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VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations Announces 2015 Italy Tours Designed to Immerse Travelers into Local History and Culture

New for 2015, La Bella Toscana: Lucca, Montecatini and Pisa is One of Twelve Vacations Featuring Home-Hosted Experiences, Exclusive Guided Tours and Local Italian Guides

BRISTOL, VT— Sept. 18, 2014 – With over 20 years of experience leading active travel in Italy, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations is pleased to announce their 2015 catalog of Italian vacations which includes a new bicycling tour in the northwest corner of Tuscany—La Bella Toscana: Lucca, Montecatini and Pisa. The new trip brings VBT’s Italian portfolio to twelve, providing even more opportunities for active travel seekers to discover this culturally rich destination. Known as “The Italy Experts,” VBT immerses travelers into day-to-day Italian life with home-hosted experiences, exclusive tours conducted by local Italian guides and authentic Italian accommodations.

“VBT offers more vacations in Italy than we do in any other country,” said VBT President Gregg Marston. “This year we expanded our Italian portfolio due to popular demand, putting together authentic and immersive adventures to showcase the culture and traditions that travelers love about Italy.”

The new La Bella Toscana trip highlights Pisa and Lucca, as well as other off-the-beaten path destinations such as Montecatini and Vicopisano. Notable discovery highlights of this tour include a visit to the Leonardo da Vinci museum in the artist’s hometown to learn about his innovative inventions, a wine tasting at Fattoria del Teso winery and meeting members of the Ginori Lisci family for an authentic Italian lunch in the colorful gardens at the Ginori villa. La Bella Toscana: Lucca, Montecatini and Pisa is a ten-day trip, starting at $3,895 per person including international airfare. The first departure is April 19, 2015.

Each Italian tour is carefully designed to bring travelers closer to true Italian life. On Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast, travelers visit Il Frantoio, a family-run masseria located on sprawling 150-acre estate for lunch. The meal includes fresh food grown or produced on-site including citrus fruits, cheese and five different olive-oils to sample. The Tuscan Coast vacation features a visit with Chicca Maione the founder of Cooking in Tuscany, at her Tuscan countryside house where guests participate in a hands-on cooking demonstration of authentic dishes before eating a home-hosted dinner under the pergola.

Other culinary activities include a visit to the Antica Dolceria Bonajuto chocolate factory on Sicily: Biking the Southern Coastal Villages​ to learn how to make chocolate using a 400-year old Aztecan cocoa processing technique. On Amalfi Coast and Capri walking tour, travelers sample fresh cheese during a mozzarella braiding class in Sorrento.

On every vacation in Italy, VBT provides accommodations in masserie, boutique hotels or agristurismi in order to foster encounters with Italian locals and learn about their unique local accommodations. For example, guests stay at Fattoria Di Magliano, an ancient villa set in a secluded spot in the Maremma with terra-cotta tiles, manicured gardens and an outdoor swimming pool on the Tuscany by the Sea vacation.  After a day of cycling on the Italy: Cycling The Dolomite Valleys trip, travelers settle at Villa Quaranta where they’ll visit with the Tommasi family to sample various vintages from the family-owned winery.

VBT makes it easy to explore Italy with excellent experiences and the low prices make for an unsurpassed value in active travel. No other tour company includes so many features and advantages in prices such as international roundtrip airfare, complimentary use of custom bicycles or walking poles, most meals, two trip leaders and accommodations. Book any 2015 Italian VBT vacation by October 15 and save $200 using booking code VBT1501.

To learn more about VBT’s vast array of Italian cycling and walking vacations visit vbt.com/Italy or call VBT’s consultants at 800-245-3868 from Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and on Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

About VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations
VBT offers 50 deluxe, small group bicycling and walking tours in 26 different countries, including destinations throughout Europe, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Vietnam, Peru, South Africa, China, and the United States. Each trip includes all accommodations, many meals, two expert local Trip Leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities and on-tour vehicle support. Unlike other companies, VBT also includes roundtrip international airfare from over 30 U.S. cities and select Canadian cities for all overseas vacations.In 2014, VBT was rated by the readers of Travel + Leisure among the “World’s Best Tour Operators” for the fifth consecutive year.

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Talk to a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868