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Self-Guided Bicycle Tours — Italy

Taste of Italy - Self-guided Bike Tour Of Emilia Romagna

Cycle Emilia Romagna and taste Italy's culinary delights.

On this bright new bicycle tour, you'll ride through Italy's premier pasta region. Every meal will include extraordinary local dishes made according to tradition. Every day of pedaling will not only take you on behind-the-scenes visits of parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar, but also to ancient castles and world heritage UNESCO sites. Here, history, art, culture and tradition conspire to make this tour unforgettable!

For more information download the Tour Factsheet

Request space on this Self-Guided Bicycle Tour

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Bologna, Fit bicycles

    Highlights: The UNESCO World Heritage porticoes of Bologna

    Arrive in Bologna and meet us for bike fitting and briefing. Bologna today is Emilia Romagna's administrative capital and, arguably, its culinary capital too. Home to the oldest continually operating university in the world, Bologna has a long tradition of studies, arts, and gastronomy. Speaking of gastronomy, Bologna gave birth to the mortadella, vulgarly distorted abroad as "bologna," although the fresh, artisanal mortadella has nothing to do with processed ham! Make sure you put this culinary delight on your 'must try' list! Your optional dinner is at a local trattoria!

  • Day 2

    Loop ride to the surrounding hills

    Highlights: Cooking demonstration, loop ride on the 'Colli Bolognesi'

    You have an optional cooking demonstration this morning, where you will learn a few secrets from local artisans. You'll have time in the afternoon for a short loop ride that takes you on the hills south of Bologna, where Partisans were fighting during the Second World War. Daily Mileage: 25-45 km (16-28 mi)

  • Day 3

    Ride to Modena

    Highlights: Gelato Tasting and Museum, World Heritage Site of historic Modena

    Go on an optional visit of a Gelato Museum and taste the history of gelato, before enjoying great views along the hills. A rails-to-trails bikepath will lead you out to the fortress town of Bazzano, before heading to Modena. Don't miss a visit to the historic center of this city. Daily Mileage: 62 km (39 mi)

  • Day 4

    Ride to Reggio Emilia countryside

    Highlights: Modena's covered street market, Balsamic vinegar visit , stay in an agriturismo

    Before heading out of Modena with your bicycle, we suggest a visit to the local covered market that has been selling local products since the Middle Ages: fruits and vegetables, but also gourmet selections of Lambrusco wine, Amaretti cookies, truffles, cheese and Prosciutto, and of course traditional balsamic vinegar. Another culinary mystery is unveiled today on an optional visit at an "acetaia", a traditional balsamic vinegar factory to learn how leftover grapes are transformed into the sweet rich vinegar that can sometimes be worth hundreds of dollars. You'll continue on along back roads to reach your "agriturismo", a country house hotel with a working farm, where you'll stay tonight and where an optional dinner can be reserved. Daily Mileage: 51 km (32 miles).

  • Day 5

    Bike to Parma

    Highlights: Parma cured ham and Parmesan cheese

    Get up early for an optional visit, observing the artistry of a working Parmesan cheese maker on your way out this morning. You'll ride along bike paths following an old railroad. Your destination is a city where your taste buds will not be disappointed. It is, however, a city where the arts flourished also outside of the kitchen: Parmigianino, Corregio, and Giuseppe Verdi are some of the most famous citizens. Enjoy time in the historic center and delight your palate with Parma's signature cured ham (prosciutto crudo) and Parmesan cheese, eaten at an aperitivo or perhaps sprinkled on homemade pasta dishes. Daily Mileage: 62 km (39 mi).

  • Day 6

    Loop ride into the hills to the castle of Torrechiara

    Highlights: Loop ride into the Parma hills to the castle of Torrechiara

    Get ready for your last day of bicycling amidst ancient castles and local traditions! Today's ride will loop to the breath-taking castle of Torrechiara. Dominating the Val Parma, the castle was constructed between 1448 and 1460, devised as an instrument of defense as well as a distinguished home for the count and his lover. This area is famous for its cured prosciutto and local salame--you can have lunch in this historic setting ! Daily Mileage: 48 km (30 miles).

  • Day 7

    Tour ends in Parma

    Highlights: World Heritage Site of Parma

    Your cycling tour ends in Parma. Now with a refined palate, shop well and take some recipes home to try in your own kitchen!

