From Rome to Circeo National Park Through Castelli Romani and South Pontino Country

Road type: Gravel 30%, Paved road 70%

A five-days tour to discover the south countryside of Lazio, on the route of Appian Way through the Colli Albani until the Circeo National Park. A holiday that will lead you in landscapes of an incredible variety, between history, nature and gastronomy, riding a high quality trekking bike along country paths, cycling routes and secondary roads. We will complete almost 200 km in five days, moving southwards from the Eternal City to the Circeo Promontory, an umparalleled naturalistic area, in search of its incredible coastal avifaunistic heritage.

We will leave Rome along the ancient Appian Way, the “queen of the roads”, the first consular road of the Republic period: in this giant green corridor that links the Coliseum to the countryside there are still some segments paved with the typical Roman “basolato”, between pine rows, sheep herds and the remains of colossal aqueducts.

The straight route of the Appian Way will lead us to the hills, between the vineyhards of the Colli Albani, an area that is famous for the Pope residence (Castel Gandolfo) and for the good wine. Through secondary roads we will climb up to the side of the Lake of Albano between the bunch of grapes, to continue along its blue waters and enjoy the folklore of the towns of this region, especially Ariccia, homeland of the “porchetta”!

The following day we will continue along the route of Appian Way, on a sweet descent to the South Pontino countryside: in the past this wide plain was a giant swamp, and it still hides medieval treasures, heritage of noble families, religious orders and popes that have choosen it as a residence. It is also a destination for the migration of many bird species and the set of many hostilities during the Second World War. The first stop of the day is the wonderful Garden of Ninfa, a WWF oasis with the remains of a castle inside its pond, houses and medieval abbeys: it was elected “the most beautiful garden in the world” by the New York Times. Near the oasis we can find another medieval jewel, heritage of Cistercian order: Valvisciolo Abbey, that with its white bare-stone walls overlooks all South Pontino plain until the sea, with the citadel of Sermoneta on its left side.

And our trip continues just there, with a slow and gradual climb to the old citadel, where our strain will be rewarded by a delicious lunch in a traditional inn and by the guided tour to the Caetani Castle, a medieval fortress of the IX century. After a walk in the folkloristic alleys of the old town, we can keep on riding in descent to dive ourselves inside the country and reclaim canals until we reach Latina, an example of rationalist architecture, and to the Museum of Piana delle Orme, where we can admire some war remnants by the II World War.

From Latina a comfortable bike path will lead us on the shores of Tirreno Sea, until the first and the major of the four coastal lakes of this region, Fogliano: a place of rest and shelter for many seabird species, like herons and snowy egrets, with a botanical garden and various paths along the sand dunes. And just the dunes, with their typical Mediterranean scrub made of shrubs and bushes, seem to flow with our ride in this seaside segment, along the strip of land that divides the sea from the lakes, until the arrival at the long bridge at the entrance of Sabaudia. This farmhouse centre in the middle of the ex-Pontinian swamp is overlooked by the unmistakable silhouette of the Mount Circeo, and it hosts also the entrance to the National Park. After leaving the town of Sabaudia, we’ll enjoy paths and gravel roads in a shadowy eucaliptuses’ wood, where it’s not unusual to meet wild boars and other animals, together with the traces of the seasonal passage of the shepherds for the winter transhumance.

The last day we will leave the park through these paths in order to come back in the South Pontino countryside, until we reach one of the most famous and better preserved abbeys of Italian Gothic style, Fossanova Abbey: this wonderful Cistercian complex was also the last home of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

From the near railway station of Priverno/Fossanova we will come back to Rome by train.

day 1 – Roma / Ariccia: Appian Way and Colli Albani hills

  • distance: 32 km
  • level: medium / easy
  • places of interest:
    • Appian Way
    • Cecilia Metella’s tomb
    • Villa of Quintili
    • Lake of Albano
    • Regional Park of Castelli Romani
    • Town of Ariccia

day 2 – Ariccia / Sermoneta: Ninfa and Valvisciolo Abbey

  • distance: 49 km
  • level: medium / easy
  • places of interest:
    • Lake of Nemi
    • Ninfa Natural oasis
    • Valvisciolo Abbey

day 3 – Sermoneta / Fogliano: South Pontino countryside

  • distance: 30 km
  • level: easy
  • places of interest:
    • Citadel of Sermoneta
    • Caetani castle
    • II World War Museum of Piana delle Orme
    • Fogliano natural oasis

day 4 – Fogliano / Sabaudia: Circeo National Park

  • distance: 46 km
  • level: easy
  • places of interest:
    • Coastal lakes and sand dunes
    • Villa of Domitian
    • Circeo National Park

day 5 – Sabaudia / Fossanova: Fossanova Abbey

  • distance: 41 km
  • level: easy
  • places of interest
    • Circeo National Park
    • Reclaim canals of South Pontino countryside
    • Fossanova Abbey
    • Citadel of Priverno

The tour includes:

  • Train ticket from Priverno/Fossanova to Rome + bike ticket
  • Tour Leader (one for every group of 8 persons)
  • Trekking Bike equipped with water bottle and panniers
  • Helmet
  • Mechanical Assistance
  • Spare bike
  • Luggage transportation with van
  • RC Insurance
  • Hotel (4 nights + breakfast)
  • 5 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Ticket and guided visit to Ninfa Natural Oasis
  • Ticket and guided visit to the Castle of Sermoneta
  • Ticket and guided visit to Piana delle Orme II World War Museum
  • Ticket and guided visit to the Villa of Domitian

Extras:

Accommodation in single room: € 160,00 per person.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Hotel **** or B&B **** in double room.

Food

Lunch and dinner are served in local restaurants with typical food.

Tour leader

Our tour leaders are ready to guide and help you in any situation during your bike ride, so that you can appreciate the road and the places visited in your holiday.

Mechanical assistance

You have at disposition a service of mechanical assistance for every problem at your bike.


Start:

Friday 08:00 AM – Wheely Bike Rental – Via Labicana, 118 – Roma

Arrival:

Tuesday 07:00 PM – Wheely Bike Rental – Via Ostilia, 29 – Roma

In case the Tour is cancelled for a insufficient number of partecipants the delivered subscription amount will be entirely refunded.
In case the Tour is cancelled for bad weather, it will postponed to another day.
The Tour starts with a minimum of 8 partecipants.
Booking opened until 24h before start.

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