Bordered by France to the west and Switzerland to the north, Italy's Piemonte region offers an assortment of splendid scenery and fascinating history. Here, among fertile valleys of the Po River, the Kings of Savoy built castles and fortified cities to protect wine merchants from marauding pirates, and Count Camillo Cavour first introduced the idea of a unified Italian state. An ideal destination for cyclists, the Cycling the Piemonte tour combines the best of Italian and French cuisine and wine with scenic pedaling through rolling hills dotted with vineyards and castles.
***Extend this bicycle trip 3 more days. Click here to review our Cycling the Piemonte Plus! Lago Maggiore tour details page.***View Day-by-Day ItineraryHide Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Saluzzo, Italy
Highlights: Saluzzo, Alps views, welcome dinner
Gather today in Saluzzo, just west of Turin. We'll fit bicycles this afternoon, then you're free to explore town or to take a warm-up ride. This evening, we'll celebrate with a traditional Piedmontese dinner together.
Distance: 12 km (7 miles). Meals: D
Lodging: Antico Podere Propano
Day 2: Loop ride in the Alps
Highlights: Alpine climb, Monviso mountain, Abbey of Staffarda
Majestic Monviso mountain rises above the Po River on the border between France and Italy. Our route takes us to the base of the mountain today; those who want can climb it to Crissolo or as high up as the Po River spring-a 6,000 foot climb into the Alps! Others can enjoy an easier loop ride along the Po and on to the Abbey of Staffarda. Whichever you choose, we'll be back in Saluzzo late afternoon for a stroll through town.
Distance: your choice, 58-82 km (36-51 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Antico Podere Propano
Day 3: Bicycle through Roero region
Highlights: Riding in Roero region, vineyards, Racconigi palace, wine tasting, Slow Food University
Heading east across the Po River valley today, you'll enjoy a ride through pasture lands, corn fields, and poplar groves. Along the way, we'll stop in Racconigi, where the Savoy royal family had their summer home and castle. The castle, now owned by the state, is beautifully preserved and dates to the 17th Century. Visit the castle on your own if you would like before continuing on through the Roero region to Pollenzo, a small village along the banks of the Tanaro river. Pollenzo has become the center of the world's first University of Gastronomic Sciences. Associated with Italy's well known "Slow Food" movement, both the University and the village of Pollenzo have become centers of innovation for international cuisine. Dinner together after a wine tasting.
Distance: 77 km (48 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel la Corte Albertina
Day 4: Loop ride to Barolo
Highlights: Bicycle through vineyards, hilltop towns, Barolo
A loop ride today takes us through the vineyards of Le Langhe and the famous hills of the nebbiolo grape. Along our route you'll pass through the stunning landscape of La Morra, as well as vineyards around Barolo, Monforte d'Alba and Verduno. The town of Barolo gives its name to the famous wine and has an interesting ethnographic and wine museum to visit.
Distance: 55 km (34 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Hotel la Corte Albertina
Day 5: Bicycle to Asti
Highlights: Alba, bicycle along rolling hills, Asti
Today we'll pass through the vineyards that produce most of the other famous Piedmont wines, including Barbera d'Asti, Dolcetto d'Alba, Nebbiolo d'Alba, Barbaresco, and Asti Spumante. We'll also stop in Alba, the Piedmont's truffle hunting capital.
Distance: 68 km (43 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Aleramo
Day 6: Asti
Highlights: Optional loop ride into surrounding hills, visit medieval Asti
Sleep in this morning, as we'll be in Asti again tonight. Those wanting time off the bikes can spend the day strolling through Asti's medieval streets and have lunch at one of the local cafes, while others can take a ride into the Monferrato hills. Rolling hills and small villages mark today's ride.
Distance: 38-61 km (24-38 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Hotel Aleramo
Day 7: Asti to Casale Monferrato
Highlights: Small country roads, fortified town of Casale Monferrato
We head north today. Along the way we'll point out the Santuario di Crea, an important church for many Italian pilgrims, before reaching Casale Monferrato, once the most fortified towns in northwest Italy. Rich in Medieval and Renaissance architecture, Casale was an important fortress guarding the Po and the eastern border of the French kings of Savoy. Join the locals for a popular stroll through town before we have our final dinner together this evening.
