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Cycling Piedmont: Into Italy’s Slow Food Farmland

Ebikes Available on this TourSpend a week cycling through scenic hilltop villages and verdant wine roads on our new Piedmont biking tour. We’ll learn about the grape production in both wine and grappa when we tour a local distillery. By night we’ll retire to amenity-filled agriturismi and dine on the delicacies of the region that gave rise to the slow food movement.

  • 10 Days
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 45 mi
  • Daily Biking: 3 - 5 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking Activity
  • Terrain includes more hills. Longer distance options can be very rewarding for those who cycle regularly.
  • Airfare Packages Available

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Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available

Limited quantities —
first come, first serve.

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Cycling Piedmont: Into Italy’s Slow Food Farmland

Magnificent rolling hills, deep forests and medieval, castle-crowned villages tell only part of the story of Piedmont, Italy’s pilgrimage site for foodies. By bicycle is the best way to learn the rest, as life here unfolds at a leisurely pace. You’ll bike into the Langhe region, where the slow food movement first took root and the Piedmontese still embrace their farm-fresh, earthen cuisine. Join them during invigorating reels over scenic hills that lead you to the doors of working farmers, meticulous winemakers and sharp-nosed, four-legged truffle hunters. Join VBT for our new Piedmont biking tour, and enjoy life in the slow lane!

Cultural Highlights

  • Enjoy invigorating reels while biking Piedmont’s hills
  • Ride world-renowned vineyard landscapes
  • Pass by distinctive cascina farmhouses
  • Tour the medieval streets of Barolo
  • Tour Canelli’s UNESCO-listed Spumante cellars
  • Hunt for truffles with a trifolao and his dog
  • Tour a local grappa distillery
  • Learn to make your own wood-fired pizza

What to Expect

This Piedmont biking tour offers a combination of easy terrain mixed with moderate and challenging hills. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who need assistance with the hills. Ideal for experienced cyclists.

Average Daily Mileage: 15 – 45 miles
Average Cycling Time: 3 – 5 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Turin
Apr 62º/42º  May 70º/50º  Jun 77º/57º  Jul 82º/61º  Aug 80º/60º  Sep 74º/55º  Oct 63º/45º

Average Precipitation (in.) – Turin
Apr 4.1  May 4.7   Jun 3.8  Jul 2.6  Aug 3.1  Sep 2.8  Oct 3.5

What’s Included:

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available on this tour.

Limited quantities — first come, first serve. Learn more.

Bicycle Vacation Only – without Air

  • 6 nights in one agriturismo and 3- and 4-star hotels
  • 12 meals – 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 8 nights in one agriturismo and 3-, 4-, and 5-star hotels
  • 14 meals – 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Airport transfers
  • And the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Turin – 2 nights for only $445
    Post-trip: Rapallo – 2 nights for only $395

Both Vacation Options Include

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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $645 | Land Only Single Supplement: $445

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2017 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

2007399E-LOGO AFKLM Q

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Turin

Depart from home for Italy. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

DAY 2: Arrive in Turin

VBT Air Package guests: Upon arrival at the Turin airport, claim your luggage and exit through the customs area. A VBT representative meets you outside and helps you transfer to your hotel. The representative will be holding a VBT sign.

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please let our Airport staff know by calling or sending a text message.  A number will be provided with your Final Travel Documents. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you will be responsible for your own transfer. However, they might be able to reschedule your transfer if they are aware of the delay. You may also contact our One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service.

Please note: The hotel check-in time is 2:00 pm, but hotel staff will do their best to get you to your room as soon as possible. A local VBT representative will be available at a set time to answer your questions and offer an optional private guided walk to help you make the most of your time in Turin. You have the rest of the day free to relax or to explore, using VBT’s City Information as your guide.

