The Trail degli Etruschi is an itinerary that retraces the areas in which this mysterious population has left architectural features, on the conformation of the territory and on the culture of the lughi. We will travel along famous white roads such as the Cassia Antica, built by the Romans two thousand years ago, forgotten roads and beautiful cycle paths such as the one entering Rome. Finally, we will arrive at the Vatican, one of the most famous places in the Eternal City.
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The Etruscans (Etruscan: 𐌀𐌍𐌍𐌄𐌔𐌀𐌓 ràsenna, 𐌀𐌍𐌔𐌀𐌓 rasna, or 𐌀𐌍𐌑𐌀𐌓 raśna) lived between the 9th century B.C. and the 1st century BC in the area called Etruria and roughly corresponding to Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, with some offshoots also in Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Veneto, Corsica, and Campania. The Etruscans were organized in city-states belonging to a federation of 12 peoples settled in twelve cities called lucomonie: Caisra (Cerveteri), Clevsi (Chiusi), Tarchuna (Tarquinia), Vei (Veio), Velch (Vulci), Vetluna (Vetulonia ), Pupluna (Populonia), Velathri (Volterra), Velzna (Volsinii), Curtun (Cortona), Perusna (Perugia), Aritim (Arezzo). Flourishing economy and a very efficient military system made this people very rich and dedicated to noble arts such as goldsmithing. The cultural assimilation begun by the Romans in 396 BC ended in 27 BC. with the total disappearance of the Etruscan people, inextricably linked to the Roman one. The Via degli Etrischi by bicycle is a cycling itinerary that goes from Arezzo, one of the most important lucomonies to Rome, the city “guilty” of the disappearance of this people.
The itinerary of the Trail degli Etruschi is not particularly demanding and does not include technical sections, however you need to be moderately prepared because of the elevations which can be a bit demanding. Most of the roads that you travel on are with a compact white surface or with asphalt but for short stretches you can come across a more dirt surface.
The climbs are never very demanding but for a few meters it is possible that you have to push the bicycle. Having a pedal assisted bike makes everything easier even if it is necessary to plan well the stops to recharge the battery. In principle, anyone can travel the Via degli Etruschi with a gravel, mountain or hybrid bike (trekking bike).
To tackle the Trail degli Etruschi by bike, specific athletic training is not necessary. Simply, if you are not particularly trained, you can increase the number of stages in order to reduce the distance covered each day. There are many parking possibilities and in every village it is possible to find accommodation facilities that accept bicycles. It is enough, therefore, to reorganize the trip according to one’s athletic and technical abilities. The baggage must be as short as possible in order to avoid having to carry excessive weight. The clothing must always be suitable for the season in which we leave but always “technical” so that it weighs less, warms up more and dries quickly.
WHICH ACCESSORIES ARE NEEDED?
For navigation it is advisable to use a special device such as Garmin or Wahoo but if you prefer the mobile phone, you can easily rely on the Komoot tracks published on this site. Obviously, these are just a suggestion and are not official tracks made by an association or a public institution. Simply, they are tracks that we have walked, that we have liked and that we would like others to walk. The bags can be of any type but the advice is always that they are watertight so as to prevent the contents from getting wet in case of rain. If they aren’t airtight, just put everything in plastic bags. Always carry a repair kit with you both for the tires and for the spare mechanical parts, along the itinerary you will come across several cycle shops but you never know.
WHEN TO LEAVE?
The Trail degli Etruschi can be walked on all year round but you need to keep an eye on the weather forecasts and the practicability notices from the authorities in charge, so as to avoid any unforeseen events.
The best way to get to Arezzo is to take the regional or intercity train which includes the transport of bicycles. In addition to the passenger ticket, in this case, it will also be necessary to pay an extra ticket which is around 3.5 euros one way but it is always better to check the updated rates. For updated fares and train timetables, consult the official Tranitalia website where it is also possible to book your seat and place for your bicycle.
On regional trains there are several slots for transporting bicycles and it is not possible to reserve your seat, so you get on the train and rely on luck. In the case of intercity trains, on the other hand, the bicycle racks are usually found in carriage number 3, therefore, it is better to book the seat first by first selecting the “choose seat” option and selecting carriage 3 as the reference carriage, in this way the bike will be “on sight” for the whole trip.
The itinerary of the Trail degli Etruschi by bicycle crosses very famous areas for cultural tourism and pilgrimages, therefore there are many accommodation facilities used to welcoming cyclists. Some also have cycle repair shops and parking spaces reserved for bicycles, in others you have to adapt a little. In any case, given that there are many accommodation facilities, there is never the risk of being without accommodation for the night. The advice, however, is to always book well in advance, especially during the summer.
Here too the argument made for housing is valid: there are no problems in finding food. If you prefer “do it yourself”, you will find many supermarkets or small shops where you can buy the food you prefer. In the cities or villages where you prefer to stop, you will also find many trattorias, taverns and restaurants where you can taste the typical local dishes at variable prices. In principle, in the most famous villages it is possible to find higher prices than in cities where there is more choice and therefore more competition. The best part of a bike trip, however, is to discover the local dishes and never give up on the first menu that is too expensive or uninteresting.
The Trail degli Etruschi is not a particularly demanding itinerary and we have decided to cover it in 3 stages but, of course, everyone can remodel the itinerary as they prefer. The traces of Komoot and the information contained in this page, in fact, are only a travel suggestion and not an official trace drawn up by an association or a public body. We suggest that you always check the weather and road safety reports before starting your journey.
This is the longest stage of the whole journey but it is also the one with the lowest overall altitude difference. The first part, that of the Sentiero della Bonifica, in fact, is very flat and has no uphill points. For the rest, the differences in height are always rather contained in a stage that is fun and relaxing at the same time.
The stage from Orvieto to Vetralla is moderately demanding from the point of view of the overall altitude difference but it is very short. However, in just 69 kilometres, you will pass through some incredibly fascinating and unforgettable places such as the view of Lake Bolsena in Montefiascone, crossing the Etruscan Tagliata immediately after Viterbo or the 2000 year old paving of the Cassia Antica.
The muscles are a little tired after two days of travel but the adrenaline is high as we get closer to the destination, the Vatican city in Rome. On the trail we meet some gems such as the towers of Orlando, we cross the hazelnut groves where the hazelnuts used to produce a famous hazelnut cream are produced and we cover the entire beautiful cycle path that leads straight to Rome, the Eternal City!