Includes 6 nights in 3-4 star hotels;all breakfasts; use of a high quality titanium racing or hybrid bicycle; bike fitting and briefing; use of GPS with preloaded tracks; roadbook and map; luggage transfers;
Countries Italy
Begin/End Bologna / Parma
Arrive/Depart In and out of Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ)
Total Distance 168 - 262 Km (105 - 164 miles)
Daily Distance 0 - 62 km (0 - 39 miles)
Rating 101
Notes You can make this a 5 to 15 days tour. Ask for details. Tour Factsheet
Terms Terms & Conditions
Dates Prices Single Supplement
Dates Suggested start day: Mondays.
It can begin all days except on Thursdays and Fridays
(NOTE: starting on other days than Sunday and Monday will make some visits impossible).

EXTRAs available upon request (please refer to factsheet for details):
Dinners and activities booking
Room upgrade options
Electric bikes

City taxes not included.

GROUP DISCOUNTS 5% (on groups of 4 or more)
Prices €1120 Single Supplement 265 Euros (solo travelers pay 570 euro)
Next Step Request Space on This Tour »
  • The route notes provided as much detail as possible. Your bikes were good quality and the mechanic that explained them was very helpful. We loved the hotel and location in Bologna. Nice. The cooking Demonstration was a lot of fun too. The food at the restaurant you picked was very good and traditional. We enjoyed it. CanalGrande in Modena was pretty good too. We liked the location very much.The tour of the gelato place was very interesting. We didn''t expect much but they did a good job. The Acetaia we visited was one of favorite stops. The lady hosting us was very nice. They gave us an amazing lunch that we didn''t expect. Really enjoyed that stop. Thanks for a very nice trip.

    Phillip A.
    Florida, USA
    Sept 2016

  • Hotel Touring was terrific. Great staff. Great rooftop bar. "Based on this experience with Cycle Europe on a scale of 1-10 how would you rate the company?" 10

    Marilyn S.
    USA
    July 2018

  • We found the trip to be amazingly well organized with the tours, hotels, and the bike set-up at the first hotel, allowing us to relax and enjoy the sights and experiences. I appreciated the detailed instructions and the maps that were included. The hotels were excellent, it was so nice to always be in the historic part of the cities. The tours were amazing, fascinating, and informative and added depth to our exploration of this region of Italy.

    Ellen K.
    USA
    September 2018

  • We are all back home after a wonderful trip in Italy thanks to you and Bike Rentals Plus. The trip was great. I would like to take the opportunity to point out the highlights and lowlights of the trip: 1.Hotel Touring was very nice. The staff were accommodating and the location was great! Our room was clean and comfortable. Good breakfast, too. - 2.Your staff, Sara and Danilo were friendly and through in setting up our bikes and giving us all of the information that we needed for our bike trip. They were great. - 3.Dinner that night was not well-planned. Every dish was very rich and most of us were not able to finish our secondo as it was too rich following a very rich primo. The appetizer was boring.- 4. The first day of biking was much too difficult for the first day. - 5. The cooking class was great! It was a great way for all of us to bond. The instructor was engaging and informative. And the food was very good and even included wine. Great choice! - 6. The next day's ride to Modena was much more our speed. The distance was very long but the riding was relatively flat. We really enjoyed the ride. - 7. The Gelato Museum was great! We had a very good tour guide and we learned all about the history of gelato. The tasting at the end of the tour was delicious. The hotel in Modena was very nice and we wish we had another day in Modena because it is such a beautiful city. But the ride must go on. - 8. The next day, we rode to the Agriturismo with a stop at the Acetaia. This was fascinating. The owners were very hospitable and provided a very nice lunch along with a wonderful explanation of the makings of balsamic vinegar. This was another great stop! - 9. The agriturismo, La Razza was perfect. The staff were very friendly. Our accommodations were wonderful. Our dinner that night was very good and the service was good, too. - 11. The next morningthe Parmigiano Reggiano demonstration was by far the most fascinating demonstration that we saw on the trip. The owner's son had stepped in to do the tour and although his english was extremely limited, he was friendly and informative. Another great stop! - 12. The ride that day was also a good one. It was long but relatively easy. We really enjoyed the beautiful countryside. - 13. The hotel in Parma was very nice indeed and Parma was a great city in which to finish our trip. Our dinner was fabulous. The service was great and the wine was affordable. Having dinner on the last night was truly a great way to finish our trip and celebrate together.

