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Bicycle Tours — Italy

Cycling Emilia-Romagna’s Culinary Wonders

Guided group tour - Parma to Bologna

Long known as Italy’s premier culinary capital, Emilia-Romagna delights in every way!! On this cycling tour from Parma to Bologna, you will taste extraordinary traditional dishes and the wonderful local wine, visit Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar makers learning their time-tested methods; sample artisanal gelato; wonder at ancient castles and UNESCO sites; and even have the chance to see the Ferrari museum and factory near the famous car maker’s hometown of Modena. Two-night stays in elegant Parma and quaint Castelvetro di Modena will let you slow down and savor the region, as the locals do. Food, art, culture and tradition all come together to make this an unforgettable holiday to be experienced from the seat of your bike!

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  • Day 1

    Arrival in Parma

    Highlights: Bike fit and welcome dinner

    Considered among the culinary capitals of Italy, Parma is also known as one of Italy’s art cities: Parmigianino, Correggio, and Giuseppe Verdi are among its lustrous citizens. We suggest an afternoon stroll through the city center, where Parma’s rich history is still evident (the historic center has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site); or do as the locals do, finding a piazza table where you can delight your palate with Parma’s famous cured ham (prosciutto crudo) and Parmesan cheese, enjoyed with an aperitivo. After our bike fitting, our local guides will host a welcome dinner where you will meet your cycling companions.

    Daily distance today: optional test ride.
    Meals: Dinner

    Accommodation: Hotel Button, or similar.

  • Day 2

    Loop ride into the hills to Torrechiara Castle

    Highlights: Torrechiara Castle

    On your first cycling day, you will ride over delightful rolling hills amidst ancient castles and local tradition. Our goal is the Torrechiara Castle, a breath-taking structure dominating the Val Parma – it was constructed between 1448 and 1460, as an instrument of defense as well as a distinguished home for the count and his lover. The area is today famous for its cured prosciutto ham and salame, and we recommend stopping for a taste at lunchtime. After a downhill return to Parma, our tour leaders will suggest a restaurant for dinner, and activities for your last evening in this lovely city.

    Daily distance: 49 km (30 miles) with + 242 m (794 ft) elevation gain.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Accommodation: Hotel Button, or similar

  • Day 3

    Ride to Reggio-Emilia countryside

    Highlights: Agriturismo country estate

    Heading out of Parma today, we’ll cycle over back roads and bike paths, through farm land and small villages, towards Reggio-Emilia, in the heart of Parmesan country. Today’s destination - an agriturismo working farm and inn - will be another trip highlight. You will have plenty of time to relax and enjoy your visit here. The agriturismo also houses a parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar factory, among other wonderful surprises.

    You have two options for your ride today:

    Loop to Canossa: 57 km (35 miles), with + 801 m (2627 ft) elevation gain.
    Loop to Reggio Emilia with visit to Vacche Rosse Diary: 25 km (15 miles), with + 110 m (331 ft) elevation gain.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Accomodation: Agriturimo La Razza, or similar.

  • Day 4

    Bike to Maranello - the home of Ferrari – and Castelvetro di Modena

    Highlights: Visit parmesan cheese maker, Ferrari Museum

    We’ll get an early start this morning to visit the artistry of a working Parmesan cheese maker. The proud Consorzio will explain the intricacies of this poignant but delicate cheese on our guided tour of the small factory (ending with a tasting, of course). With our senses alight, we’ll continue cycling en route to Maranello, home of the factory and testing track of the fabled Ferrari sports cars, as well as the Ferrari Museum (visit is optional). Today’s ride ends in the delightful medieval hilltop town of Castelvetro di Modena, our base for the next two nights. We suggest a stroll among the locals over lovely cobbled lanes and alleys this evening, and dinner near the piazza where you’ll enjoy the view of the surrounding countryside below you and the Apennine mountain chain in the distance. You might also consider an optional visit to the balsamic vinegar acetaia – or mill - where another traditional culinary mystery will be unveiled. You will learn how leftovers from grapes are transformed into the sweet, rich vinegar that can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars.

    Daily distance: 46 km (28 mi) with + 470 m (1540 ft) elevation gain.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Accommodation: Hotel Guerro, or similar.

  • Day 5

    Loop ride to Modena

    Highlights: Modena

    We’ll glide down on our bikes as we begin an optional loop ride to Modena, another wonderful historic art city – and UNESCO World Heritage Site - where we will have time to explore its historical town center, the magnificent Duomo and the Ghirlandina medieval tower. We suggest a visit of the famous covered outdoor market, and time for a gelato stop as well! Modena is also the birthplace of Dino and Enzo Ferrari, founders of the namesake brand, as well as Luciano Pavarotti, the legendary tenor. After our exploration of Modena, we’ll ride back to Castelvetro in the afternoon for another night in town.

    Daily distance: 49 km (30 mi), with + 300 ms (480 ft) elevation gain
    Meals: Breakfast

    Accommodation: Hotel Guerro, or similar.

