are over 40kms/25mis of ancient terracotta-colored porticoes and marbled walkways to discover, so you’ll soon work up an appetite for your final dinner, served on the agriturismo's terrace.

Day 9     Leave Budrio

After breakfast, we take you to Bologna airport to catch flights home.

Note: Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in Italy for children under 16. As we cannot provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own.

 



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