    John C.
    NH, USA
    October 2015

  • Greatly enjoyed the balsamic factory tour and the gelato tasting. We really enjoyed our trip and if we ever come back to Italy for a bike tour, it will be with BikeRentalsPlus!

    Anna F.
    Poland
    May 2015

  • The route notes provided were by far and away the best I've ever seen. Hard to see how to make them better. Getting in and out of the larger towns is tricky but hard to see how to avoid. I think sometimes the road was preferable to the cycle lanes but the latter are safer and to be appreciated. The countryside was wonderful, people delightful, the cities interesting. I loved it all. I'd have liked a second day in Modena though the agro-tourisme stay was fascinating. Sara's bike set up was as good as it gets and the bikes very comfortable and better equipped than I expected. A wonderful tour by a wonderful company (in a wonderful country). Delightful people to work with.

    Andrew G.
    NY, USA
    September 2015

  • I experienced the tour and was absolutely amazing. I really want to thank you for such great organization and experience. I had an amazing time!

    Daniel F.
    USA
    April 2016

  • Thanks to Stefania and BikeRentalsPlus! for putting together such a great trip for us on short notice. While we traveled on a self-guided basis, we always felt that you and your team were there supporting us, even though we never needed to call in to the office (despite a very full week including intensive logistics). The routes were very well thought out to minimize traffic, the scheduled non-riding events were very enlightening and fun, and the included meals were delicious. This was our first self-guided trip. At other times, we have planned our own trips, creating routes from maps, which is very time-intensive. And, you can't judge the road quality or traffic from the map, and that can make those trips a scary or uncomfortable experience. We never had those problems on this trip. We have also done fully guided trips, but those are much more expensive. This was a great compromise. Finally, the rides were just the right length for my wife and me, and every time we pulled up to a hotel, our bags were in our room waiting for us, which was wonderful. Thanks again!

    Tom C.
    MA,USA
    October 2014

  • All hotels were above expectation, your recommendation on restaurants was excellent. All so helpful with the storage of the bikes which gave us peace of mind. Cooking Class was excellent. We enjoyed the experience and hope that we are still able to participate in another trip in a couple of years.

    Peter M.
    Australia
    Sept 2016

  • All the hotels were excellent. "What was your favorite experience on this trip?" Tough to decide between the cooking class (Davide was great, and we had him to ourselves); the acetaia and the caseificio.

    Laurence S.
    USA
    June 2018

  • We want to emphasize again here that we loved our time in Emilia Romagna and are grateful to you for your care in outfitting us with excellent bikes and in choosing such a wonderful itinerary. The hotels were uniformly good and we were more than happy with your choices. The rooms and bathrooms were clean and comfortable. Hotel Touring in Bologna was recently renovated and the staff was so friendly and helpful. This was particularly welcome after our fatigue from the plane travel. The real standout was The Razza, the agriturismo. Paolo was particularly congenial as he showed us around the cheese-making operation. We did have a bit of trouble with the directions, sometimes they were too detailed. Overall the trip was a great success and we were so impressed with the food, people and landscape of Emilia Romagna that we are already talking about our next visit.

    Ron and Cynthia C.
    MN,USA
    May 2014

  • My favorite experience on this trip? Finding great restaurants. Touring the country side....away from cities. Visiting Parmesan, Balsamico, and Gelato processing facilities. Least favorite experience on this trip? Too much food at the include dinners.

    Robert R.
    PA, USA
    October 2015

  • The hotels are really pleasant, very very good hotels

    Mayra P.
    USA
    July 2016

  • Thank you for an amazing bike trip; it was very well organized.

    Amir F.
    USA
    July 2017

  • I was very happy with every hotel. The front desk staff was friendly and helpful, especially at Hotel Touring. I would stay at each hotel again if traveling in the area. Each of the visits was a highlight. Perhaps the most enjoyable were the cooking class and the visit to the balsamic vinegar producer.A good tour, well designed and with great hotels and meals. Excellent value.

    Jim H.
    USA
    October 2015