Cycling Italy’s Culinary Delights Plus! the Farm

Visit historic parmesan cheese makers while on this guided bike tour of Emilia Romagna
  • Length 11 days
  • From USD$0
  • Style/Level Classic 1.5
  • Countries Italy
  • Begin/End Cremona / Faenza
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Selected as one of the Seven Best Food and Wine Adventure trips by away.com.

On this popular bicycle tour, you’ll ride through Italy’s premier pasta region. Every meal will include extraordinary local dishes made according to tradition. Every day of pedaling will not only take you on behind-the-scenes visits of parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, and wine makers, but also to ancient castles and world heritage UNESCO sites. Visit a vinery before heading to Faenza, where you can purchase some beautiful ceramics to display the culinary delights you’ll come to crave and dream about on this tour. History, art, culture, and tradition conspire to make this tour unforgettable!

***If this sounds great but you’d like a shorter tour check out our, Cycling Italy’s Culinary Delights tour, which shortens this itinerary by 3 days.***

Highlights

  • Cremona – home to torrone or Italian nougat, Balsamic vinegar cellar, Parma famous cured ham, Parmesan cheese, Bologna, Castle of Torrechiara, Modena, Faenza and its ceramics, Olive oil tasting, Visit to a violin workshop

Includes

  • 11 days, 10 nights accommodation

  • all breakfasts, 5 dinners, 5 lunches

  • cooking demonstration in Bologna

  • guided tours in Bologna and Sabbioneta

  • special culinary highlights and tastings listed in itinerary

  • All Classic tour inclusions

Keep in mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

  • We highly recommend you spend an additional day in Cremona before the beginning of the tour. It’s a true little gem to discover. For things to do, we recommend visiting the amazing Museo del Violino (note it is closed on Mondays). Read our article about Cremona here.
  • OSTERIA FRANCESCANA IN MODENA: This restaurant has been voted one of the world’s top 50 restaurants! If you’d like to enjoy an evening here on your free night (Day 6), you will need to make reservations online in advance: www.osteriafrancescana.it


Date Price Private room fee Note

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  • Total distance 446 km (275 miles)
  • Average daily distance 56 km (34 miles)
  • Tour style Classic
  • Tour level 1.5

Highlights: Cremona, home to creamy Italian nougat, handcrafted Stradivari violins, and an impressive plaza

Arrive in Cremona, home of the noble tradition of violin making. Visit the Museo del Violino to learn how Antonio Stradivarius raised violin-making to an art form and taste some torrone (the creamy nougat made from honey, nuts, and egg whites) in one of the several pasticcerie in town! We meet in the afternoon for our bike fitting at the hotel. After enjoying an aperitivo together, we celebrate the beginning of our culinary experience with a welcome dinner.

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Delle Arti Design Hotel

Highlights: Guided visit to the violin lab, Po River valley, Gonzaga summer residence of Sabbioneta, guided tour of Sabbioneta

Today we cycle along quaint bike paths along the Po River to the town of Sabbioneta, a UNESCO world heritage site. Sabbioneta was named the “Little Athens of the Gonzaga” after the local ruling family for its importance as an artistic center in the Renaissance. Inside the well-preserved walls, we will have a guided tour to see the architectural jewels of the town such as the Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo del Giardino, and Teatro Olimpico as a group. If you get the chance to try a slice of sbrisolona cake, an almond crumble cake of ancient origins, try some!

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Albergo Giulia Gonzaga

Highlights: Regal residence of Colorno, quiet country roads, Parma cured ham and Parmesan cheese, World Heritage Site of Parma

We head south to Parma today, one of the undisputed culinary capitals of Italy, through pleasant country roads where you can catch a glimpse of our local farm life. Our journey takes us to the ducal palace of Colorno. While it passed through the hands of many rulers, today, it houses the headquarters of ALMA, the International School of Italian Cuisine. We continue on to Parma, a city where your taste buds will not be disappointed. It is a city where the arts have flourished Parmigianino, Correggio, and Giuseppe Verdi are some of the most famous citizens. Take a stroll around the historical center before dinner together.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Button

