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ACT – The Italian Job
“Adventure Country Tracks offers Real Adventure”
This is an authentic multi-day adventure ride which is suitable for big adventure bikes, for experienced riders, and combines incredible natural scenery with a thoroughly enjoyable riding experience. It’s never been easier to take that step into real motorcycle adventure on trails that take you away from population into empty valleys, up windswept hills and mountains, through beautiful nature along empty sinuous country roads and tracks.
Start / Finish Location
8 Days & 8 Nights
Moderate - Experience Essential
Not suitable for pillion
Single Room Supplement
Introduction – Who doesn’t love Italy? Food, wine, espresso, rolling hills amongst vineyards, exotic marques in the auto industry and the all-important Italian flare it’s people are famed for – Italy has it all. Better still and little-known; Italy has some of the best trail riding in Central Europe. We first visited Italy in July 2007 and immediately fell in love for all the above reasons. ACT Italy is a long trip through the central part of the Italian Apennines, from the village of Bertinoro, on the Romagna hills, south to the wild coasts of Abruzzo. The ACT route comprises 5 stages totalling 1160 km on adventure roads. Additionally, our tour will cover 500 – 700km. The ACT route starts in the woods of Romagna, passing through the green valleys of Umbria and Marche to continue through the fabulous Val d’Orcia to end the adventure on the coasts of one of the wildest and most untouched regions of Italy: Abruzzo.
Suggested flights: Ryanair Dublin to Bologna outbound Friday 27th August and return Sunday 5th Sept
Day 1 | START: Bologna |END: Citta di Castello | LENGTH: 320km | Difficulty: Easy | Offroad %: 40
Leaving our base in Bologna behind we travel south east for an hour on highway in search of the official starting point of ACT Italy. The departure from Bertinoro offers a wonderful view of the Adriatic coast and narrow asphalt roads, that after a few kilometres, take us on the fast dirt roads of the Savio Valley. We cross thick woods and roads on the top of gentle hills and as we travel directly southwards to reach the mountains of the Marche Apennines. Panoramas that open suddenly characterize this first day of travel and we pass through many quaint villages, typical of central Italy. The terrain is generally very good on day 1; especially on sunny days immediately after rain: giving more grip on gravel and less dust. In summer the temperatures can also be quite high (28/32 degrees) considering the low altitude.
Day 2 | START: Citta di Castello |END: Passignano sul Transimeno | LENGTH: 260km | Difficulty: Easy/medium | Offroad %: 55
Monte Nerone and Monte Catria: the two peaks of the day! After crossing the woods above Città di Castello we rise quickly above 1000m altitude to Monte Nerone (1500 meters) which offers a fantastic view over the central Apennines and the other peak of the day: Monte Catria at 1700m. The descent from Scheggia to Gubbio is a beautiful asphalt ribbon of pure fun. After the town of Gubbio our route takes us on easy gravel roads to reache Passignano sul Trasimeno: the arrival at sunset is pure poetry, with the red sun reflecting on the lake.
Day 3 | START: Passignano sul Transimeno |END: Orvieto| LENGTH: 195km | Difficulty: Easy | Offroad %: 50
Enjoy the rolling hills of Tuscany and its gravel roads! The road along Lake Trasimeno takes us to Badiaccia, we enter Tuscany and we cross the Val di Chiana plain on the small roads that, after 30km, lead us to the foot of the pirme hills. From this point to Orvieto there is a succession of ups and downs on the hills of the beautiful Val d’Orcia (UNESCO World Heritage); we pass by characteristic small towns and villages made famous in the world for their wines and their beauty: Montepulciano, San Qurico d’Orcia, Bagno a Vignioni with its square of thermal water are just a few examples. Through the typical white roads of Tuscany, we pass to the north of Monte Amiata and head south east to reach Orvieto with its majestic cathedral and the famous “Well of St. Patrick” The landscape and the terrain in the last part of the stage is very different from the morning section: woods and firmer trails become the protagonists again.
A day full of woods and mountains over 1000 meters high at the end. After the Corbara Lake the first off-road sections begin with a good surface but with some rocky sections. We ride through beautiful woods that are never dense and plateaus with very fun with fast flowing roads. After Sangemini the landscape and the terrain change: we enter the most mountainous area of the day. With the last 155km we cross some peaks with important climbs and descents: Monte Birbone (1250mt), Monte Metano (1100mt) and Monte Peritone (1200mt). The descent from Mount Peritone takes us directly to Leonessa: a small town at the foot of Monte Terminillo (2200mt)
Day 5 | START: Leonessa | END: Marina di San Vito | LENGTH: 250km | Difficulty: Easy | Offroad %: 35
Abruzzo: wild plateaus and beautiful seas. Leaving Leonessa, we take the first 15 km off-road heading south east and then return to the winding road SR471 to Posta: a small town on the Velino river. We continue to drive on busy little roads and through small villages characteristic of this area of Italy and after Bivio Pizzoli, the stretch of off-road with 12 hairpin bends takes us to a plateau at 1200 meters above sea level within the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park (it is forbidden to leave the streets).
