On this self-guided cycling tour you will ride through Italys premier pasta region. After a day of leisurely cycling, enjoy gourmet evening meals that will include some of the finest traditional fayre in the world delightful local dishes made according to Italian traditions. Youll get away from the main tourist trail and pedal quiet roads. Your route will incorporate behind-the-scenes visits of parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar producers, but also ancient castles and various UNESCO world heritage sites.
Day 1 | Arrive in Bologna
Bologna is Emilia Romagnas 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 ham! Make sure you put this culinary delight on your must try list. Your dinner tonight is at a local trattoria. We meet for your full tour briefing and personalised bicycle fitting.
Day 2 | Round trip into the surrounding hills
You have an optional cooking demonstration this morning, where you will learn a few secrets from local artisans. Youll have time in the afternoon for a short loop ride that takes you on the hills south of Bologna, where Partisans were fighting during the Second World War.
Day 3 | From Bologna to Modena
Today we highly recommend visiting a local gelato maker! Then youll pedal out from Bologna in to beautiful hills and countryside. Enjoy stunning views on the rails-to-trails bike path that follows the old railway track to the fortress town of Bazzano, before heading on to magnificent Modena. Be sure to take an evening stroll through the historic centre before enjoying a fantastic evening meal.
Day 4 | Ride in to Reggio Emilia countryside
Before heading out of Modena with your bicycle, we suggest a visit to the local covered market that has been selling local products since the Middle Ages: fruits and vegetables, but also gourmet selections of Lambrusco wine, Amaretti cookies, truffles, cheese and Prosciutto, and of course traditional balsamic vinegar. Another culinary mystery is unveiled today on an optional visit 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. Youll continue on along back roads to reach your agriturismo where youll stay tonight.
Day 5 | Bike to Parma
Get up early for an optional visit to observe the artistry of a working Parmesan cheese maker on your mornings ride. Youll route will be along bike paths following an old railroad. Your destination is Parma, a city where your taste buds will not be disappointed. It is, however, a city where the arts also flourished outside of the kitchen: Parmigianino, Corregio, and Giuseppe Verdi are some of the most famous citizens. Enjoy time in the historic centre and delight your palate with Parmas signature cured ham (prosciutto crudo) and Parmesan cheese, eaten as an aperitivo or perhaps sprinkled on homemade pasta dishes.
Day 6 | Round trip to the castle of Torrechiara
Get ready for your last day of bicycling amidst ancient castles and local traditions! Todays 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 salametaste them in this historic setting!
Day 7 | Tour ends in Parma
Your cycling tour ends in Parma. Now with a refined palate, shop well and take some recipes home to try in your own kitchen. Thanks for joining us and buon viaggio.
- Fully serviced bikes water bottle and accessories
- Bed & breakfast basis as standard
- 3 & 4 star accommodation (unless otherwise stated)
- Tour information pack upon arrival
- Detailed navigational material often including GPS maps
- Local support whenever needed
- E-bikes available on request
- Flights and transfers not included as standard but available on request
- Full financial protection through ABTA and ATOL