Day 1 – Welcome to Italy!
Welcome to Mantova! A beautiful Renaissance town embraced by the Po River and the setting of Romeo’s banishment (from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet). After a welcome with your Siciclando representative, we will have a guided tour of the city. Enjoy an Aperol Spritz in the 16th Century main square as people walk and bike by. We will have dinner together.
Day 2 – Ride the Renaissance
29 miles/47 kilometers, 200mt total elevation gain
Today we begin biking from Mantova in the direction of its sister city, Sabbioneta. These two towns became UNESCO sites in 2008 due to their Renaissance town centers. Our route threads through small villages spiked with a church tower overlooking terracotta rooves amidst green fields. Once in Sabbioneta consider a visit to the Teatro Olimpico with frescoes by Veronese, the Church of Santa Maria Assunta or the Palaces of Ducale and Giardino. At the end of our ride we will transfer to a charming castle in the middle of the countryside where we’ll spend two nights. We look forward to share several collections and surprises of the castle. Breakfast is included today.
Day 3 – Fields and Farms of Emilia
36 miles/58 kilometers, 559mt total elevation gain
Bike the peaceful countryside at your own pace! The landscape is ever changing between farms and vineyards. The quiet roads that coast up and down make for a wonderful day. In the afternoon we will go to a historical inn where we can see the aging of the typical ham of the region – the prized culotello – a good place for an aperitivo! Breakfast and dinner are included today.
Day 4 – Discover Parma
44 miles/71 kilometers, 276mt total elevation gain
This morning we will cycle from the Locanda to the city of Parma, an important city of the Region. Explore Parma on our walking tour and see the 900-year old Duomo and adjacent museum, which houses several magnificent statues including King David, the Queen of Sheba, and King Solomon. Choose from one of the cafés for a typical Italian lunch. Breakfast is included today.
Day 5 – Our country oasis
24 Miles /40 kilometers , 730mt total elevation gain
Today we will start with a shuttle to the next accommodation, then you can choose between a wonderful and challenging loop in the Emilia countryside or relax in the lovely Opera 02 Hotel – the views and the atmosphere are fantastic. The hotel has an amazing restaurant – the chef is a master of flavors and makes every plate look like a work of art. The sommelier can explain the production of the regions Lambrusco wines. Breakfast and a picnic lunch are included.
Day 6 – Biking and balsamic vinegar!
33Miles / 55 kilometers – 852mt elevation gain
We will enter into the area of Modena, home to balsamic vinegar and another UNESCO Heritage Site. Enjoy the wonderful up and down hills of the bike route! Prepare your taste buds for a balsamic tasting with our delightful hostess Signora Giovanna. She will share the interesting history of this highly-valued vinegar and the secrets to a real balsamic. Breakfast and dinner are included.
Day 7 – Organic parmesan – meet the cows, taste the cheese!
Miles 19,20 / 32 kilometers – 490mt elevation gain
This is another of our favorite stops! We will begin with a visit to the farm and factory in the morning, the time when the cows are milked and the production begins. We will then taste the parmesan which is aged at 12, 24, and 36 months. The tasting takes place in a private collection of Maserati sports cars, the only one in existence. From here we will start our bike ride in the direction of Bologna, then in the afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the city! Breakfast is included today.
Day 8 – Hills of Bologna!
Miles 25/ 42 kilometers, 472mt elevation gain
Today we will have the chance to explore the hills around Bologna! This is a beautiful bike ride with varied terrain – hills, fields, and forests. Once back to Bologna you will have enough time to relax and discover the city on your own. Walk the colorful porticoes and discover the city squares framed with churches and villas. We will enjoy great mamma (and papa) food at our favorite family-run restaurant: Handmade pasta. Savory sauces. Slow-roasted meats. And homemade desserts. Breakfast and dinner are included.
Day 9 – Departure day
After breakfast end of services.