  • Day 6

    Ride to Bologna

    Highlights: Cooking class dinner

    Our last ride today is lovely, cycling by small farms and Lambrusco vineyards, always near the foothills of the Apennines. Bologna awaits – the capital of Emilia-Romagna is an important Italian city with a rich history and a fascinating medieval center. Our tour ends with a bang in the red city (as Italians call it) - we’ll meet with a Bologna local who will share their secrets and passion for cooking, while we prepare a traditional meal we’ll eat together on our celebratory good-bye dinner.

    Daily distance: 52 km (33 mi), with 220 ms (721 ft) elevation gain
    Meals: Cooking class dinner

    Accommodation: Hotel Regina, or similar.

  • Day 7

    Tour ends in Bologna

    Highlights: Arrivederci!

    Bologna is a great place to spend another night or two, or to use as a base for further exploration. For those returning home today, we will assist you in arranging your transportation to the nearby Bologna airport.

Includes High quality hybrid touring bike, 6 nights lodging in 3-star or equivalent hotels and inns, with breakfast and tax, 2 dinners with local wine, cooking class, Parmesan cheese factory visit and tasting, GPS navigation tracks provided via Ride With GPS (which you can upload to your personal navigation device), bilingual English-Italian cycling guide, support vehicle and driver on most days, pre-tour travel and sales assistance available (our pre-travel documentation will help you properly prepare for your arrival and departure logistics, as well as you participation in the tour.
Countries Italy
Begin/End Parma / Bologna
Arrive/Depart How to get there and away:
Bologna Airport (BLQ)

Starting point: Hotel Button - Borgo Salina, 4, Parma
- We recommend flying into Bologna Aeroporto G.Marconi.
- Aerobus-BLQ is the shuttle connecting Aeroporto Marconi to city center and Bologna Main Train Station (Bologna Stazione Centrale). Tickets cost € 6
- A taxi from Bologna Airport to Bologna Main Train Station (Bologna Stazione Centrale) costs about € 25/30
- There are several direct trains connecting Bologna and Parma. The ride takes about an hour and costs between € 7 and € 22 depending on the type of train
- The hotel is located about 3 km from the train station. Take a 15-minute taxi ride for about € 15 or take a bus from the train station to “Piazza Garibaldi municipio” stop (bus 8) and walk 200 meters to Borgo Salina
- A private transfer from Bologna Airport to your hotel in Parma costs about € 170

Ending point: Zanhotel Regina – via Indipendenza, 51, Bologna
- we recommend flying out from Bologna
- To get to Bologna main train station (Bologna Centrale) you can ge a bus (line 50 or 41) for a 5-10 minutes ride, a 5-minute taxi ride, or walk 10 minutes (your hotel is 800m from the train station)
- see “Starting point” for transportation info

Final arrival and departure instructions along with other detailed pre-travel documents, will be e-mailed prior to your travel, with information specific to your departure (including the actual hotels used on your tour dates, which may vary from the hotels listed above.)
* the hotels and prices listed above are for reference only and are subject to change (based on availability and seasonality)
Total Distance 251 km (156 miles)
Daily Distance 50 km (31 miles)
Rating 101
Notes Tour code: itbg3878
A great tour for novice cyclists in terms of daily distance and terrain type. Bike handling skills are necessary when negotiating bike paths (usually in or near cities and towns). Also ideal for experienced cyclists who desire shorter days on the bike and plenty of time to enjoy the destination, food and activities. You will ride 44-55 km (27-35 mi) per day, on flat to rolling terrain. We will cycle on paved backroads and bike paths with little traffic, although there are stretches where we share the roads with cars. Experienced cyclists who want longer, optional rides at the end of the programmed ride will have these available.

The tour will depart with a minimum of 6 participants, and a maximum of 16.
Terms Terms & Conditions
Dates Prices Single Supplement
Dates Spots still available on our Oct 2-8, 2022 departure! Bike availability is limited, please contact us soon.

2023 group departure dates coming soon

This tour is also currently available for private groups and families.


Bike Upgrade Options:

  • Titanium bike € 60 pp
  • E-bike (pedal-assist) € 90 pp
  • GPS Device Hire* € 45 per unit
  • (pending availability)

    For a detailed description and photos of our bicycle options, please click here


    Additional useful information:

    • Do you have any questions about how our bike tours work? Check out our FAQs page!

    • Curious about the difference between our Casual and Classic self-guided tours? Check out our introduction blog on Casual Self-Guided Tours.

    • We offer various tools for navigation - this page details what it's like to navigate on our self-guided tours.

    • If the self-guided formula isn't right for you, check out this blog introducing the differences between Guided and Self-Guided Tours.

    Are you interested in a departure, or do you have questions? We are happy to help! Please inquire through our contact form, below.
    Prices €1340 per person
    Single Supplement €180 per person
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