Cycling Piemonte Plus! Lago Maggiore

  • Itinerary Summary

    Bordered by France to the west and Switzerland to the north, Italy's Piemonte region and Lakes District offer 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 Plus! the Lakes District tour combines the best of Italian and French cuisine and wine with scenic pedaling through rolling hills dotted with vineyards and castles.

    If this sounds great but you don't have time for the full 11 days, check out our Cycling the Piemonte tour, which features the first 8 days of this itinerary.

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    1. 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

    2. 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

    3. Day 3: Bicycle through Roero region

      Highlights: Riding in Roero region, vineyards, Racconigi palace, 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.

      Distance: 77 km (48 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel la Corte Albertina. September 2015 departure will be at Albergo Agenzia.

    4. Day 4: Loop ride to Barolo

      Highlights: Bicycle through vineyards, hilltop towns, Barolo, wine tasting at La Banca del Vino

      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. We'll enjoy a wine tasting together before dinner on your own.

      Distance: 55 km (34 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel la Corte Albertina. September 2015 departure will be at Albergo Agenzia.

    5. 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

    6. 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

    7. 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 dinner together this evening.

      Distance: 66 km (41 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Candiani

    8. Day 8: Casale Monferrato

      Highlights: Small farm towns, quiet roads and ridge rides with extensive views

      Our loop ride today takes us south through small towns and past stunning scenery as we alternate between valley roads and ridgeline riding. Have a cappuccino along the way before continuing on off-the-map roads to the town of Terruggia. You can have lunch here at the local trattoria-she's open every day unless there aren't any customers, then she closes to have lunch at her mother's house! You'll be back at our hotel early this afternoon.

      Distance: 41-50 km (25-31 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Candiani

    9. Day 9: Cycling through farm villages

      Highlights: Flat ride through rice fields, 11th century abbey

      We cross the Po River this morning and pedal north through one of the largest rice growing areas in Europe. Along the way, you'll pass through no less than fifteen small farm villages, including San Nazzaro Sesia, a village built around an 11th-century Benedictine abbey. We'll suggest a spot for lunch before you continue on to our hotel.

      Distance: 59 km (37 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Tenimento al Castello

    10. Day 10: Italy's Lakes District

      Highlights: Spectacular lake views, riding into the Alps and along lake shores

      Our final day of riding takes us into Italy's Lakes District. This breathtaking series of lakes was created as glaciers retreated from northern Italy some 20,000 years ago. Our first stop is Lago d'Orta, then Lago di Mergozzo, and finally Lago Maggiore. We'll end our journey in Verbania, along the shores of beautiful Lago Maggiore this afternoon. This evening, we'll enjoy a farewell dinner together.

      Distance: 86 km (54 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Ancora

    11. Day 11: End of tour on Lake Maggiore, Italy


      You are on your own today in one of Italy's most beautiful regions. This is a great starting point for further exploration of the Lakes District or to just sit and relax for a few days. Whatever you choose, have a great time and thanks for joining us!

      Meals: B

    • Highlights

      Piedmont vineyards & wine tasting, gourmet regional cuisine, Italy's Lakes District, two nights in Pollenzo, center of the "Slow Food" movement, multiple two night stays
    • Includes

      11 days, 10 nights accommodation, 6 dinners with wine, wine tasting, all breakfasts plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

    • Begin/End

    • Arrive/Depart

      Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) or Turin Caselle Airport (TRN)
    • Total Distance

      560 - 616 km (346 - 380 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      56 - 62 km (35 - 38 miles)
    • Rating

      301 Gentle terrain the first 3 days with an optional challenging climb. Other days include more hills but none are longer than 3 miles. 3 optional rest days.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes

    * 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.

  • Stories

    • Take this tour to live out your fantasy Italian Vacation - phenomenal rides, incredible food, and wonderful wine. the tour guides take care of everything and make sure you have all that you need. Truly worth every penny.

      Joyce R., Fort Collins, CO
    • The route through Barolo was the fantasy Italy trip. This area of Italy was perfect for us and the level of difficulty was what I wanted. this is just the first trip I will be taking with Experience Plus. My wife and I will be planning trips about every other year from now on. This was terrific.

      Joel S., Fort Collins, CO
    • Offered a good mix of wine country, rural vistas, small towns and a great ending.