The descent from Monte Stabiata leads us to cross Paganica, where it is still possible to see the signs left by the strong earthquake that struck this region in 2006. Passing Colle Biffone, after Pescomaggiore, we arrive in the picturesque Santo Stefano di Sessanio and immediately before we see the Rocca Calsascio, which we will soon touch along the next stretch in the outskirts of Calascio village. The last 120km of the stage are an overdose of curves. After passing the Lanciano Pass (1500mt) we cross the Maiella Natural Park and arrive in the Lanciano valley that leads us to the Abruzzese sea, destination of our journey on the scenic Costa dei Trabocchi.
Day 6 | Rest Day
Having completed the 5 stages of ACT Italy today is designed as a well-deserved rest day on the shores of the Adriatic and what better place to spend it. Of course, there is an option to ride out locally… One such ride-out could be on the infamous Pescara Formula 1 Circuit. From 1927, the city of Pescara, a popular beach resort on the Adriatic Sea, provided an attractive backdrop to what was considered to be one of the most dangerous road races of them all, the Pescara Circuit. Races of various kinds continued to be held on this roughly triangular circuit until 1961, when it was retired from motor racing. Today you can still follow the twists and turns of the route and enjoy the scenery. The route takes you out of Pescara and up into the surrounding hills, through farmland and rural villages, before dropping back down to the coast. At 25.75km per lap, it is the longest Formula 1 circuit ever put to use. The fastest lap ever recorded was by Stirling Moss who completed the lap in 9 minutes 44.6 seconds in 1957. Enzo Ferrari would not let any members of his race team enter the race because he was so concerned for their safety.
Day 7 | Marina di San Vito to Gradara
Back on the road we head north for the first time since leaving Bologna. There are a few route options on offer today with cross country and coastal options as we make our way north along the Adriatic to our destination at Gradara. We also have an option to visit The Doctors/Rossi’s home town of Tavullia. Gradara is one of the best medieval villages of Italy and is located along the border of Le Marche and Emilia Romagna. It is a popular destination for day-trippers and offers some interesting historical attractions, including the imposing fortress, known to be one of the best-preserved monuments. You can catch some breath-taking views of this village, that has a castle perched up on the hill and overlooking the waters of the Adriatic Sea. Just on the opposite side, you can view olive groves and farms along with fields and vineyards that catch your attention. The whole village evokes a feeling of calm and tranquillity with rows of cypress trees and farm cottages neatly lined up along the hillside.
Day 8 | Granarola to Bologna
Short and long routes on offer today allowing a visit to San Marino or alternatively some excellent road biking north of Florence on the infamous SR65 close to the Mugello circuit – a route often used by test riders from Ducati and very popular with local bikers. We also can ride some of the route from Day 1 in reverse as we make our way back to Bologna. With flight schedules having changed many tour participants are opting to stay in Bologna for the last night which allows time to soak up this beautiful city or visit the Ducati Museum before flying home.
Why visit Bologna?
It might not have the canals of Venice, the quaint cliffside villages of the Cinque Terre, nor the ancient ruins of Rome, but that certainly hasn’t held Bologna back from being one of Italy’s most unique, beautiful, and underrated cities. Often overlooked in favour of Italy’s other tourism heavy hitters, Bologna, capital of the northern Emilia Romagna region, is where some of the country’s best food, architecture, and people can be found. In fact, Bologna’s nicknames sum it up beautifully: La Dotta, or the learned, for its university – Europe’s oldest – and the educated that flock there. La rossa, the red, for its beautiful UNESCO-protected terracotta-hued medieval buildings and porticoes, and progressive left-leaning society. La Grassa (the fat), a nod to its richly delicious standing as Italy’s gastronomic capital. What’s more, the city remains almost undiscovered by the foreign tourists that flock elsewhere in Italy, which makes for a beautifully authentic, immersive local experience as you wander the streets shoulder to shoulder with locals, not flag-waving tour groups.
Return transport of your motorcycle from our base in Gorey, Co. Wexford.
