Cycling Emilia-Romagna's Culinary Wonders - Guided

Cycling Emilia-Romagna's Culinary Wonders - Guided

Long known as Italy’s premier pasta region, and maybe even its culinary capital, Emilia-Romagna delights in every way – including our palates! On this cycling tour from Parma to Bologna, you will not only taste extraordinary traditional dishes – you will visit Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar makers learning their time-tested methods; sample plenty of artisanal gelato; wonder at ancient castles and world-heritage UNESCO sites; and even have the chance to see the Ferrari museum and factory, from the famous car maker’s hometown of Modena. Two-night stays in impressive Parma and quaint Castelvetro di Modena will allow you to slow down and savor this region, as the locals do. History, art, culture and tradition all come together to make this an unforgettable holiday - and what better way to experience it than from the seat of your bike!

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  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
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Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 7 Days
  • Total Distance / 251 km (156 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 50 km (31 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 1.0
  • Countries / Italy
  • Begin/End / Parma / Bologna
  • Price / From EUR 1310
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights

    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.

    A great tour for novice cyclists in terms of daily distance and terrain type. Bike handling skills are necessary when negotiating bike paths (usually in or near cities and towns). Also ideal for experienced cyclists who desire shorter days on the bike and plenty of time to enjoy the destination, food and activities. You will ride 32-60 km (19-37 mi) per day, on mostly flat to rolling terrain. We will cycle on paved back roads and bike paths with little traffic, although there are stretches where we share the roads with cars. Experienced cyclists who want longer, optional rides at the end of the programmed ride will have these available.

    The tour will depart with a minimum of 6 participants, and a maximum of 16.
  • Includes
    High quality hybrid touring bike, 6 nights lodging in 3-star or equivalent hotels and inns, with breakfast and tax, 2 dinners with local wine, cooking class, Parmesan cheese factory visit and tasting, GPS navigation tracks provided via Ride With GPS (which you can upload to your personal navigation device), bilingual English-Italian cycling guide, support vehicle and driver on most days, pre-tour travel and sales assistance available (our pre-travel documentation will help you properly prepare for your arrival and departure logistics, as well as you participation in the tour.

  • Arrive / Depart
    Bologna Airport (BLQ)
  • Overall Tour Level
    1.0 difficulty level 1.0
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    45km / 246m
    3
    62km / 292m
    4
    48km / 250m
    5
    45km / 140m
    6
    53km / 320m
    7
    Last day

Terrain Legend

Gentle Gentle

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
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DAY 1: Arrival in Parma

Highlights: Bike fit and welcome dinner

Considered among the culinary capitals of Italy, Parma is also known as one of Italy’s art cities: Parmigianino, Correggio, and Giuseppe Verdi are among its lustrous citizens. We suggest an afternoon stroll through the city center, where Parma’s rich history is still evident (the historic center has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site); or do as the locals do, finding a piazza table where you can delight your palate with Parma’s famous cured ham (prosciutto crudo) and Parmesan cheese, enjoyed with an aperitivo. After our bike fitting, our local guides will host a welcome dinner where you will meet your cycling companions.

Daily distance today: optional test ride

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Button

  • Meals: Dinner

DAY 2: Loop ride into the hills to Torrechiara Castle

Highlights: Torrechiara Castle

On your first cycling day, you will ride over delightful rolling hills amidst ancient castles and local tradition. Our goal is the Torrechiara Castle, a breath-taking structure dominating the Val Parma – it was constructed between 1448 and 1460, as an instrument of defense as well as a distinguished home for the count and his lover. The area is today famous for its cured prosciutto ham and salame, and we recommend stopping for a taste at lunchtime. After a downhill return to Parma, our tour leaders will suggest a restaurant for dinner, and activities for your last evening in this lovely city.

Daily distance today: 45 km (28 mi), 246 ms total climbing (807 ft)

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation:

  • Distance: 45km (28mi)
  • Gain: 246m (807ft)
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Ride to Reggio-Emilia countryside

Highlights: Agriturismo country estate

Heading out of Parma today, we’ll cycle over back roads and bike paths, through farm land and small villages, towards Reggio-Emilia, in the heart of Parmesan country. Today’s destination - an agriturismo working farm and inn - will be another trip highlight. You will have plenty of time to relax and enjoy your visit here. The agriturismo also houses a parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar factory, among other wonderful surprises.

