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Italy: Piedmont, Langhe & the Italian Riviera

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Ride into the country’s Slow Food movement during this invigorating—and endlessly delicious!—culinary bike tour of Italy, traversing the sloping vineyards of Piedmont and the breathtaking coast of Liguria.
Former tour name: Cycling Piedmont: Into Italy’s Slow Food Farmland

Guided Biking

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 7 - 39|
  • Biking: 1 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
5.0 out of 5 stars.
Activity Easy/Moderate
Easy / Moderate
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

Bike Vacation + Air Package

$4,045

Bike Vacation Only

$3,045

(per person, double occupancy)

Italy: Piedmont, Langhe & the Italian Riviera

Complement your explorations of storybook medieval villages with inspiring reels among sloping vineyards, fertile farms, and breathtaking coasts distinct to Northern Italy. Sample wines and cheeses that were born here. Learn to prepare authentic pesto from a culinary expert. And go truffle-hunting with a farmer and his trusty dog during an agriturismo stay. From the mountains to the sea, this is a cyclist’s and a foodie’s paradise you won’t want to miss!

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain mixed with some moderate hills and is ideal for beginners and experienced cyclists. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available.

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 7 - 39|
  • Biking: 1 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Join a farmer and his trusty dog on a hunt for precious truffles during your stay at an authentic agriturismo
  • Savor a tasting of Arneis and Favorita wines produced on your agriturismo grounds, accompanied by local cheese.
  • Take a stroll among the amphitheater and terraced houses of Pollenzo’s ancient Roman settlement.
  • Visit the birthplace of the Slow Food Organization at the internationally renowned University of Gastronomic Sciences.
  • Enjoy a two-night stay at the historic Tenuta di Fontanafredda, whose winery was founded by a king.
  • Discover hilltop La Morra and the quaint medieval village of Barolo, famous for their eponymous wines.
  • Sip Barolo where it was born when you head into an underground cellar for a tasting.
  • Learn to prepare pesto like the locals do during a fun and informative cooking class.
  • Visit Taggia, one of the most beautiful villages of Liguria

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Apr62º/42º

May70º/50º

Jun77º/57º

Jul82º/61º

Aug80º/60º

Sep74º/55º

Oct63º/45º

Average
Precipitation:

Apr4.1 in

May4.7 in

Jun3.8 in

Jul2.6 in

Aug3.1 in

Sep2.8 in

Oct3.5 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
One extra night in Turin and one extra night in Nice, France in 4- and 5-star hotels Check
6 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels and an agriturismo Check Check
11 meals – 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Road Bicycle (Aluminum alloy frame)

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Sat, May 9 to Mon, May 18 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

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

Upon arrival at the Turin airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you as you enter the arrival hall. Your VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will help you transfer to your centrally located hotel in Turin.

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please let your hotel staff know by calling +39 011 5170171. Ask them to pass your message to the driver. 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 quickly if they are aware of the delay. You may also contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service.

Please note: Check-in time is 2:00 p.m., but hotel staff will do their best to get you to your room as soon as possible. You may store your luggage at the front desk. You have the rest of the day free to relax or to explore, using VBT’s City Information as your guide.

Jump right into the city’s culinary culture at Eataly, a foodie’s emporium of tantalizing sights, fragrances, and flavors, right next to your hotel.

Hotel: Grand Hotel Sitea

The morning is yours to explore Turin at your leisure. At 12:30 p.m., meet your VBT trip leaders in the hotel lobby. They will be easy to recognize in their VBT staff garments. Please have lunch before meeting the rest of the group.

All guests will transfer to Canale (approximately one 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 (34.8 hectares). After a safety and bike-fitting session, don your bike gear and follow your Trip Leaders on a short warm-up ride through the hotel’s surroundings.

Later, witness the art of truffle hunting as you join an expert farmer, or trifolao, and his dog Willy on the property grounds. Together, you 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, sampling local Arneis and Favorita wines and local cheese. Your welcome dinner is at the estate’s restaurant, complemented with wines from their farm. Their delicious array of products fresh from their gardens offer a wonderful introduction to Piedmont’s locally sourced cuisine.

Hotel: Querce del Vareglio
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 12 km (7 miles)

Afternoon
Warm-Up: 12 km (7 miles)

What to Expect: After an initial downhill from your agriturismo, enjoy an easy ride toward Canale and into the countryside. You may tackle the steep hill on the way back or avoid it by walking a very short distance.