Highlights: Parma hills, castle of Torrechiara, lunch with a view

Get ready for another day of bicycling amidst ancient castles and local traditions! Today’s ride will loop to the breath-taking castle of Torrechiara. Dominating the Val Parma, the castle was constructed between 1448 and 1460, devised as an instrument of defense as well as a distinguished home for the count and his lover. This area is famous for its cured prosciutto and local salame–we will have lunch in this historic setting to taste them! We return to Parma, where, if you are still hungry, our tour leaders will suggest restaurants for dinner.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging : Hotel Button

Highlights: Stay in an agriturismo

We’ll cycle to Montecchio today before heading to Reggio Emilia where you can grab lunch and explore this lovely village. Reggio Emilia was also known as the Tricolor town because it was here that the future Italian flag was first adopted in 1797. We’ll continue along back roads and bike paths to reach our agriturismo, a country house/hotel with a working farm, where we’ll stay tonight.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Agriturismo La Razza

Highlights: Parmesan cheese making, a balsamic vinegar visit in a historical vinegar cellar, World Heritage Site of historic Modena

We have an early start this morning to observe the artistry of a working Parmesan cheese maker. The proud Consorzio will explain the intricacies of this poignant but delicate cheese on our guided tour. Another culinary mystery is unveiled today as we stop at an acetaia, a traditional balsamic vinegar factory to learn how leftover grapes are transformed into the sweet rich vinegar that can sometimes be worth hundreds of dollars. Tradition is beautifully preserved here as the historic methods of production are still in use. A picnic lunch will follow the visit to the acetaia before continuing on to Modena. Don’t miss a visit to the historic center of town.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging : Phi Hotel Canalgrande

Highlights: Guided tour of Bologna

We leave Modena’s Duomo and the Ghirlandaia tower along a rails to trails bike path that leads to the fortress town of Bazzano, a perfect spot for a morning snack before enjoying stunning views of the hills along our route to Bologna. Later this afternoon we’ll have a guided visit of this great city.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Dei Commercianti

Highlights: The World Heritage Porticoes of Bologna, cooking class

Rest day in Bologna, Emilia Romagna’s administrative capital, and, arguably, its culinary capital as well. Home to the oldest continually operating university in the world, Bologna has a long tradition of studies, arts, and gastronomy. Speaking of gastronomy, Bologna gave birth to the mortadella, vulgarly distorted abroad as “bologna,” although the fresh, artisanal mortadella has nothing to do with processed meat! Make sure you put this culinary delight on your ‘must try’ list! Join us for a cooking class as we learn a few secrets from local artisans. A stroll through the historic center and its porticoes completes a perfect afternoon. If you’re still hungry, stroll over to Eataly, the worlds biggest “agri food park” and a tribute to farming and food diversity in Italy.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging : Hotel Dei Commercianti

Highlights: Lunch and visit at a winery, ceramic capital Faenza

We’ll leave bustling Bologna this morning and work our way to the foothills of the Appenines near Castel San Pietro Terme, where we visit a winery. We’ll learn about Sangiovese, Pignoletto, Albana and all the wines that represent the core production of Romagna hills. A delicious lunch together at the winery will stimulate all of our senses. We provide a shuttle to Faenza after lunch, our home for the next two nights. Enjoy a stroll in town, have an organic gelato, or visit the International Ceramic Museum in town.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging : Hotel Vittoria

Highlights: Bicycle to the medieval village of Brisighella, visit ExperiencePlus! headquarters at “The Farm”

puo’ partire dalla nostra sede ed arrivare a Brisighella con itinerario che conosciamo (Michele?) e dorme alla Rocca

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Vittoria

Highlights: Faenza

Our cycling tour ends in Faenza. Now with a refined palate, head out and explore more of Italy’s culinary delights, and take some recipes home to try in your own kitchen!

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.



Pre-trip planning checklist



  • Great, fun, easy, satisfying, full of interesting experiences, a great way to see the region and taste the cheeses, vinegars, wines, and olive oils, in context with great meals.

    Sharon S., Eugene, OR
  • The pre planning materials were really excellent (especially the what to pack and what to leave home). The meals and hotels were terrific, the whole trip was wonderful. Amazing trip, thanks SO much!

    Traci P., Denver, CO
  • The new hybrid bikes are fantastic! Happy to do another great trip with EexperiencePus! This one was about as perfect as it gets.

    Tom R., Lake Tahoe, CA