Hotel: Grand Hotel Sitea

DAY 3: Meet Trip Leaders in Turin / Transfer to Canale / Hunt for truffles

VBT No-Air Package guests: Your tour starts at 12:30 pm at your Turin hotel. Your Trip Leaders will be in the lobby wearing VBT staff garments. Please have lunch before meeting them. If your arrival at our Turin hotel is later than 12:30 pm or if you are delayed, please call the hotel and ask the front desk to pass the message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.

VBT Air Package & Pre-Trip Extension guests: The morning is yours to explore Turin at your leisure. At 12:30 pm, meet your VBT Trip Leaders in the hotel lobby. They will be easy to recognize, as they will be wearing VBT staff garments. Please have lunch before meeting the rest of the group.

You will transfer to Canale (approximately 1 hour) southeast of Turin, in Piedmont’s lovely Roero/Langhe region. Arrive at your beautiful agriturismo, a country resort and working farm set on an estate of 86 acres, where you’ll attend a safety and bike-fitting session. After you settle in and don your bike gear, follow, your Trip Leaders on a short warm-up ride through the hotel’s surroundings.

Witness the art of truffle hunting as you join an expert farmer, or trifolao, and his dog Willy on the property grounds, to set out in search of the precious underground fungus. During this invigorating outing, you will learn how to choose truffles and how to preserve them. Your hunt will be rewarded with a tasting.

This evening, gather for a welcome cocktail back at the hotel, where you will sample local Arneis and Favorita wines and local cheese. Your welcome dinner is at the estate’s restaurant, complemented with wines from their farm. This delicious array of products, fresh from their gardens and farm, serve as a wonderful introduction to Piedmont’s locally sourced cuisine.

Hotel: Querce del Vareglio
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 7.5 miles (12 km)

DAY 4: Ride to Pollenzo / The Wine Bank / Discover Langhe

Wake up and enjoy a hearty breakfast, featuring jams prepared on site and a homemade selection of cookies prepared by the pastry chef with “nocciola gentile del Piemonte,” a locally grown hazelnut: Try a Brut e Bon (“ugly and good”), a Langa kiss or Meliga and Code di Gatto cookie – or one of each!

Your route today leads you through some of Piedmont’s stunning farmlands and natural beauty to the ancient Roman city of Pollenzo, today a timeless village whose architecture spans the ages. Though most of the remains of the ancient Rome have been destroyed, the shape of the ancient amphitheater is still visible, as you’ll see by walking among the terraced houses built upon the site. In the town piazza, admire the neo-gothic monuments erected by the Royal Savoy family, whose King Charles Albert made Pollenzo his favorite holiday resort.

Today Pollenzo is home to the internationally known University of Gastronomic Sciences, established in Corte Albertina in 2004 by the Slow Food Organization. The university embraces the latest models of agriculture and the preservation of biodiversity. At the adjacent Wine Bank, more than 300 winemakers regularly select, store and preserve their best vintages, making the history of Italian wines available for future generations. A local guide will explain their interesting projects and show their numerous wine collections featuring the best vintages from all over Italy.

After lunch on your own, enjoy an invigorating ride across the River Tanaro, the natural northern border of the Langhe, into the heart of the region. The breathtaking hilly landscapes you’ll traverse, or langa, are famous for wines, cheeses and truffles. The wine making culture, traditions and terrains established are among Europe’s finest examples of man’s harmonious relationship with nature and are considered an aesthetic archetype of European vineyards, earning this entire area a place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is truly a privilege to cycle here.

Upon arrival at your hotel, settle in and relax, perhaps by the panoramic pool, before walking with your Trip Leaders to a local restaurant for a great Piemontese dinner.

Hotel: Hotel Villa Beccaris
Alternate Hotel: Hotel Corte Gondina
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 19.2 or 26.7 or 33 miles (30.7 or 43 or 52.8 km)

DAY 5: Ride to Verduno / Discover Barolo / Visit Alba

Today’s route passes through beautiful villages like La Morra. During an inspiring reel, marvel at incredible views of manicured vineyards and castles. You will also cycle by the region’s rectangular cascine farmhouses, unique to Piedmont. The longer sides of these buildings face the sun, for warmth in winter and are embellished with an arcaded terrace, stone floors, and iron railings overflowing with colorful flowers. You will cycle by some of the best known cascine, home to wine makers, and take in spectacular views of Verduno, Roddi and other hilltop villages crowned by castles.