This morning’s hearty breakfast features jams preserved onsite and a selection of homemade 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 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 built 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. Discover Pollenzo and its treasures on your own during a short stop.

Afterward, shuttle across the River Tanaro, the natural northern border of the Langhe, birthplace of the great wine Barolo. The breathtaking hilly landscapes you’ll traverse, or langa, are famous for wines, cheeses and truffles. Here, the winemaking culture, traditions and terrains 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. Arrive in La Morra and enjoy lunch on your own. It is truly a privilege to cycle here.

Continue cycling these gorgeously landscaped routes, mostly downhill. As you coast through the valley, you’ll savor spectacular views of the hilltop villages of Verduno and Roddi, each crowned by stately castles. Your destination is the majestic Tenuta di Fontanafredda. Spread over 296 acres (120 hectares) of vineyard-cloaked land, this sprawling estate and wine village incorporates several historical buildings, wine cellars, a beautiful park with rare plants and trees, a lovely pristine lake, and meditation zones.

This evening browse through the hotel’s unique library or stroll the trails of its vast park, the Wood of Thoughts. Later enjoy dinner at the Gourmet Bistrot Guido, set in the beautiful Cascina Rosa villa on the hotel grounds. This elegant building hosts the Michelin-starred restaurant Guido, a gracious Italian kitchen committed to using the finest Piedmont ingredients.

Hotel: Hotel Vigna Magica
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 14 – 44 km (9 – 28 miles)

Morning:
Canale to Pollenzo: 30 km (19 miles)

Afternoon:
La Morra to Hotel Vigna Magica: 14 km (9 miles)

What to Expect: Departing from the hotel, you’ll ride into the Roero forested region on an undulating route with little car traffic, arriving in Pollenzo before lunch. In Pollenzo, we offer an 8-km (5-mile) shuttle to avoid traffic and the long uphill into La Morra, your lunch stop. The afternoon ride is mostly downhill and flat, with only one rolling hill, on paved country roads. On the final stretch you will cycle through a village with some car traffic.

Today, shuttle to the hilltop town of La Morra to begin an invigorating reel along an easy route, tracing a crest that offers beautiful sweeping views of manicured vineyards and farms. You pass 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.

Before lunch 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 the cozy streets, full of little quaint shops and cafés. You may also visit the interesting WIMU, the wine museum located in the castle of Barolo. Later, cycle downhill back to your hotel or add miles for a scenic ride to medieval Grinzane Cavour, a UNESCO World Heritage site and host to the Alba White Truffle World Auction.

Back at the hotel follow our expert guide Monica through the underground historic wine cellars of Tenuta di Fontanafredda, among the 100 finest cellars in the world. The king of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II bought the estate in 1858 and 12 years later decided to cut most of the forest to plant the first vineyards. His son, the Prince Emanuele Alberto, later transformed the estate into a formidable wine business by partnering with the Marques Falletti and Count Cavour to create the now-famous Barolo wine.

Tonight you will shuttle to Alba, the capital of white truffles, for a stroll, some shopping and dinner on your own. You must try the delicious ravioli del plin or tajarin pasta!

Hotel: Hotel Vigna Magica
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 7 – 26 km (4 – 16 miles)

Morning:
La Morra to Barolo: 11 km (7 miles)

Afternoon:
Barolo to Hotel: 7 km (4 miles)
OR
Barolo to Sinio and Hotel: 26 km (16 miles)

What to Expect: Enjoy a panoramic and easy ride along the crest of a hill through the villages of Novello, then to Barolo. The afternoon ride is short and downhill, taking you back to your hotel. The optional longer ridein the Talloria valleyincludes a long and very gradual uphill to Sinio, followed by a gradual downhill back to the hotel. All routes are well paved with little car traffic.

Today your ride follows a high route into Alta Langa, a stunning patchwork of hazelnut trees, towering oaks, and wide-open views of the Alps. You cycle an ancient road that Napolean travelled during his first war campaign in the region. Later, you descend into a valley that follows the ancient Roman trade route linking France and Italy. Coastal Ligurians traded wine, cheese, honey and especially salt in Piedmont and France. Pause for lunch in one of the most beautiful villages of Italy: sleepy Millesimo, reclining on the banks of the Bormida River. Its ancient bridge dates to the 12th century, sure to be one of the best photo ops of your vacation.

