Ride Option: 62 miles/6,700 ft roundtrip from Saluzzo
Climb hors catégorie Colle dell’Agnello (13.5 miles/4,800 ft), which lies on the border of France and Italy. This col was included in the 2008/2011 Tour de France routes.
Day 1, Saluzzo
We’ll meet at the hotel at 1 p.m. for a brief orientation, then you’ll have the remainder of the afternoon to assemble/fit bikes and explore the town. For those interested, we’ll do a short warm-up ride. Welcome dinner together.
Saluzzo is a flourishing medieval hill town, located at the foot of the Alps, 35 miles south of Torino. Its narrow cobblestone streets are lined with renaissance and medieval architecture, with a variety of churches, a castle and a palace to explore. Saluzzo has numerous restaurants, cafés, wine bars and is well known for its finely crafted furniture and antique shops.
Day 2, Saluzzo – Market/Loop Ride
Ride Options: 37-60 miles/1,000-6,000 ft
In the morning, we’ll visit a wonderful weekly market and take a walking tour of Saluzzo, followed by a relaxing afternoon loop ride to the foothills of the Alps to visit the Staffarda Abbey (Santa Maria di Staffarda). If you’re looking for a challenge, there’s an opportunity to ride to the source of the Po River in the Alps, with up to 6,000 feet of climbing! Dinner on your own.
Day 3, La Morra
Ride 45 miles/1,000 feet
We’ll leave the Po River Valley along quiet narrow roads bordered by poplar groves and corn fields and ride to La Morra, located in the heart of the Barolo wine country. We’ll visit a castle in Racconigi and sample homemade gelato in Sommariva di Bosco, where chocolates are also a specialty. There may be an opportunity to go to the Annual White Truffle Festival in Alba! Dinner together at a fabulous Piedmontese osteria.
Day 4, La Morra – Loop Ride/Wine Tasting
Ride Options: 23 miles/2,300 ft
Relax and explore the town or join us for a loop ride through the vineyards of the Langhe region. This region is famous for Barolo wine, the “king of Italian reds,” made from nebbiolo grapes. The beautiful natural landscape of vineyards, gorges and woodlands is dotted with medieval, renaissance, baroque and 19th century architecture. We’ll visit the area’s enotecas (wine cellars) and taste local wines. Dinner together at a local agroturismo (working farm/winery).
Day 5, Asti
Ride: 44 miles/2,200 ft
Along our ride we’ll stop in Alba to explore the village’s red-bricked medieval towers, baroque and renaissance palaces, and cobblestone streets lined with gastronomic shops. We’ll cycle through vineyards of Piedmont’s best-known wines, including Barbaresco, Dolcetto d’Alba, nebbiolo d’Alba, Barbera d’ Asti and Asti spumante, the local sparkling wine. Our hotel is located in central Asti, offering easy access to the village. Dinner on your own.
Day 6, Casale Monferrato
Ride: 48 miles/4,100 ft
We’ll ride along Monferrato vineyards on small country roads lined with walnut and poplar groves, to the fortified town of Casale Monferrato. On the way, we’ll stop for lunch in the Santuario di Crea, a renowned Italian pilgrimage site, and enjoy sweeping views of the vineyards below. Dinner together.
Day 7, Casale Monferrato – Loop Ride
Ride Options: 41 miles/3,000 ft
Visit the oldest baroque synagogue, relax and explore the town, and/or join us for a loop ride in the Monferrato hills – it’s your choice! In the afternoon, we’ll offer wine tasting at the enoteca Vignale Monferrato enoteca. Dinner on your own.
Day 8, Borgomanero
Ride: 62 miles, flat!
We leave the wine-producing area behind and make our way north to the Italian lakes, through one of Europe’s largest rice growing areas. There’s an opportunity to visit San Nazzaro Sesia, a village built around an 11th century Benedictine abbey. We’ll stop in Gattinara to taste this fabulous DOCG wine. You’ll also have an opportunity to visit some great local bike shops and check out the sleek Colnago and Pinerolo bikes! Dinner together at a local trattoria!
Day 9, Lago Maggiore – Pallanza
Ride: 33 miles/1,050 ft
Today’s relaxing route travels along the shores of three beautiful lakes: Lago d’Orta, Lago Mergozzo and Lago Maggiore. In the afternoon, you can visit the village of Mergozzo or the Villa Taranto botanical gardens in Pallanza. This is also a great opportunity to relax and enjoy the view from our lakeside hotel, or take a stroll along the lake with a gelato. Final celebration dinner together!
Option: Climb Mottarone (10 miles/3,700 ft) for spectacular views of Monte Rosa, the Alps and Lago Maggiore.
Pallanza, located on Lago Maggiore, is unmistakably Mediterranean in atmosphere, with palms and oleanders lining the lakeside promenades. Pallanza is home to the famous botanical gardens of Villa Taranto, which has over 20,000 species of plants.
Day 10, Lago Maggiore – Pallanza
Our tour ends after breakfast. For those who are heading home, there’s a one-hour bus transfer to Malpensa Airport for your midday plane departure. If you’re interested in extending your stay, we’ll be happy to offer suggestions – Lago Maggiore’s shoreline is a wonderful place to relax before heading home.