Caesar Bike Tour Overview
Join us on a ride of historical proportions, as we ride in the footsteps of Caesar, from London to Rome.
Split into 2 stages the Caesar tour traverses four countries as we meander our way on a historical, gastronomic and cultural journey across the ages. Crossing waterways, rolling over vine clad hills and taking on mountain passes in the Alps and the Dolomites we head towards the Rubicon and beyond. Our final destination is the Eternal city of Rome.
Starting in London we first head to the white cliffs of Dover before traversing the channel (by boat, not bike – it isn’t that epic!) into France. Our route through France takes us via the roads made famous by the Classics, down through the Champagne region and into the gastronomic heartland of Burgundy. From here we ride into Switzerland and then over into Italy.
Our route through Italy takes us first to Como before heading up towards the stunning limestone peaks of the Dolomites. From here we experience a bit of respite as we descend down to Venice and along the Adriatic coast. After crossing the mythical Rubicon, which marked the boundary between Roman controlled Italy and Cisalpine Gaul, we once again head inland through Tuscany and then more rugged regions of Abruzzo and Molise, before heading due east to our final destination – Rome.
Caesar Bike Tour Highlights
The Itinerary for the Caesar Expedition is split into 2 stages. Riders may participate in either or both of the stages. If you’d like to take on the entire Caesar challenge choose to Hail Caesar!
Stage 1 – London to Como
Stage 2 – Como to Rome
Caesar Bike Tour Dates 2019
|Stage||Start Date||End Date||Days||Distance||Cost (Euros)|
|Caesar Stage 1 – London to Como||TBC||TBC||17 (16 nights)||1752 km / 1095 miles||€6,640|
|Caesar Stage 2 – Como to Rome||TBC||TBC||17 (16 nights)||1488 km / 930 miles||€6,640|
|Hail Caesar – London to Rome||TBC||TBC||33 (32 nights)||3240 km / 2025 miles||€12,800|
Caesar Bike Tour Food
Stage 1 -London to Como
Stage 2 – Como to Rome
Caesar Bike Tour Accommodation
Below are some of the hotels which we stay at during the tour. We have carefully selected these places based on their ‘personality’ and the hospitality of our hosts. If you wish to see the full accommodation list please click here to get in touch and we will be happy to email it to you.
Hotel La Gentilhommiere, Artres -A great boutique hotel tonight in this lovely village. This 18th-century farmhouse makes for a great first stop in France.
Chateau Fort Sedan – the biggest castle in Europe is our host tonight. This impressive structure was built in the early 15th century in the beautiful Ardennes region of France. It dominates the town and once dominated the whole region.
Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Silandro – A modern luxury hotel in the heart of Schlanders region. This extremely comfortable hotel is perfect for our aching muscles with its Spas and pool facilities after climbing our biggest test the Passo dello Stelvio!
Hotel della Fortezza, Sorano. This fantastic and classy hotel is set in a historical 11th-century military fortress. It sits high above the beautiful town of Sorano but it is worth the cycle up!
Hotel Donna Camilla Savelli, Rome – Set in a converted 17th-century convent in the Trastevere district the Donna Camilla is fantastic place to spend our last night together.
Our Expedition Tour reading lists are aimed at being accessible to everyone – all the books are historical but there is fiction, primary authors and serious historians so take your pick! As always if you want any more information or more recommendations please contact us
Start here, with the greatest memoir in ancient history. Caesar’s own words.
Julius Caesar Caesar – A Conquest of Gaul
A brilliant, readable tale of the politics and lives of early Rome.
Christian Meier Caesar: A Biography
Widely regarded as the most significant historian of his era, writing sharp and succinct accounts of the greatest politicians and statesman of the classical period.
Plutarch The Fall of the Roman Republic: Six Lives
An entertaining, fast moving and gripping read
Tom Holland Rubicon The Last Years of the Roman Republic
Shakespeare’s shortest play but a true classic
William Shakespeare Julius Caesar
Entertaining, sometimes crude buy historically accurate and always fun. Definitely worth a listen if you want another way to get your history!