Distance: 64 km (41 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Candiani
Day 8: Tour ends in Casale Monferrato
We say goodbye after breakfast this morning. Milano is just two hours away by train and the Lakes District is just a little farther. Or perhaps you are headed off to Florence or Venice to explore Renaissance Italy a little. Whatever the case, thanks for joining us and "buon viaggio!"
***Extend this bicycle trip 3 more days. Click here to review our Cycling the Piemonte Plus! Lago Maggiore tour details page.***
HighlightsPiedmont vineyards & wine tasting, gourmet regional cuisine, the Langhe region, two nights in Pollenzo, center of the "Slow Food" movement, multiple two night stays
IncludesUse of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 8 days, 7 nights accommodation, 4 dinners with wine, wine tasting, all breakfasts plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
Arrive/DepartMilan Malpensa Airport (MXP) or Turin Caselle Airport (TRN)
Total Distance372 - 419 km (230 - 259 miles)
Daily Distance53 - 60 km (33 - 37 miles)
Rating201-301 Gentle terrain the first 3 days with an optional challenging climb. Other days include more hills but none longer than 3 miles. Two optional rest days.
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Single Supplement Notes Jun 10-17, 2015 $3525 $550 4 More to Guarantee the Departure Book it Sep 2-9, 2015 $3525 $550 Just 1 Remains Book it
* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
A Passion for Piedmont by Matt Kramer
The culture, the history, the food, and, above all, the wine bear French influence from centuries of contact with French culture.
Book Review: A Passion for Piedmont
Rick found wine critic Matt Kramer's foray into food writing informative and enjoyable
Cycling and Eating through Italy's Piedmont
ExperiencePlus! owner, Monica Malpezzi Price, explains why the Piedmont region of Italy is one of her favorite places to lead tours.
Italy Trip Planner
Read up on country customs, transportation information, culinary specialites, and more!
We've traveled enough and loaded enough luggage to have some useful suggestions to help you pack.
Per la Cena or What's for Dinner?
Bea Tassinari coordinates meals for our tours in Italy and shares her secrets for ordering a great meal.
ExperiencePlus! has contracted with national fitness expert Joe Friel to create customized, day by day, training programs to ensure you are ready for your biking tour.
- Rick's suggestions for cycling maps of Italy
- Shopping Tips
The Artist, the Philosopher & the Warrior
ExperiencePlus! traveler Bill Giovinazzo reviews the latest book from Paul Strathren.
Understanding the Italian Landscape
Rick's essay on Hannibal's effect on the history of Emilia Romagna.
We Are ExperiencePlus! Meet your Tour Leaders
We'd like to introduce you to your tour leaders. We believe we have the best bicycle tour leaders out there, click through to see a slideshow about them.
What to do with 36 hours in Turin, Italy
We're often asked how to make the most of a brief opportunity to see Europe's cities. Here is our answer for a little known "hot spot:" Turin (Torino to Italians), base for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
Authentic Italian Food
Lonely Planet writes about expectations on meals in Italy: it may be different than you make at home, but you will be impressed nevertheless!
Pasta for Dinner
A simple and tasty pasta for an Italian-themed meal as you plan your trip to ride bikes in Italy.
Traditional Italian Food Fallacies
An article from The Travel Belles blog covering interesting aspects of Italian culture and food traditions
- A Passion for Piedmont by Matt Kramer
Challenging, fun, great wine, good food, fabulous tour leaders. Wonderful scenery! I loved the wine bank in Pollenzo and I loved Barolo, my favorite town. Also loved Casale Monferrato.Dona J., Fallbrook, CA
My favorite experience of the trip? The whole thing. Meeting the tour participants. Riding into the high Alps. Interacting with the locals. Eating the Gelato. Eating the group meals together. Seeing the "real" Italy. I've done two ExperiencePlus! trips and they were both two of the best vacations I've ever been on.Brian B., Cedar Rapids, ID
You and the team at Experience Plus made our trip memorable and we would definitely sign up again with you ... the trip was great. The amount of riding per day was perfect; routes wonderful and very low on traffic volumes which made it very enjoyable. Lodging was very comfortable, a cut above modest but not too fancy. Good locations within walking distance of other activities. The food definitely depicted the region ... The trip leaders were amazing, wonderful, friendly, knowledgeable and just fun to hang out with. And the tour group itself was an eclectic mix of very interesting and genuinely friendly folks. You draw good people in. I like the fact you are a family owned/operated company.Brenda G.
San Francisco, CA