B&B accommodation in quality accommodation.
Detailed route maps / itinerary etc. allowing some self-guiding if preferred.
Return ferry to/from Corsica
Any travel costs to get to the start and from the finish point for the tour.
Personal travel, accident and medical insurance (covering matters such as medical expenses, repatriation, cancellation, curtailment, loss or damage to property)
Motorcycle insurance cover, motorcycle breakdown cover or recovery costs
Entrance fees to sights and parks, optional local excursions or local activities, (except where stated)
Lunches or snacks (except where stated). Any meals whilst on board ferries. Evening meals on rest/optional ride out days.
Personal spending money, tips, souvenirs or other extras.
Personal documentation (eg visas, passport), vaccinations, personal taxes, border crossing fees, motorcycle documentation
Costs of motorcycle repair (parts, labour or other related costs), tyres
Fuel, oil & other motorcycle consumables
Toll road fees, traffic fines or other charges relating to breach of the law
Any other item not specifically included in the price.
As with all our guided tours we carefully select very good standard 3 or 4* hotels. Over the years we have built up a vast selection of tried and tested hotels around the world and we select hotels for their character and service rather than just on their star rating. Hotel standards vary all over the world and a 4* in Africa or South America is not always the same as in Europe. In some more remote locations, we may use equivalent 3* hotels or the best available in the area, which could be a more family run establishment, with local character.
Background Info – Adventure Country Tracks (ACT) takes the classic Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR) concept of a border-to-border route and so follows a north-south path down the east side of Portugal – only it doesn’t run arrow straight, instead curving east and west as it picks out places of interest or tags onto trails of exceptional interest or beauty. It is inspired in the Backcountry Discovery Routes successfully implemented by Touratech USA in the past. The goal of ACT is to guide adventure motorcyclists to routes that are legal to ride and are environmentally and socially compatible and to create a mutually beneficial relationship between adventure motorcyclists and the rural communities and businesses of Europe. This is what adventure motorcycles were created for.
2016 saw the launch of Adventure Country Tracks and the first track in Portugal. The ACT concept has been a huge hit and become very popular. Our first ACT Portugal Tour was completed in May 2016. In succession to Portugal; the Greek ACT was released in the Autumn of 2017 followed by Romania and most recently; Italy (as the fourth in the ACT series) in late 2019. We had the pleasure of being involved in the scouting and filming of ACT Italy in September 2019 and the net result is it opened our eyes to the fantastic off-road/trail-riding this country offers. We are confident the Italian ACT will prove very popular with adventure motorcyclists.
WARNING: The Italian ACT is an adventure tour of medium difficulty. While it may be considered the easiest track in the ACT series and least prone to weather influences, we strongly advise off road training and recent experience in advance of the trip.As we’ll be crossing the most remotes tracks of the Italian back-country, it’s important to pay attention to every detail and to be prepared for all the possible situations!
What riding gear: We suggest bringing full summer type/ventilated protective motorcycle riding gear with removal inner/outer waterproof layer. Average temp SHOULD be in the low to mid-twenties. This region in Italy can also be subject to some heavy downpours. Off road type body protection is highly recommend including good torso, back, hip, knee and ankle protection. We would also suggest hydration backpacks. Travel Light!
Bike Preparation: As the route involves off road sections we highly recommend the following. Please call us for further info:
Suitable adventure style motorcycle
Off road biased tyres
Sufficient engine, radiator, fairing and sump protection.
Pre-trip we provide you with Tour Specific Information that gives you detailed information about how to prepare and plan your tour, and what to expect when on tour. These are a few FAQ that many people have. If you have any further queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.
What bike is suitable to bring? Generally speaking we recommend adventure or touring style motorcycles as the most suitable. However, sports, sport-touring and cruiser motorcycles may also be suitable subject to you being comfortable riding it for the distance and duration of the tour and that it has been properly prepared and adequately serviced with good tyres.
What riding experience do I need? Generally speaking we recommend all participants to be experienced tourers in Europe and/or beyond. Obviously, some destinations are easier than others, as classified by our difficulty ratings, and should you have concerns please do not hesitate to contact us. It is your responsibility to ensure your motorcycling skills are up to the requirements for this tour. Obviously advanced riding skills increase enjoyment factor and reduce risk.
