Cycling Italy's Culinary Delights Plus! the Farm

Cycling Italy's Culinary Delights Plus! the Farm

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.***

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Sep 3-13, 2018
USD$4850
USD$650
Guaranteed to Go!
May 27-Jun 6, 2019
TBA
TBA
 Itinerary Changes Coming for 2019
Jun 17-27, 2019
TBA
TBA
 Itinerary Changes Coming for 2019
Sep 2-12, 2019
TBA
TBA
 Itinerary Changes Coming for 2019

* 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 11 Days
  • Avg. Distance / 56 km (34 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty / 101
  • Countries / Italy
  • Price / From USD$4850
More Photos
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Daily Ride Summary

Distance

1 No cycling today.
2 36 mi / 57 km
3 36 mi / 58 km
4 28 mi / 45 km
5 40 mi / 64 km
6 31 mi / 50 km
7 41 mi / 65 km
8 No cycling today.
9 31 mi / 50 km
10 31 mi / 50 km
11 No cycling today.
  • 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

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Countries
    Italy
  • Begin/End
    Cremona / Faenza
  • Arrive / Depart
    Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ)
  • Total Distance
    446 km (275 miles)
  • Avg. Distance
    56 km (34 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty
    101
    Perfect for cyclists who prefer non-hilly terrain. Bicycle paths allow us to enter and exit towns easily.
  • Terms
Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Welcome to Cremona

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 a workshop 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 white) 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.

DAY 2: Royal Court of Sabbioneta

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!

  • Distance: 36 mi / 57 km
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:
    • Albergo Giulia Gonzaga

DAY 3: Bike to Parma

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.

  • Distance: 36 mi / 58 km
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Loop ride into hills to the castle of Torrechiara

Highlights: Rest day in Parma: loop ride into the Parma hills to the castle of Torrechiara and a 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 places to try for dinner.

  • Distance: 28 mi / 45 km
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Ride to Reggio nell'Emilia countryside

Highlights: Prosciutto di Parma making, stay in an agriturismo

Another day full of events today, we'll stop at a salumificio to see how they make Prosciutto di Parma before heading to Reggio Emilia at about lunch time. We'll continue on our way along back roads and bike paths to reach our agriturismo , a country house hotel with a working farm, where we'll stay tonight. Dinner is together at the agriturismo.

DAY 6: Ride to Modena

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 on our way out of the Agriturismo. A guided tour by the proud Consorzio will explain the intricacies of this poignant but delicate cheese. 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.

DAY 7: Bicycle to Bologna

Highlights: Guided tour of Bologna

We leave Modena with its Duomo and the Ghirlandaia tower along a rails to trails bikepath will lead us to the fortress town of Bazzano, a great spot for a morning snack before enjoying great views along the hills on our way to Bologna, our destination for tonight. We'll complete the day with a guided visit of this great city before dinner together.

DAY 8: Rest day in Bologna

Highlights: The world Heritage Porticoes of Bologna, cooking demonstration.

Rest day in Bologna, Emilia Romagna's administrative capital, and, arguably, its culinary capital too. 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 demonstration to learn a few secrets from local artisans. A stroll through the historic center and its porticoes completes a perfect afternoon.

DAY 9: Bologna to Castel S.Pietro and shuttle to Faenza

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.

  • Distance: 31 mi / 50 km
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Lodging:

DAY 10: Loop ride to Brisighella

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

Our ride today takes us through the medieval village of Brisighella also famous for the production of extra virgin olive oil. We finish our ride with a stop at ExperiencePlus! headquarters in the middle of a plum and peach orchard and vineyards for a late lunch. Once back in Faenza, you'll have time to visit the sites you missed yesterday including one of our favorite ceramic studios.

  • Distance: 31 mi / 50 km
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 11: Tour ends in Faenza

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
Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • I have described this tour to frinds as "trip of a lifetime."

    Michael K,, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • 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
  • Excellent bicycle and vacation experience.

    Sandy Z., Berkeley, CA
  • 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
  • Pasta making was a great. The picnic at the balsamic vinegar maker was wonderful. Biking with Italians on the road was priceless.

    Susan A., Colorado Springs, CO
  • Outstanding chance to enjoy the culinary delights of Italy! Our third trip with ExperiencePlus! tour we loved it and will be back!

    Dennis D., Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Great guides, incredible food, fun learning and relatively easy cycling. We have cycled with several companies and not one of them compare to Experience Plus, your guides and...those chalk arrows can''t be beat!

    Kathy S., Elk Rapids, MI - June 2017
  • Great trip. Leaders were fantastic. Enjoyed first trip to the ExperiencePlus! "farm".

    Dave A., Black Forest, CO
  • 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 trip of a lifetime. I''ve been recommending it to all my friends. What was your favorite experience on this trip? So many. I loved the concert at the Teatro in Parma; our dinner in Cremona, and Gelato University. I have to say, though, that my favorite experiences were the insider tours on Parmesan; prosciutto and balsamic vinegar. It was like being on the Food Network.

    Gloria K., Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Best experience of my life. Can''t wait to plan another one with Experience Plus! Thank you for an awesome experience!

    Karen B., Brooklyn, NY - June 2017
  • Fabulous. What was your favorite experience on this trip? everything. More than riding from hotel to hotel, with lunch and coffee stops.

    Jeanne E., Centerville, OH - June 2017
  • The tour was such an incredible experience for us. We enjoyed meeting the other tour members and our guides. We had alot of laughs together, as well as serious discussions. I can''t wait to do another tour! Cycling in this manner is definitely the way to see a country.

    Lynda P., Pisgah Forest, NC
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