Italy is one of the world’s most alluring destinations, simply because it is a world unto itself. From the snow-capped peaks of the towering Dolomites and the vine-covered ridges of Piedmont, to the olive groves of Tuscany and Umbria and the blue coastal waters of Puglia, Sicily, and the Cinque Terre, Italy has a wealth of different landscapes. Add to this the fact that each little valley has its own dialect, culinary traditions, and architectural styles and you find a land that grows bigger with exploration, not smaller. While this diversity famously prompted the Austrian Count Metternich to dismiss Italy as little more than a “geographic expression,” there is a strong-rooted sense of hospitality, and a commitment to good living and the convivial appreciation of food and wine that ties Italians together on a deep level. Whether you are exploring Roman ruins, admiring Renaissance frescoes, or relaxing by an alpine lake, a plate of homemade local pasta and a glass of red wine served with pride are never far away.
Destinations In Italy
LiguriaView All Dates
Spanning the dramatic coastline of the Italian Riviera from Monaco to Tuscany, sunny Liguria is a land of contrasts. Genoa, the principal city, retains the spirit of commerce that first put it on the map when these Medieval mariners set forth to build a Mediterranean trading empire while the nearby fishing villages of the Cinque Terre still evoke the beautiful tranquility of their centuries of isolation. With coastal roads linking pastel villages perched above the crystal blue sea, the cycling here is stunning. Ligurian cuisine features plenty of fresh seafood as well as homemade pastas served with the region’s signature pesto sauce. With Italy’s most moderate climate and plenty of sunlight, Liguria has been producing quality wines for centuries like Sciacchetra, Sangiovese and Dolcetto, grown on steep, terraced hillsides above the sea.
PiedmontView All Dates
Perched in the hills of northern Italy, halfway between Nice and Milan, Piedmont is the vine-covered, truffle haven of Italy. Visit during the peak of truffle season – and especially during the Alba White Truffle Festival – and you will soon see why. These decadent morsels abound. And coupled with the outstanding dishes from the region that is the birthplace of the slow food movement, they make for unforgettable dishes. Eat homemade plin pasta, white truffles, Bagna Cauda, Cardi alla Bagna Cauda, and much more. Wash any outstanding meal down with an equally incredible Barolo, Barbera, or Barbaresco, all after cycling through Piedmont’s gorgeous, vineyard-strewn Langhe Hills.
PugliaView All Dates
The heel of Italy in name alone, Puglia is a picturesque coastal region in southeastern Italy, bounded on either side by the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Its bright white sunlit cliffs, ancient fishing villages, Moorish architecture, spectacular coastlines, and thermal waters make it a place of immense natural beauty, and an unforgettable place for cycling. Its cuisine is clean, straightforward, and driven by ingredients, and nothing if not delectable. Enjoy artisanal olive oils, fresh mozzarella cheeses, grilled lamb, handcrafted specialty breads, and fresh pastas like orecchiette married with powerful regional red wines including Salice Salentino.
SicilyView All Dates
A stunning island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily brings Italian culture with its own unique spice. Its marvelous examples of Baroque architecture are set against a stunning landscape shaped by millennia of seismic activity, largely from Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe. The birthplace of the ever-popular cannoli, it is a veritable culinary wonderland, with sweet pastries, arancini, granita, and astoundingly fresh seafood pulled straight from the sea that is never far away. Thanks to the volcanic soil, Sicily produces intriguing wines to match its cuisine, including Nero d’Avola and Marsala.
TuscanyView All Dates
Tuscany is the place that dreams – and movies – are made of. Its spectacular green and gold landscapes, rolling hills, Etruscan villages, and medieval cities grace the covers of postcards and posters, and often serve as the setting for famous films. Its cities like Siena and Florence are rich with history, and as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance it is rife with spectacular artwork and architecture. Its hills are many, though mostly short and steep, and it is a popular training grounds and home base for professional cyclists from around the globe. Its cuisine is no less renowned, featuring Chianina beef, pici pasta, pecorino cheese, and cinghiale (wild boar), while its wine is outstanding to match it, from Brunello to Chianti Classico to Vino Nobile.
Tuscany Pro Challenge Bike Tour
La Morra Gourmet Tuscany Tour
UmbriaView All Dates
The undiscovered gem in the center of the Italian peninsula, Umbria is a land of olive groves, vineyards, and quiet medieval towns. Find here the story of St. Francis of Assisi, to whom homage is paid in the art and architecture in the town of the same name. Its potters have gained world renown for their Deruta ceramics, and for good reason. Between breathtaking rides on a bike tour through the region, pause to enjoy strangozzi pasta, Perugina chocolate, olive oil, and lentils from Castelluccio. Wander through vineyards of sagrantino grapes and taste the outstanding Umbrian wines like Sagrantino di Montefalco, Sagrantino passito, and Sangiovese.
VenetoView All Dates
In northeastern Italy, the Veneto is home to the vine-covered hills of Valpolicella, the pristine Lake Garda, and the Renaissance wonder of Mantua. And that is not to mention Verona and the incomparable Venice. From cycling the vineyard-clad ridgeline in the Bardolino wine region to attending the opera in Verona’s Roman amphitheater, Veneto is full of incredible culture experiences. The Veneto features a delicious cuisine of its own, including dishes like creamy polenta, tortelli pasta, and risotto, as well as world-renowned local wines like Amarone, Ripasso, Bardolini, Valpolicella, and Prosecco.