Later, pedal into Barolo and admire its impressive castle. This quaint medieval village gave the world famous, light-colored red wine its name. You will have time to explore and enjoy lunch on your own at a local café. Perhaps you’ll sample wine at one of the many cantinas or stroll to the WIMU, the wine museum located in the castle where Barolo wine was born. Here, you can learn the history of the Marquis Giulia Colbert and Carlo Tancredi, both beatified.

Back at the hotel, enjoy time to relax or explore one of the nearby villages, perhaps La Morra or Monforte. Tonight you will shuttle to Alba, the capital of white truffles, for a stroll, some shopping and dinner on your own. You cannot miss the delicious ravioli del plin or tajarin pasta!

Hotel: Hotel Villa Beccaris
Alternate Hotel: Hotel Corte Gondina
Meals: B
Daily Options: 25.4 or 34.1 miles (39.2 or 54.5 km)

DAY 6: Cycle Piedmont vistas to Grinzane Cavour / Explore Fontanafredda historical winery

Today more of rural Piedmont unfolds. After breakfast, ride through beautiful, hilltop Serralunga d’Alba. Overseen by a majestic castle, this tidy village seems frozen in time. Later, cycle past the headquarters of Fontanafredda, a historic Italian winery. Its cellars are among the 100 finest in the world. Browse its unique library or stroll the trails of its vast park, the Wood of Thoughts, past centuries-old trees, a lake and spots to meditate.

Continue to Grinzane Cavour, an ideal stop for lunch. Take the time to visit its historic castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and host to the World Auctions of Alba white truffles.

This afternoon, you will loop back to our hotel through Castiglione Falletto, past more stunning vineyards and gently sloping hills.

Relax at your hotel’s swimming pool, and discover this beautiful village on your own. Dinner is on your own tonight with either La Morra or Monforte offering many options.

Hotel: Hotel Villa Beccaris
Alternate Hotel: Hotel Corte Gondina
Meals: B
Daily Options: 16 or 24.3 miles (26 or 39 km). Extra loop option: 16 miles (26 km)

DAY 7: Explore Barbaresco / Ride to Canelli / Pizza making

After breakfast, take a 30-minute shuttle to the start of our route: the charming hilltop village of Barbaresco. Famous for its eponymous wine made from Nebbiolo grapes, the town’s small former church hosts the Enoteca Regionale.

Your route unfolds among the hills overlooking the dreamy valley of the Belbo River. You’ll enjoy magnificent vistas with little evidence of the wartime scars it bore when many of its villagers fell during WWII. Your destination is Canelli, famous as the home of the largest producers of Spumante d’Asti, the Italian sparkling wine created in this small city 150 years ago. Enjoy lunch in one of its most ancient vaulted cellars, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is so vast that it’s known as an “underground cathedral.” While here, you can raise a glass to its 150th anniversary, celebrated in 2017. One of the proud owners, Giovanna Rivetti, joins you for lunch and prepares local specialties like friciule bread and vegetable pies. Savor them with cooked salami, handmade grissini, salted hazelnuts from Cortemilia, and of course a tasting of selected spumanti della casa.

After, continue riding through the breathtaking countryside to Mombaruzzo and our next accommodations, a chic country retreat revived from the ruins of a 1600 villa. Your welcoming hosts, British couple Nicola and Chris, relocated here after falling in love with the region. After relaxing and settling in, they invite you at sunset to join them in their garden, where you’ll learn to prepare pizza the traditional way, around their wood-fired oven, as well as delicious local amaretti cookies. Customize your own during this fun and relaxed class, and enjoy the results with a glass of wine and spectacular views from the terrace.