Continue your reel on an easy winding route along the Bormida into the Italian region of Liguria. At ride’s end, join a shuttle to our next hotel, built on the sandy beach of San Lorenzo al Mare on the Italian Riviera. Enjoy a welcome aperitivo and settle in, perhaps relax in the hotel spa, stroll on the beach, or swim in the azure waters of the Ligurian Sea. In 2018, the Foundation for Environmental Education awarded this stretch of sea with the Blue Flag for the cleanliness of its beaches and sea water and its sustainable tourism. You dine at the hotel restaurant tonight.

Hotel: Hotel Riviera dei Fiori
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 22 – 56 km (19 – 34 miles)

Morning:
Bossolasco to Millesimo: 34 km (20 miles)

Afternoon:
Millesimo to Calizzano: 22 km (19 miles)

What to Expect: Your ride is particularly scenic this morning as you cycle an easy rolling panoramic route in Alta Langa, at an altitude of about 2,000 feet. There’ll be little traffic, with the exception of some motorbikes. After about 28 km (17 miles), you descend into the Bormida River valley and stop for lunch. The afternoon ride is almost flat or very gradually ascending as it follows the river upstream. You are picked up at the end of the ride to shuttle to your next hotel. Routes are well paved, with little car traffic.

After breakfast, cycle from your hotel on an easy scenic bike path, built on former railway tracks that trace the breathtaking Ligurian coast. The path is paved and well maintained, enjoyable for fast riders, beginners, and locals. This leisurely and utterly pleasant reel offers a feast for the eyes as you pass Mediterranean shrub, vibrant flowers, palms, little villages, high belfries and of course the blue waters of the Ligurian. You later coast into pretty, seaside San Remo. This resort town has hosted emperors and empresses and was the site of the San Remo Conference after World War I. If you wish, stop here to visit the synagogue and stroll the shop-lined pedestrian zone.

Continue your reel to the fishing village of Ospedaletti, known as the pearl of this colorful “Coast of Flowers.” You arrive here by riding through a tunnel that doubles as a gallery of portraits from the famous Milano-San Remo Spring classic cycling race. This sprinters classic—a one-day, 185.2-mile competition—held its inaugural in 1907 and today is one of the five prestigious “Monuments” of the bike racing circuit. En route back to your hotel, explore the quaint coastal villages of Riva Ligure and Santo Stefano al Mare at leisure. You might stop to stroll the maze of caruggi, the characteristic narrow medieval streets, or perhaps pick a café for lunch on your own. And nothing goes with an Italian reel like a delicious gelato.

Dinner is on your own this evening in San Lorenzo al Mare. You have many eateries to choose from and a lovely seaside setting for an after-dinner stroll.

Hotel: Hotel Riviera dei Fiori
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 – 50 km (15 – 31 miles)

Morning:

San Lorenzo to Ospedaletti: 24 km (15 miles)

Afternoon:

Ospedaletti to Riva Ligure and to Hotel: 26 km (16 miles)

What to Expect: Enjoy a relaxing flat ride, on a dedicated well paved bike path. There are four will-lit tunnels along the 24 km (15 mile) route. You retrace much of the same route on the way back to the hotel, with the exception of a few miles along the coastal road that passes through two villages.

Discover charming Taggia, where local foodie Roberta brings you to an olive oil mill for a tasting and helps you prepare a delicious lunch of pasta and pesto sauce. Discover more of Liguria tonight at your festive farewell dinner.

Your reel today delivers you into the Argentina River valley, where an easy bike path leads to Taggia, one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. Here, local guide and food expert Roberta introduces you to the Mediterranean culture and diet. During a visit to an old olive oil mill still in operation, you’ll taste fragrant Canestrelli bread and borage grissini with extra virgin olive oil and olive tapenade. Then enjoy a special treat as you head into the heart of an authentic medieval village—complete with fortified portals and coats of arms identifying past noble families. Here, with the help of Roberta and other local cooks, you prepare the region’s renowned pesto sauce, using local basil and other fresh ingredients, a marble mortar, and a wooden pestle. Then, learn to prepare fresh handmade parpaiui, butterfly pastas that perfectly matches the sauce. Then it’s lunchtime as you savor the meal you’ve helped prepare. Later, Roberta leads us on a short walk on the cobbled street of Taggia.