Do I have to ride in a group? No! We do not make you ride in convoy and we offer you the freedom to decide how you would like to ride. However, we find most people prefer to ride with the group without the need to navigate. We use either the ‘drop off’ or ‘buddy’ systems when group riding (depending on country and complexity of navigation); these are tried and tested systems of group riding and allow riders to ride at their own pace. Full details are provided at pre-trip briefings. Daily departure times are set every evening for the following morning depending on the days route and points of interest. If you prefer to ride on your own, we provide you with a map and route cards with recommendations for lunch or coffee stops and hotel information. We offer a very flexible approach with an emphasis on maximum enjoyment.
Is this ride suitable for a passenger? Yes. Pillion passengers should be experienced tourers / travellers.
What is the average group size? Our groups are normally between 8 – 14 riders (some riders will have passengers). Most riders are from the Ireland, but we do also have overseas riders who may take part.
What documents do I need? You will need your original documents as follows:
Passport and Driving Licence. Passengers only need their passport. As a general rule, passports should be valid for at least 6 months after the end of the tour; however, this may be shorter in some European countries.
If you are bringing your own motorcycle, you will also need your motorcycle registration document (RF101 / log book) and your motorcycle insurance.
In addition, you must have valid travel/medical insurance.
Visas as required Please ensure that you are fully aware of all passport and visa requirements and that you allow adequate time to obtain them.
What will the weather be like?
Depending on season / time of year we will advise expected weather conditions in the pre-trip information and also suggest the most suitable gear based on our experience. It is imperative that tour participants have suitably adequate gear. Please note our tour calendar is carefully planned taking into account the most suitable seasons / local weather for the destination. However, as much as we would like, we cannot always guarantee the best weather. Particularly considering the un-predictable climates the world has been experiencing.
What about my health when I am abroad? You need to be physically fit and healthy and also take the necessary health precautions. It is essential for you to consult your doctor or travel clinic for up-to-date medical travel information prior of travel, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Please ensure that you are fully aware of all official travel advice, local customs, current affairs, travel requirements and medical/travel advice. Please check with your GP regarding recommended inoculations.
Do I need Travel / Medical Insurance? It is a condition of you travelling with us that you are adequately insured. Your insurance policy must cover you for the costs of any medical expenses, medical treatment or repatriation needed, due to injury or illness on this trip, including those that occur whilst motorcycle touring, either as the rider or a passenger. It is important that your insurance company understands that the main purpose of your trip is motorcycle touring, using your own large capacity cc motorcycle or a rental motorcycle. Your insurance must cover you for the full duration of the trip and for all countries we travel through.
In addition, we strongly recommend that your insurance policy has cover for loss or damage to your personal belongings, delay at your outward or homeward point of departure, personal liability, overseas legal expenses and cancellation and curtailment. We do not refund your deposit simply because you failed to take out insurance in sufficient time. Some travel insurance policies do not cover motorcycle travel over a certain cc or for a prolonged duration.
Minimum Numbers We require a minimum number of 8 riders on this tour. If we do not have this number of bookings, then we reserve the right to cancel the tour.
Overlanders may accept a booking online, via telephone or by email. To confirm a booking a deposit is required – once the deposit is received the booking is confirmed.
Payments & Fees:
A deposit is required at time of booking.
Guided tours – 50% required at least 60 days prior to the shipment / travel date.
All payments must be made in full at least 30 days prior to the shipment / travel date.
Please note that all payments and deposits are non refundable nor transferrable if cancellation accrues within one month before the shipment / tour date.
Where possible we will try to accommodate any amendments you wish to make.
In the event of curtailment no refunds shall be made.
Refunds may be processed via the original method of payment, except for cash transactions where refunds will be provided by cheque.
Preparation for Shipping (if applicable)
All rider/pillion gear including boots and helmets should be packed into a kit/sports bag and labelled with the owners name, bike make/model and registration. One kit bag permitted per person.
Please note loose items or items tied onto the motorcycle will not be transported.
Bin liners, rubbish bags, cardboard boxes etc are not acceptable.
Motorcycles should be in a clean and presentable condition both for outbound and return shipments. If your motorcycle is considerably dirty post trip please wash it before returning it.
All Luggage (hard and soft panniers) should be left unlocked and removable from the motorcycle if necessary for transport purposes.
Alarms should be switched off or in “Ferry” mode for transport purposes.
Fuel level should be kept relatively low. All our depots are within a few km of fuel stations.
Keys for both the motorcycle and luggage should be left with the motorcycle.
At handover we will require a signed customs declaration form and a photocopy of the registration document / log book stapled together. Customs declaration from will be emailed pre-shipment. These should only be handed over in hard copy at time of delivery.
Do not email copies in advance.
We will not accept original copies of registration documents/log books.