Days 1 & 2: Cremona, Sabbioneta
We’ll dive right into the history and culture of Emilia-Romagna, a region just north of Tuscany. After meeting and getting fitted for bicycles in Cremona—the birthplace of the world-famous Stradivarius violins—we’ll pedal on gentle bike paths beside the Po River to the Sabbioneta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We’ll get acquainted with some of the region’s flavors, including cold cuts such as culatello and coppa and local table wines including sparkling, red Lambrusco or tart, crisp Pignoletto.
Overnights in Cremona and Sabbioneta/Po River Valley
Days 3 & 4: Flavorful Parma
Quiet country roads welcome us as we cycle south toward Parma, one of Italy’s culinary capitals. There’s no rush, however; along the way, we’ll catch glimpses of local farm life and pause often to take photos. Our journey takes us past the palace of Colorno; today it houses the International School of Italian Cuisine. Another cycling excursion takes us on a loop ride past ancient castles and through the glorious Parma hills.
Parma, where we spend two nights, is the home of Parmesan cheese and air-dried Parma ham (Prosciutto di Parma). Dining in and around Parma will delight our taste buds—whether we’re picnicking in an olive grove or savoring a multi-course meal at a sophisticated restaurant.
Overnights in Parma
Days 5 & 6: The Best of Emilia-Romagna’s Countryside
Another day full of events today, we'll stop at a salumificio to see how they make Prosciutto di Parma before heading to Reggio Emilia at about lunch time.
We’ll pedal along scenic back roads and bike paths to an agriturismo, a country-house hotel with a working farm, where we spend the night and dine on delicacies cooked from the farm’s own produce.
The next day, we have an early start to the morning to observe the artistry of a working Parmesan cheese maker on our way out of Parma. As we ride toward Modena—home of the world’s most revered balsamic vinegar—we stop at a traditional factory to learn how grapes are transformed into this savory vinegar.
Overnights in a rural agriturismo and in Modena
Day 7: Bike to Bologna
We leave Modena with its Duomo and the Ghirlandaia tower along a rail to trail bikepath that will lead us to the fortress town of Bazzano, a great spot for a morning snack before enjoying great views along the hills on our way to Bologna, our destination for tonight. We’ll stop at the University of Gelato at the Gelato Lab to learn how to make gelato, and to taste some! We'll complete the day with a guided visit of this great city before dinner together.
Overnight in Bologna
Day 8: Pasta Cooking Class & Departure
On the final day of our culinary adventure, we learn how to roll pasta dough and to cut tagliatelle, tagliolini, and pappardelle. Then we’ll see how the famous tortellini Bolognesi are stuffed and shaped, and the cooks will share the secret of traditional ragú alla Bolognese and the ever-popular tiramisu. After that, we’ll send you on your way to continue your own culinary explorations.
About Our Partners:
This tour has been created in collaboration with our partner ExperiencePlus!, a family-owned and -operated business that has offered quality biking tours since 1972. Sisters Monica and Maria Elena share our passion for great local food and wine, and they’re passionate guides who have created outstanding cycling routes. In addition, they are neighbors and friends of ours in both Italy and Colorado. ExperiencePlus! will assist in answering all of your questions and bookings for this tour.