After, you retrace your route back to the hotel to relax. A longer route takes you to up the San Lorenzo river to Torre Paponi. Avid cyclists can test their abilities on the famous Cipressa and Costarainera uphill roads of the Milano-San Remo, right behind our hotel.

This evening, celebrate your Piedmont cycling discoveries during a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Hotel: Hotel Riviera dei Fiori
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 10 – 35 km (6 – 22 miles)

Morning:
Hotel to Taggia: 14.5- km (9 miles)

Afternoon:
Taggia to Hotel: 14.5 km (9 miles)

OR
Taggia to Torre Paponi to Hotel: 25 km (16 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is on an easy bike path. The afternoon longer option includes a very gradual ascent of about 5 km (3 miles) and is rated easy to moderate. All roads and bike paths are well paved and far from traffic.

After breakfast, transfer to Nice, the capital of the French Riviera. While you will arrive at your hotel around 10:00 a.m., your room may not be available until 3:00 p.m., so you can store your luggage with the reception desk. Join our local expert for an informative meeting and an included orientation tour of Nice.

Your small boutique hotel, recently refurbished in chic Art Deco style, is located on the beautiful residential Victor Hugo street in the Carre’ d’Or district, or the golden quarter, the most expensive and elegant area of Nice. It’s only a quarter of a mile from the famous Promenade des Anglais and a third of a mile from the busy commercial street of restaurants and cafés, the Avenue Jean Médecin.

If you have chosen the independent Post-trip Extension to Nice, you will remain at this hotel for three nights. Our local representative can answer your questions and help you discover the city and provide information about optional excursions. VBT’s City Information includes recommendations for restaurants, museums and transportation in the area, and will help you explore on your own.

Hotel: La Malmaison Nice
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast*, transfer to Nice airport (20 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 checking 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 is at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast

Mon, May 11 to Sun, May 17 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Your tour starts at 12:30 p.m. at our 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 going to be later than 12:30 p.m. or if you are delayed, please call the hotel and ask the front desk to pass the message on to your VBT trip leaders.

All guests will transfer to Canale (approximately one 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 (34.8 hectares). After a safety and bike-fitting session, don your bike gear and follow your Trip Leaders on a short warm-up ride through the hotel’s surroundings.

Later, witness the art of truffle hunting as you join an expert farmer, or trifolao, and his dog Willy on the property grounds. Together, you 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, sampling local Arneis and Favorita wines and local cheese. Your welcome dinner is at the estate’s restaurant, complemented with wines from their farm. Their delicious array of products fresh from their gardens offer a wonderful introduction to Piedmont’s locally sourced cuisine.

Hotel: Querce del Vareglio
Meals: Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 12 km (7 miles)

Afternoon
Warm-Up: 12 km (7 miles)

What to Expect: After an initial downhill from your agriturismo, enjoy an easy ride toward Canale and into the countryside. You may tackle the steep hill on the way back or avoid it by walking a very short distance.

This morning’s hearty breakfast features jams preserved onsite and a selection of homemade 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 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 built 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. Discover Pollenzo and its treasures on your own during a short stop.

Afterward, shuttle across the River Tanaro, the natural northern border of the Langhe, birthplace of the great wine Barolo. The breathtaking hilly landscapes you’ll traverse, or langa, are famous for wines, cheeses and truffles. Here, the winemaking culture, traditions and terrains 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. Arrive in La Morra and enjoy lunch on your own. It is truly a privilege to cycle here.

Continue cycling these gorgeously landscaped routes, mostly downhill. As you coast through the valley, you’ll savor spectacular views of the hilltop villages of Verduno and Roddi, each crowned by stately castles. Your destination is the majestic Tenuta di Fontanafredda. Spread over 296 acres (120 hectares) of vineyard-cloaked land, this sprawling estate and wine village incorporates several historical buildings, wine cellars, a beautiful park with rare plants and trees, a lovely pristine lake, and meditation zones.

This evening browse through the hotel’s unique library or stroll the trails of its vast park, the Wood of Thoughts. Later enjoy dinner at the Gourmet Bistrot Guido, set in the beautiful Cascina Rosa villa on the hotel grounds. This elegant building hosts the Michelin-starred restaurant Guido, a gracious Italian kitchen committed to using the finest Piedmont ingredients.