Hotel: Hotel La Villa
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 23.7 or 36.7 miles (38 or 58.7 km)

DAY 8: Ride to Mombaruzzo / Quaranti and Castel Rocchero / Tour a grappa plant

Today, your choice of routes include a more relaxed and easy loop, a spectacular hilly ride with sweeping vistas, or both. The countryside south of Asti, in the Monferrato region, is dotted with sleepy hilltop villages. Explore it your own way, and you’ll rejoin the group in Mombaruzzo at the fascinating grappa distillery plant of the Berta family. During your visit, you will learn about grappa, the popular Italian distillate produced from grape pomace. You will learn how the fragrant beverage is made and how its name is protected by Italy and the European Union. After your tour, savor a fresh and delicious lunch, featuring some of Piedmont’s great local cheeses. After, you can sample the Berta family’s own amaretti cookies, a specialty in Mombaruzzo. Their secret ingredient is armelline, bitter apricot kernels.

Return to your hotel during the afternoon, where you can relax at the pool and in the aromatic garden. This evening, gather for a special farewell dinner under the stars.

Hotel: Hotel La Villa
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 21 or 33.4 miles (33.6 or 53.4km)

DAY 9: Transfer to Rapallo / VBT No-Air Package ends

VBT No-Air Package guests: After breakfast you will be transferred by private motorcoach to the railway station of Alessandria, arriving at approximately 9:30 am. Your tour ends here, and frequent train connections can take you back to Turin’s Porta Nuova station in about an hour. You are responsible for your own train travel and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

VBT Air Package and Post-Trip Extension guests: After breakfast, transfer to the vibrant city of Rapallo in Liguria, gateway to Cinque Terre and Portofino. At about 11:00 am, you will arrive at your ideally located, bayfront luxurious hotel, the only 5-star deluxe hotel on the entire Riviera di Levante. Your room may not be available until 3:00 pm; you may store your luggage with the reception desk. Join our local expert for an included orientation tour of Rapallo.

You will quickly find that walking is the best way to discover Rapallo. Enjoy leisurely strolls amidst its Old Town, seaside ambiance or follow footpaths into the hills for spectacular views. Walk the trail up to Sanctuary of Montallegro, the most important religious center in the Tigullio area, stopping at the lovely San Fruttuoso Abbey on the way. The sanctuary is also accessible by cable car, but you’ll miss seeing the abbey. You can also unravel Rapallo’s lace-making tradition at the Lace Museum, housed in the 17th-century Villa Tigullio. Alternately, you can opt to venture to Cinque Terre, five stunningly beautiful and colorful villages linked by tranquil walking trails.

If you have chosen the independent Post-Trip Extension to Rapallo, you will remain at this hotel for three nights. Our local representative can answer your questions and help you discover Cinque Terre and Portofino during your stay. VBT’s City Information includes recommendations for restaurants, museums, and transportation in the area, and will help you explore on your own.

Hotel: Excelsior Palace Hotel
Meals: B

DAY 10: Depart for home

After breakfast* this morning, you will transfer to the Genoa airport (approximately 40 minutes, depending on traffic) for your departing flight. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated transfer time**.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

Piedmont Bike Tour Map

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Accommodations

Cycling Piedmont: Into Italy’s Slow Food Farmland

Accommodations for both Air Package and Land Package on our Piedmont Biking Tour

Grand Hotel Sitea

Located in the center of Turin in a quiet, car-free pedestrian shopping zone, the lush Grand Hotel Sitea was built in 1925 and is classified as one of the Historical Places of Italy. You’ll be steps from via Roma, a 10-minute walk from the Teatro Regio opera house, and a 14-minute walk from the Mole Antonelliana museum. Enjoy breakfast in the refined atmosphere of the dining room and savor dinner in the elegant restaurant with its original Belle Epoque frescoed ceiling and views of the courtyard’s garden, where resident turtles add to the tranquil air. VBT has arranged deluxe rooms for our guests, with a king sized bed, flat-screen television, free Wi-Fi and air conditioning.
Free WiFi Included