Daily distance: 62 km (38 mi), 292 ms total climbing (958 ft)

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Agriturismo La Razza

  • Distance: 62km (39mi)
  • Gain: 292m (958ft)
  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4: Bike to Maranello - the home of Ferrari – and Castelvetro di Modena

Highlights: Visit parmesan cheese maker, Ferrari Museum

We’ll get an early start this morning to visit 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 of the small factory (ending with a tasting, of course). With our senses alight, we’ll continue cycling en route to Maranello, home of the factory and testing track of the fabled Ferrari sports cars, as well as the Ferrari Museum (visit is optional). Today’s ride ends in the delightful medieval hilltop town of Castelvetro di Modena, our base for the next two nights. We suggest a stroll among the locals over lovely cobbled lanes and alleys this evening, and dinner near the piazza where you’ll enjoy the view of the surrounding countryside below you and the Apennine mountain chain in the distance. You might also consider an optional visit to the balsamic vinegar acetaia – or mill - where another traditional culinary mystery will be unveiled. You will learn how leftovers from grapes are transformed into the sweet, rich vinegar that can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars.

Daily distance: 48 km (30 mi), 250 ms total climbing (820 ft)

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Guerro

  • Distance: 48km (30mi)
  • Gain: 250m (820ft)
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Loop ride to Modena

Highlights: Modena

We’ll glide down on our bikes as we begin an optional loop ride to Modena, another wonderful historic art city – and UNESCO World Heritage Site - where we will have time to explore its historical town center, the magnificent Duomo and the Ghirlandina medieval tower. We suggest a visit of the famous covered outdoor market, and time for a gelato stop as well! Modena is also the birthplace of Dino and Enzo Ferrari, founders of the namesake brand, as well as Luciano Pavarotti, the legendary tenor. After our exploration of Modena, we’ll ride back to Castelvetro in the afternoon for another night in town.

Daily distance: 44 km (28 mi), 140 ms total climbing (459 ft)

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Guerro

  • Distance: 45km (28mi)
  • Gain: 140m (459ft)
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Ride to Bologna

Highlights: Cooking class dinner

Our last ride today is lovely, cycling by small farms and Lambrusco vineyards, always near the foothills of the Apennines. Bologna awaits – the capital of Emilia-Romagna is an important Italian city with a rich history and a fascinating medieval center. Our tour ends with a bang in the red city (as Italians call it) - we’ll meet with a Bologna local who will share their secrets and passion for cooking, while we prepare a traditional meal we’ll eat together on our celebratory good-bye dinner.

Daily distance: 53 km (33 mi), 320 ms total climbing (1050 ft)

Meals: Cooking class dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Regina

  • Distance: 53km (33mi)
  • Gain: 320m (1050ft)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Tour ends in Bologna

Highlights: Arrivederci!

Bologna is a great place to spend another night or two, or to use as a base for further exploration. For those returning home today, we will assist you in arranging your transportation to the nearby Bologna airport.

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

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.

A great tour for novice cyclists in terms of daily distance and terrain type. Bike handling skills are necessary when negotiating bike paths (usually in or near cities and towns). Also ideal for experienced cyclists who desire shorter days on the bike and plenty of time to enjoy the destination, food and activities. You will ride 32-60 km (19-37 mi) per day, on mostly flat to rolling terrain. We will cycle on paved back roads and bike paths with little traffic, although there are stretches where we share the roads with cars. Experienced cyclists who want longer, optional rides at the end of the programmed ride will have these available.

The tour will depart with a minimum of 6 participants, and a maximum of 16.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To Do Today!

3–6 Months Prior to Departure

  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed. As you make your plans refer to the Getting To and Away sent to you in your booking confirmation email it provides meeting times and the starting and ending hotels and shuttle information when applicable.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights. Please refer to the Getting To and Away sheet you received in your Reservation Confirmation Email.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program www.experienceplus.com/training.
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 Weeks–2 Weeks Prior to Departure

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your Getting To and Away information and one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

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