There is a 400 kilometers long cycling tourism ring that links the cities of Urbino, Senigallia, Pesaro and Gubbio. A stunning trip back in time, in art and nature, chasing the land's beauties [...]
Le Marche another Italy
Le Marche encompasses everything one would want from Italy. Incredible countryside from the Sibillini mountains to the glorious coastline, classic landscapes, castellated hilltops towns, culture, art, music, indoor, outdoor and watersports, wonderful wildlife, fun, delicious food and wines, quality fashions and footwear, museums, churches, culture, history – so much to do and see. Experience life to its fullest – experience Le Marche!
Curated by Mariano Pallottini
It might only be 6.4km long, but the average gradient of 6.3% and 13% max ensure the Montecopiolo climb is one you won’t forget in a hurry. Apparently, according to the locals, it was one of Marco Pantani’s favorite training climbs, something which the organizers of the Giro d’Italia commemorated by including it in stage 8 of this year’s race. I can see why Pantani used it for training. It’s a horridly steep climb. Perfect for a pure climber to train on...
The view all the way up of the surrounding Marche region does provide some distraction. The landscape really is beautiful around these parts. I've been to some nice places in the world, but this place is right up there with the best. [...]
If you’ve never been to Urbino, get yourself along there at some point. It’s the sort of place that people paint. It has got a wall around the edge for a start, and that has to be a good thing, and the architecture is stunning. Plus, it sits at the top of a big hill so by the time you get there you’ve earned your coffee... The area is hilly but not mountainous. ...
Dave had come up with a plan to check out the Furlo Gorge. [...]
The coast-to-coast "Bike Across Italy" tour passes through four of Italy's most beautiful regions: Le Marche, Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany, each known for its charming hilltop towns, lush landscapes and unique cuisines. Guests cycle along rivers, stop at the spectacular Grotte di Frasassi, Italy's largest known caves, and through Etruscan settlements.
This coast-to-coast bike tour of Italy passes through four of Italy’s most beautiful regions: Le Marche, Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany, each known for its charming hilltop towns, lush landscapes and unique cuisines. We begin in Pesaro, a small resort town on the Adriatic Coast, just north of Ancona. We then pedal inland to Urbino, a thriving cultural center whose fairytale skyline is visible for miles. In the evening, the main piazza is often filled with townspeople, university students, artists, and musicians from around the world. From Urbino, we cycle along rivers, which have carved deep ravines through the lush mountains. We stop at the spectacular Grotte di Frasassi, Italy’s largest known caves. We then enter the gentle landscape of Umbria, which has inspired poets and painters from Dante to Raphael. The peaceful rhythm of this region envelops us in Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis, where friars stroll the narrow streets and birds cast playful shadows on the pink stone. Our relaxing and convenient base in Spello allows us to experience Assisi’s art, surrounding woods, wildflowers, and mystical spirit. [...]
Church bells ring out as we enter Urbino, a walled medieval city in the Marche region of Italy. We ride our bikes up and down steep and narrow cobble-stoned alleyways, stopping at a café, across from the Palazzo Ducale, the main attraction in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The palace is considered a cultural gem because of its Renaissance paintings. But on this hot day last spring we don't have the time or energy to visit. Instead of works by Raphael and Piero della Francesca, all I want is an Americano and Diet Coke to replenish my electrolytes.
Our group of four riders - a retired Whistler realtor, two Brits and myself - is weary after several long climbs. We're only half way into a 100-kilometre, four-hour ride. And we're here for the romance of Italian cycling, not past artistic glories.
We're staying at the Belvedere Bike Hotel, which has become a magnet for recreational cyclists - many of them from Vancouver - who want guided rides through the kind of hilly pastoral terrain and towns they may have seen in broadcasts of the Giro d'Italia.
The Belvedere has gained a meme-like quality among road bike riders in the Vancouver area. Or at least those who own high-priced carbon-fibre bikes, religiously check their heart rate monitors, enter Gran Fondo races and happily rise at dawn to watch live TV feeds of European Grand Tour bike races.
Not that we mind. It's an adrenalin rush. It's why we came to the Belvedere.
We're happily dazed and spent when we finally dismount at the hotel. Next on the agenda is a poolside lunch, a few hours of rest watching the French Open tennis, a swim in the sea or the pool, aperitivos at dusk and a dinner buffet, with a never-ending supply of vino rosso. Eat. Ride. Drink. [...]
As you may know, Le Marche is characterized by alternating ridges and river valleys descending from the Apennines to the sea. There is a coastal band, which is narrow in places and fairly wide in other places. This band is rather densely populated and more or less industrialized. Then there is a band of foothills, with small walled hill towns and farmland, and, finally the mountainous zone. The best cycling is found in the foothills, where the ridges aren't so high that you would have long climbs to go from one valley to another, and where there are lots of small roads without a lot of vehicle traffic.
Pesaro, Gabbice Mare, the park of Monte San Bartolo, inland from Fano, Fossombrone, Monterado or Mondavio, Corinaldo, Barbara, or Castelleone di Suasa, Belvedere Ostrense Morro d'Alba and San Marcello, the regional park of Monte Conero, Osimo, Offagna, Castelfidardo, upper Potenza river valley, Matelica .
Here are two web sites, in Italian, with advice about cycling itineraries in the province of Pesaro:
Both have itinerary maps, which should be understandable without translation.
Here is a very complete list of bike itineraries for all the provinces in Le Marche:
This is what bvlenci has replied on the Tripadvisor forum about a request.
bvlenci is the most active expert about Le Marche on Tripadvisor with more than 29K forum post most of them about Le Marche
There’s a reason our coast-to-coast Bike Across Italy Tour starts in region of Le Marche on Italy’s Adriatic Coast, before continuing through Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany and reaching the Mediterranean Sea. This 11-day journey is inspired by the life-changing solo bike trip Ciclismo Classico founder Lauren Hefferon took in 1983 to reconnect with her roots in little-known Le Marche.
Graduating from Cornell with four years of Italian under her belt, Lauren sent letters to cousins in Le Marche asking to visit and learn more about her family. Landing in Pisa, she biked for five days to reach the little town of Genga, where her grandmother Beatrice Fracassini lived until the age of 18 when she left for the U.S.
“My grandmother’s cousin ran down the road when she saw me, she grabbed my fully-loaded bike and brought me to her family’s house,” Lauren says. “Over the course of the next few days, I met all of the relatives of my grandmother and ate many wonderful meals of Marchegiani specialties.”
The Bike Across Italy Tour spends a day and night in Genga – which has changed since Lauren’s grandmother left this poor town. The discovery of the nearby Grotte di Frassassi in the 1950s and 60s now brings visitors from all over the world. These are largest caves or grottoes in Europe – filled with otherworldly stalactites and stalagmites formed by an underground river.
Tipping a hat to Lauren’s grandfather, Generoso Orazietti who was born in the seaside city of Fano, the Bike Across Italy Tour explores this former ancient Roman settlement with a guided tour ending with a fresh fish dinner prepared Le Marche-style.
Proving just how varied the landscape of Le Marche is, the Bike Across Italy Tour then takes intermediate cyclists inland pedaling through fields and farmland with foothills in the distance. This is where the walled, fairy tale city of Urbino awaits. Under the patronage of the Duke of Montefeltro in the mid-15th century, Urbino enjoyed its own independent Renaissance, resulting in the construction of great palaces and churches as well as the birth of new artistic traditions and indeed, the birth of High Renaissance master Raphael who hails from Urbino.
Our days in Le Marche are just the beginning of our Bike Across Italy Tour but set the tone for a grand Italian journey filled with both connections and surprises.