Hotel: Hotel Vigna Magica
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 14 – 44 km (9 – 28 miles)

Morning:
Canale to Pollenzo: 30 km (19 miles)

Afternoon:
La Morra to Hotel Vigna Magica: 14 km (9 miles)

What to Expect: Departing from the hotel, you’ll ride into the Roero forested region on an undulating route with little car traffic, arriving in Pollenzo before lunch. In Pollenzo, we offer an 8-km (5-mile) shuttle to avoid traffic and the long uphill into La Morra, your lunch stop. The afternoon ride is mostly downhill and flat, with only one rolling hill, on paved country roads. On the final stretch you will cycle through a village with some car traffic.

Today, shuttle to the hilltop town of La Morra to begin an invigorating reel along an easy route, tracing a crest that offers beautiful sweeping views of manicured vineyards and farms. You pass 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.

Before lunch 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 the cozy streets, full of little quaint shops and cafés. You may also visit the interesting WIMU, the wine museum located in the castle of Barolo. Later, cycle downhill back to your hotel or add miles for a scenic ride to medieval Grinzane Cavour, a UNESCO World Heritage site and host to the Alba White Truffle World Auction.

Back at the hotel follow our expert guide Monica through the underground historic wine cellars of Tenuta di Fontanafredda, among the 100 finest cellars in the world. The king of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II bought the estate in 1858 and 12 years later decided to cut most of the forest to plant the first vineyards. His son, the Prince Emanuele Alberto, later transformed the estate into a formidable wine business by partnering with the Marques Falletti and Count Cavour to create the now-famous Barolo wine.

Tonight you will shuttle to Alba, the capital of white truffles, for a stroll, some shopping and dinner on your own. You must try the delicious ravioli del plin or tajarin pasta!

Hotel: Hotel Vigna Magica
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 7 – 26 km (4 – 16 miles)

Morning:
La Morra to Barolo: 11 km (7 miles)

Afternoon:
Barolo to Hotel: 7 km (4 miles)
OR
Barolo to Sinio and Hotel: 26 km (16 miles)

What to Expect: Enjoy a panoramic and easy ride along the crest of a hill through the villages of Novello, then to Barolo. The afternoon ride is short and downhill, taking you back to your hotel. The optional longer ridein the Talloria valleyincludes a long and very gradual uphill to Sinio, followed by a gradual downhill back to the hotel. All routes are well paved with little car traffic.

Today your ride follows a high route into Alta Langa, a stunning patchwork of hazelnut trees, towering oaks, and wide-open views of the Alps. You cycle an ancient road that Napolean travelled during his first war campaign in the region. Later, you descend into a valley that follows the ancient Roman trade route linking France and Italy. Coastal Ligurians traded wine, cheese, honey and especially salt in Piedmont and France. Pause for lunch in one of the most beautiful villages of Italy: sleepy Millesimo, reclining on the banks of the Bormida River. Its ancient bridge dates to the 12th century, sure to be one of the best photo ops of your vacation.

Continue your reel on an easy winding route along the Bormida into the Italian region of Liguria. At ride’s end, join a shuttle to our next hotel, built on the sandy beach of San Lorenzo al Mare on the Italian Riviera. Enjoy a welcome aperitivo and settle in, perhaps relax in the hotel spa, stroll on the beach, or swim in the azure waters of the Ligurian Sea. In 2018, the Foundation for Environmental Education awarded this stretch of sea with the Blue Flag for the cleanliness of its beaches and sea water and its sustainable tourism. You dine at the hotel restaurant tonight.

Hotel: Hotel Riviera dei Fiori
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 22 – 56 km (19 – 34 miles)

Morning:
Bossolasco to Millesimo: 34 km (20 miles)

Afternoon:
Millesimo to Calizzano: 22 km (19 miles)

What to Expect: Your ride is particularly scenic this morning as you cycle an easy rolling panoramic route in Alta Langa, at an altitude of about 2,000 feet. There’ll be little traffic, with the exception of some motorbikes. After about 28 km (17 miles), you descend into the Bormida River valley and stop for lunch. The afternoon ride is almost flat or very gradually ascending as it follows the river upstream. You are picked up at the end of the ride to shuttle to your next hotel. Routes are well paved, with little car traffic.