Le Querce del Vareglio

Nestled on 86 acres of farmland, Le Querce del Vareglio was lovingly restored in 2004 from the ruins of a typical 17th-century cascina. Beautiful frescoed ceilings and beams preserve the old-world charm. You’re sure to find your hosts’ passion about the country and farming life contagious as you stroll the property’s trails, visit the horse stables and even pause to visit the onsite wine cantina. Excellent wines are produced from the well-manicured vineyards of Barbera, Nebbiolo and other grapes, and lush peaches grow in the orchard. You’ll savor the harvest of Le Querce del Vareglio throughout your stay as ingredients for your meals are plucked fresh from the soil, including the truffles dug up from under the oak and willow trees. At the end of a day of cycling, you can cool off in the swimming pool, and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
Free WiFi Included

Corte Gondina

Located in the center of La Morra, the Corte Gondina is a small boutique hotel. The 200-year-old house was restored by the Viberti family and retains the style and architecture of the original. Relax in its intimate common rooms, adorned with tapestries and fresh flowers. Enjoy the romantic garden, brimming with plants and blooms reminiscent of Provence, browse the botanics in the solarium, and take advantage of the swimming pool and small Spa. The cellar provides excellent Piedmont wines, which you can enjoy in the bar, personally attended by the owner. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Villa Beccaris

The refined and elegant Hotel Villa Beccaris, named for a 19th-century general in Italy’s Wars of Italian Independence, boasts a stunning hilltop location with magnificent views of Monforte d’Alba and the vineyards of Langhe. Strolls along cobbled streets to the city’s castle are right outside your door. Designed to evoke classical Italy, the 18th-century villa is nestled amidst a tree-lined, beautifully manicured park, with a swimming pool and sun deck for lounging. Start each day over a fresh breakfast in the sunny and charming orangerie, a garden oasis awash in light and surrounded by carefully sculpted iron and wood detail. Each guest room is elegantly adorned with period furnishings, beautiful frescoed ceilings and modern bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel La Villa

The highly awarded Hotel La Villa was built in 1600 and has been painstakingly restored by British expats and owners Nicola and Chris. Today it is a stylish and chic retreat graced with simple luxuries. Its light, airy rooms are adorned in soothing colors, sensuous fabrics and the finest linens. Local antiques and hand-crafted accents add a personal touch. The beautiful garden was designed by Nicola and thrives under her skilled hand. Enjoy breakfast each morning among the blooms and in the adjacent courtyard, relax poolside and linger on the terrace as the sun slips behind the hills before dining under the stars. This spectacular property has received numerous accolades for its refined and casual atmosphere, supreme location and exemplary service. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
Free WiFi Included

Excelsior Palace Hotel

Inspired by the elegance of the early 1900s, when the property was first opened, the Excelsior Palace delivers 5-star luxury and service. Its dramatic coastal setting in the town of Rapallo offers stunning views of the Portofino coast, which you can enjoy from one of the many terraces or from the infinity pool. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from the ferries that whisk you to Cinque Terre. Make the most of your stay with a massage or spa treatment at the hotel’s Wellness and Beauty Spa. Free WiFi is available in the lobby.
Free WiFi Included
Reviews

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With LOw-Cost Trip Extensions

Turin - Bike Tour Extension

Pre-Trip Extension - Turin

2 nights for only $445

Rapello Bike Trip Extension

Post-Trip Extension - Rapallo

2 nights for only $395

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When you introduce new travelers to VBT, you’ll receive $150 in travel credits toward your next VBT vacation when the person you refer to us returns from her or his first trip. You can also get cash bonuses when you make additional referrals. Your friends benefit, too, with a $100 discount on their first VBT trip.

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VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, 426 Industrial Ave, Suite 120 Williston, VT 05495
Talk to a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868