      Jeffre B., Aurora, CO
    • How would you describe this tour to a friend? A great time with new friends, new cultures, lots of fun, lots of great wine, and lets do it again.

      Carl S., Carbondale, CO
    • Another great tour from ExperiencePlus! We look forward to the next one and many more after that.

      Carolyn and Harold M., Centerville, UT
    • Your company does a terrific job. I regularly urge my friends to sign up for your tours. Keep of the great work. Be sure to take good care of your wonderful staff.

      Diane C., Boulder, CO
    • This tour was wonderful.

      Lori S., Edinburg TX
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? As with previous trips, there isn't a "single most favorite", but a combination of getting up each day knowing that I'm going to be cycling through amazing and beautiful sites, seeing and experiencing things I've have never done before. All this without having to worry about support, whether I'll meet of be with friendly people (including the other guests, the guides, and the local folks we meet!) and not even having to worry about where to get more water, food, or even which way to turn - those amazing chalk marks! Including even knowing where I'm going to come out of a round about before I even go into it.

      John C., Reno, NV
    • Favorite experience on this trip?: - cycling through rolling vineyards especially the Barolo area. - visiting the wine bank in Pollenzo - the alpine climb, just to do it! - great group meals.

      Alex & Marina C., Georgetown, Ontario, Canada
    • Day three had to be my favorite - beautiful cycling, hard hills for a challenge and great wine at the tastings

      Peter K., Willston, VT
    • Our tour leaders were really a "10" - Monica and Michele made this tour run smoothly, and FUN!!

      Carol D., Willston, VT
    • I loved this trip! The tour leaders were so awesome. They made my first trip to Italy amazing. I would definitely tour with them again.

      Theresa O.
      San Rafael, CA
    • Even though I was not an experienced "spinner", I was treated most graciously by your staff and the others on the trip. You have done an excellent job of anticipating what people desire in a bike trip experience. The idea of staying two nights at each stop was excellent, we didn't feel like we were always packing and unpacking. Your tour guides were excellent!! Well Done!!!

      Grant K.
      Alberta, Canada
    • This has been the best experience we've had ever!!! We appreciated the 2 night stays with the loop rides so that there could be a choice to rest or ride. I loved my bike - it was so comfortable and easy to ride - it made the touring so enjoyable. I love what you have done with your entire program. Having special dinners every other night was excellent as well. Thank you so much!!!

      Dona K.
      Alberta, Canada
    • You and the team at ExperiencePlus! 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
    • The whole trip was really well done and beyond anything I expected. I felt like Tony the tiger by the end of it. Thanks ... Tour leaders were beyond expectation. It's wonderful when you would have one out of three be great but when all three are great it's astounding! [ What I liked best was ] riding through the Barolo country also the great people on the tour.

      Carrie C.
      Bend, OR
    • What we liked best: The vineyards of Barolo and scenery of surrounding area. Spectacular. Also the tour of Slow Food wine cellar and tasting ... ExperiencePlus! continues to do a great job. Thanks to everyone who makes this such a success, you are to be commended.

      Helen B.
      Ferndale, WA
    • Our tour leaders were the best. This is my second trip with ExperiencePlus! and each trip just gets better. Their quickness to help and the knowledge of the area and of Italy in general was a great factor in a time of our life. These are employees not to lose... [We most enjoyed] the ride through Barolo and Langhe. We come to Italy every year and this is our favorite area. My wife has many relatives in the region and we thought we knew it well. This tour showed us some areas that we did not know and gave us some information that help with our understanding of the area.

      Robert T.
      Bend, OR
    • We really loved this trip ... this may be the best trip we've taken with you ... You should also make advertising use of the fact that Italy is essentially smoke free these days. makes for a tremendous improvement, particularly in restaurants.

      Sharyn S.
    • There was always a surpise when you reached the top of a hill, ridge or mountain. The views were amazing.

      Ron P.
      Park Forest, IL
    • My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our ride through the Piedmont with Experience Plus! The routes were beautiful, the towns charming, the meals were excellent, the wine palate-pleasing...can we go back tomorrow??

      Jane T.
      Milwaukee, WI
    • The variety of sights and the richness of history were marvelous and the food was fabulous.

      Maureen R.
      Denver, CO

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