After breakfast, cycle from your hotel on an easy scenic bike path, built on former railway tracks that trace the breathtaking Ligurian coast. The path is paved and well maintained, enjoyable for fast riders, beginners, and locals. This leisurely and utterly pleasant reel offers a feast for the eyes as you pass Mediterranean shrub, vibrant flowers, palms, little villages, high belfries and of course the blue waters of the Ligurian. You later coast into pretty, seaside San Remo. This resort town has hosted emperors and empresses and was the site of the San Remo Conference after World War I. If you wish, stop here to visit the synagogue and stroll the shop-lined pedestrian zone.

Continue your reel to the fishing village of Ospedaletti, known as the pearl of this colorful “Coast of Flowers.” You arrive here by riding through a tunnel that doubles as a gallery of portraits from the famous Milano-San Remo Spring classic cycling race. This sprinters classic—a one-day, 185.2-mile competition—held its inaugural in 1907 and today is one of the five prestigious “Monuments” of the bike racing circuit. En route back to your hotel, explore the quaint coastal villages of Riva Ligure and Santo Stefano al Mare at leisure. You might stop to stroll the maze of caruggi, the characteristic narrow medieval streets, or perhaps pick a café for lunch on your own. And nothing goes with an Italian reel like a delicious gelato.

Dinner is on your own this evening in San Lorenzo al Mare. You have many eateries to choose from and a lovely seaside setting for an after-dinner stroll.

Hotel: Hotel Riviera dei Fiori
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 – 50 km (15 – 31 miles)

Morning:

San Lorenzo to Ospedaletti: 24 km (15 miles)

Afternoon:

Ospedaletti to Riva Ligure and to Hotel: 26 km (16 miles)

What to Expect: Enjoy a relaxing flat ride, on a dedicated well paved bike path. There are four will-lit tunnels along the 24 km (15 mile) route. You retrace much of the same route on the way back to the hotel, with the exception of a few miles along the coastal road that passes through two villages.

Discover charming Taggia, where local foodie Roberta brings you to an olive oil mill for a tasting and helps you prepare a delicious lunch of pasta and pesto sauce. Discover more of Liguria tonight at your festive farewell dinner.

Your reel today delivers you into the Argentina River valley, where an easy bike path leads to Taggia, one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. Here, local guide and food expert Roberta introduces you to the Mediterranean culture and diet. During a visit to an old olive oil mill still in operation, you’ll taste fragrant Canestrelli bread and borage grissini with extra virgin olive oil and olive tapenade. Then enjoy a special treat as you head into the heart of an authentic medieval village—complete with fortified portals and coats of arms identifying past noble families. Here, with the help of Roberta and other local cooks, you prepare the region’s renowned pesto sauce, using local basil and other fresh ingredients, a marble mortar, and a wooden pestle. Then, learn to prepare fresh handmade parpaiui, butterfly pastas that perfectly matches the sauce. Then it’s lunchtime as you savor the meal you’ve helped prepare. Later, Roberta leads us on a short walk on the cobbled street of Taggia.

After, you retrace your route back to the hotel to relax. A longer route takes you to up the San Lorenzo river to Torre Paponi. Avid cyclists can test their abilities on the famous Cipressa and Costarainera uphill roads of the Milano-San Remo, right behind our hotel.

This evening, celebrate your Piedmont cycling discoveries during a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Hotel: Hotel Riviera dei Fiori
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 10 – 35 km (6 – 22 miles)

Morning:
Hotel to Taggia: 14.5- km (9 miles)

Afternoon:
Taggia to Hotel: 14.5 km (9 miles)

OR
Taggia to Torre Paponi to Hotel: 25 km (16 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is on an easy bike path. The afternoon longer option includes a very gradual ascent of about 5 km (3 miles) and is rated easy to moderate. All roads and bike paths are well paved and far from traffic.

After breakfast you transfer by private shuttle to the nearby railway station of Arma di Taggia, arriving around 9:00 a.m. Your tour ends here; frequent train connections can take you to Genova, Milan or back to Turin’s Porta Nuova station. In the opposite direction, they can take you to Nice, France You are responsible for your own train travel and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Your small boutique hotel, recently refurbished in chic Art Deco style, is located on the beautiful residential Victor Hugo street in the Carre’ d’Or district, or the golden quarter, the most expensive and elegant area of Nice. It’s only a quarter of a mile from the famous Promenade des Anglais and a third of a mile from the busy commercial street of restaurants and cafés, the Avenue Jean Médecin.