Cameron Reily and Ray Harris Life of Caesar Podcast
Caesar Bike Tour History
“I had rather be first in a village than second at Rome. “
– Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar was born in Rome on 12 or 13 July 100 BCE into the prestigious Julian clan. His family were closely connected with the Marian faction in Roman politics. Caesar himself progressed within the Roman political system, becoming in succession quaestor (69), aedile (65) and praetor (62). In 61-60 BCE he served as governor of the Roman province of Spain. Back in Rome in 60, Caesar made a pact with Pompey and Crassus, who helped him to get elected as consul for 59 BCE. The following year he was appointed governor of Roman Gaul where he stayed for eight years, adding the whole of modern France and Belgium to the Roman empire, and making Rome safe from the possibility of Gallic invasions. He made two expeditions to Britain, in 55 BCE and 54 BCE.
Caesar then returned to Italy, disregarding the authority of the senate and famously crossing the Rubicon river without disbanding his army. In the ensuing civil war Caesar defeated the republican forces. Pompey, their leader, fled to Egypt where he was assassinated. Caesar followed him and became romantically involved with the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra.
Caesar was now master of Rome and made himself consul and dictator. He used his power to carry out much-needed reform, relieving debt, enlarging the senate, building the Forum Iulium and revising the calendar.
Dictatorship was always regarded a temporary position but in 44 BCE, Caesar took it for life. His success and ambition alienated strongly republican senators. A group of these, led by Cassius and Brutus, assassinated Caesar on the Ides (15) of March 44 BCE. This sparked the final round of civil wars that ended the Republic and brought about the elevation of Caesar’s great nephew and designated heir, Octavian, as Augustus, the first emperor.
Caesar is considered by many historians to be the foremost figure in Western civilisation. Our journey with him begins at the furthest northern point he reached in 54BCE as the first Roman invader of Britain, and ends in Rome, the city he eventually ruled as dictator and was assassinated in 10 years later.
Caesar ‘s two most famous political and military campaigns are the Gallic and Civil Wars. One reason for their fame, or infamy, is he wrote an excellent factual (most of the time!) account of both of these events. The other reason is they literally changed the course of history.
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged from 58 BC to 50 BC culminating in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory against overwhelming odds (at the very minimum 2 to 1), resulted in the expansion of the Roman Republic over the whole of Gaul (mainly present day France, Belgium and some of Switzerland). While militarily just as strong as the Romans, the internal division of the Gallic tribes allowed Caesar’s tactical nouse to reign supreme. Even a last ditch attempt by Vercingetorix to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion was too little too late. Although Caesar portrayed this invasion as being a pre-emptive and defensive action, most historians agree that the wars were fought primarily to boost Caesar’s political career and to pay off his massive debts. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, as they had been attacked several times by native tribes both indigenous to Gaul and farther to the north. Conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine and the oceans, although Caesar did cross the channel and defeat an indigenous army in his dual invasions of Britain. This conquest has been seen as both a series of military successes by a tactical genius as well as a horrific devastation and slaughter of local populations for personal gain.
The Great Roman Civil War (49–45 BCE), also known as Caesar’s Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire. It began as a series of political and military confrontations, between Caesar and his political supporters (broadly known as Populares), against the Optimates, supported by Pompey ‘the Great’ and his legions. Caesar eventually defeated the last of the Optimates in the Battle of Munda and became Dictator of Rome. This conflict ranged from Italy, Albania, Greece, Egypt, Africa, and Spain, but its first big step was that of Caesar over the Rubicon river as he headed south to Rome with his legions behind him. We will also take this fateful road.
The changes to Roman government concomitant to the war virtually eliminated the 500 year old political traditions of the Roman Republic and led to the foundation of the Roman Empire.
The Stages at-a-glance
London to Como
Length: 17 Days / 16 Nights
Distance: 1752 km | 1095 miles
Elevation: 17,152m | 56,273ft
Como to Rome
Length: 17 Days / 16 Nights
Distance: 1488 km / 930 miles
Elevation: 21,773m | 71,434ft
London to Rome
Length: 33 Days / 32 Nights
Distance: 3240 km / 2025 miles
Elevation: 38,925m | 127,707ft