Cycling Italy's Culinary Delights

Cycling Italy's Culinary Delights

Selected as one of the Seven Best Food and Wine Adventure trips by away.com.

On this popular tour, you'll bicycle 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 behind-the-scenes visits of Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, and wine makers, but also to ancient castles and world heritage UNESCO sites. Here, history, art, culture, and tradition conspire to make this tour unforgettable!

***If this sounds great, but you'd like a longer tour check out our Cycling Italy's Culinary Delights Plus! the Farm tour, which adds 3 days to this itinerary.***

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Sep 3-10, 2018
USD$3995
USD$550
Guaranteed to Go!
May 27-Jun 3, 2019
TBA
TBA
 Itinerary Changes Coming for 2019
Jun 17-24, 2019
TBA
TBA
 Itinerary Changes Coming for 2019
Sep 2-9, 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 / 8 Days
  • Avg. Distance / 57 km (35 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty / 101
  • Countries / Italy
  • Price / From USD$3995
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  • 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.
  • Highlights
    Cremona - home to torrone or Italian nougat, Towns of Parma, Modena, and Bologna, Parma famous cured ham, Parmesan cheese, Castle Torrechiara, Violin workshop, Bologna
  • Includes
    8 days, 7 nights' accommodation; all breakfasts, 4 dinners, 3 lunches; cooking demonstration in Bologna; guided visit of Sabbioneta and Bologna; 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 / Bologna
  • Arrive / Depart
    Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ)
  • Total Distance
    345 km (213 miles)
  • Avg. Distance
    57 km (35 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty
    101
    Perfect for cyclists who prefer non-hilly terrain. Bicycle paths allows us to share the region with other non-car tourists.
  • 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: Bologna - Tour End

Highlights: Cooking school and lunch

We invite you to stick around this morning as we have a special cooking demonstration and lunch planned. After that we'll send you on your way to begin your own culinary explorations.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • It was a great experience. Everyone I''ve described it to wants to go, too.

    Steve L., Scottsdale, AZ
  • Excellent culinary adventure. What was your favorite experience on this trip? It is hard to choose - balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, sausage & ham, gelato, cooking class, Bologna.

    Jim W., Boulder, CO
  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? Great if you enjoy the outdoors, great food and wine, seeing the countryside while biking.

    Carol S., Salt Lake City, UT
  • Fantastic. The biking was as described, very easy, The food was absolutely delicious. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and fun. The group size was not too big. Beautiful and lots of fun.

    Elaine L., Ayer, MA
  • It was a hoot!!!!!

    Anne R., Glenbrook, NV
  • 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
  • Exceeded expectations. Loved every minute. We loved the chalk arrow system.

    Chris G., Masterton, New Zealand
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