If you have chosen the independent Post-trip Extension to Nice, you will remain at this hotel for three nights. Our local representative can answer your questions and help you discover the city and provide information about optional excursions. VBT’s City Information includes recommendations for restaurants, museums and transportation in the area, and will help you explore on your own.

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Pre-Trip Extension - Turin

2 Nights From $345 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $245

  • 2 nights at the Grand Hotel Sitea
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Hospitality Desk and City Orientation Tour
  • Airport transfers

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

Upon arrival at the Turin airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you as you enter the arrival hall. Your VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will help you transfer to your centrally located hotel in Turin.

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please let your hotel staff know by calling +39 011 5170171. Ask them to pass your message to the driver. 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 quickly if they are aware of the delay. You may also contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service.

Please note: Check-in time is 2:00 p.m., but hotel staff will do their best to get you to your room as soon as possible. You may store your luggage at the front desk. A local VBT representative is available at 4:00 p.m. at the hotel to answer your questions and offer an orientation walk. She will also propose an optional guided tour for the next day. This unconventional three-hour guided tour will highlight Turin’s unknown attractions including a visit to an open market to discover local specialties, a stop in a very special coffee shop, plus other hidden treasures. 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

The day is yours to explore the historic treasures of Turin as you wish. You might head to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, where the mysterious Shroud of Turin — said to have once covered the head of Jesus — is kept. Visit the National Museum of Cinema in the towering Mole Antonelliana, the tallest museum in the world. Or browse the artifacts of the Egyptian Museum, the largest collection of antiquities outside Cairo. For a wider view, board a mountain gondola just outside the city for magnificent views. Come mealtime, head to Eataly, a foodie’s emporium of tantalizing sights, fragrances, and flavors. There is a large version at Lingotto, or a smaller one next to your hotel. If you’re as passionate about food as the locals of Turin, you’ll be pleased to know that your hotel’s restaurant has recently earned a Michelin star.

Hotel: Grand Hotel Sitea
Meals: Breakfast

Another free day in Turin provides the perfect opportunity to linger in some of the city’s many historic cafés and watch local Italian life unfold around you. Or venture just outside the city to explore one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, a UNESCO World Heritage site consisting of the splendid Castello del Valentino, the sprawling Reggia di Venaria Reale, and the regal Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi. VBT’s City Information has ideas and tips.

VBT Air Package guests arrive throughout the day.

Hotel: Grand Hotel Sitea
Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Post-Trip Extension - Nice

2 Nights From $245 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $195

  • 2 nights at the La Malmaison Nice
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Hospitality Desk and City Orientation Tour
  • Airport transfers

Spend more time in Nice, strolling the gracious warrens and fountain-dotted squares of the historic quarter, steeped in old-world elegance. If you wish, journey a little farther afield to Monte Carlo, opulent capital of the tiny principality of Monaco. Here, in the footsteps of glamorous celebrities and royalty, explore the historic lanes of Le Rocher, the medieval Old Town, and be sure to catch the changing of the guard at the Grimaldi Princes’ Palace. See where American actress Grace Kelly, who married Prince Ranieri III in 1956 to become Princess Grace, is entombed. And duck into the extravagant Monte Carlo Casino.

Hotel: La Malmaison Nice
Meals: Breakfast

Perhaps begin the day with a stroll along the splendid Promenade des Anglais, admiring its gardens and taking in sweeping views of the crystalline blue sea. Shopping opportunities are endless here, too. And while you’re in town, you’ll want to visit the Musée Matisse to view the largest collection of the artist’s work. If you rent a car to expand your reach, drive the scenic high coastal roads into France, where you can visit the breathtaking hilltop village of Eze or the city of perfumes, Grasse.

If you prefer, spend the day in Genoa exploring the Old Town. This city on the sea is home to one of the largest sea-life aquariums in Europe. Its Galata Museo del Mare is the first Mediterranean maritime museum.

Upon returning to your hotel, relax at the luxurious fitness and wellness center overlooking the sea and enjoy the swimming pools and private beach. In spring and summer, you may dine on the cliff-top terrace.

Hotel: La Malmaison Nice
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast*, transfer to Nice airport (20 minutes, depending on traffic) for your departing flight. Please ensure you are waiting in the hotel reception area at the designated 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 checking 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: Breakfast

Reviews

Guest Reviews 12 out of 12 (100%) of reviewers recommend this tour

5.0 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation + Air Package

10 days, includes round-trip international airfare, airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $495

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Single Supplement: From $295

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