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Umbria Cycling Holidays
Umbria is Tuscany's quieter, less-famous neighbour. But a beautiful and amazing place, with a rich history from the Renaissance, the Romans and the Etruscans still visible in its towns and cities.
A feature of Umbria is its hill-top towns. It means a lot of climbing on our bikes, but well-worth the trouble. I cannot imagine anyone ever regretted the climb into Orvieto, Perugia or Montefalco.
Highlights of the week include Orvieto, built on top of a volcanic outcrop and overlooking the Tiber valley 1,000 feet below., and Assisi, home to St Francis, Patron Saint of Italy, and more recently a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A personal favourite for me is Perugia. It's a big city, not usually the cyclists' friend, but as well as the stunning view over the Vale of Spoleto, the layers of history, from the huge Etruscan city walls through the Roman Empire, the Renaissance and the modern day, are clearly visible as you rise through the city on the spectacular 'scala mobili'.
As we make our way from Sovana in the south, up the Tiber Valley and past the Lago di Trasimeno to Cortona, we'll cycle through beautiful countryside, enjoy special Umbrian cuisine, find some surprisingly good Umbria wines, and we'll learn that Umbria deserves to be much more than Tuscany's quiet neighbour.
One of our more difficult tours; we start in Sovana and finish in Cortona; 8 days / 7 nightsTour dates
Our guide led us expertly on each day's ride of 30 miles or so, selecting quiet roads and tasty lunch stops and, at the end of every afternoon, a comfortable hotel with a menu to do justice to the region's rich gastronomy. He carried a repair outfit, a first aid kit and a sense of humour, which coped with almost every eventuality.Michael J Woods, The Financial Times