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8-day Self-guided Gastronomy Cycling Tour in Emilia Romagna

  • 8days
  • Italy

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Cycling Tours Europe
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Gastronomy cycle tour between Parma, Modena and Bologna

The Emilia Romagna region offers many of Italy’s finest Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) products: Parmigiano Reggiano, Modena authentic Balsamic Vinegar, Parma ham, DOCG classified wines, traditional hand-made stuffed pasta.

It is an easy cycling journey that enables you to enjoy these specialties onsite directly from the producers. At the same time you can experience the art and history of the area and explore its castles and heritage villages dating back to the Ducal period when in this region was flourishing in extraordinary art.

Built by the Romans in 187 B.C., this road gave rise to important cities such as Bologna, Modena and Parma at a time when the greatest artists and architects worked in this domain. You will discover Parma, with its cathedral and Abbess room displaying Correggio’s frescoes. And Modena with its preserved medieval center, World Heritage Site, and Romanesque Cathedral.

And finally Bologna, the capital of the  region, rich in palaces and medieval towers. Bologna will charm you with its unique atmosphere and its 40 km of medieval and Renaissance arcades. On this tour you will encounter a hard-working region where everything reflects the Italian savoir vivre: the preservation of historical and artistic heritage, the pleasure of good food and the love of good music, from Verdi opera to Pavarotti.

Tour character: Level 1

Terrain characteristics: flat to hilly terrain with some gentle climbs and descents. Average length of stage: 57 to 68 km per day. Roads: 90% asphalt, 10% unpaved and trails.

Included in the Cycling Tour:

  • accommodation in 3* hotels (4* available on request for a supplementary charge)
  • double room with bath
  • 7 breakfasts, 3 typical dinners in local trattoria
  • luggage transport
  • phone number for assistance
  • Verde Natura App with tour map and itinerary (with points of interest, services and GPS position. The App provides GPS tracks that can also be used offline), one handlebar mobile holder: paper road book is available with supplement of 15€ (to be booked in advance)

Not included in the tour: 

  • Travel to Parma and from Bologna
  • lunches
  • 4 dinners
  • drinks
  • bike rental
  • public transports
  • entrance fees, tastings, tickets
  • insurance
  • tourist taxes (around 12/17€ depending on the category)
  • Paper road book is available with supplement of 15€ (to be booked in advance

Rental bikes: 

24 speed aluminum unisex bikes (for up to 175 cm) or diamond frame bikes (for 175 cm and above), disc brakes, front suspension, anti-puncture tires, gel saddle, ergonomic handlebar grips, lateral pannier bag, handlebar bag. (Bike: 90 EUR, e-bike: 200 EUR)

Please book your bikes when you book the tour: [email protected]

General information:

  • Parking: private garage 300 meters from the hotel, the cost is about €12/day per car
  • Briefing: on Day 2 we will meet you at the hotel to deliver the road book and the bikes (if rented) and provide general information on the route
  • Return transfer: at the end of the circuit you can go back to Parma by train (approximately 1h15, price is appr. 8€ per person); if you bring your own bikes, note that many regional trains will allow your bike onboard with payment of a small supplement
  • Airport: nearby airports are Milan, Parma and Bologna; all offer shuttle service to the railway station
  • There are many trains (with option to carry bikes onboard) connecting Milano, Parma and Bologna
  • Guided Tour: it is possible to arrange a guided tour for small and pre-established groups, prices available upon request
  • Departure on Sundays (not in July/August) dates as shown under 'tour dates' tab
  • Minimum of 2 people

Cooking class in Bologna: optional 180 EUR p.p.

You will enjoy a private cooking class together with an English speaking chef. The cooking class in on Day 7 and lasts about 3 hours from 7 to 10 pm. You will prepare 3 typical local dishes: stuffed pasta, tagliatelle and a dessert. After the cooking class, you will have dinner with the dishes you have prepared, with paired wine.

Slow Tours offers a number of other Cycling Tours in Europe

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  • Day 1

    PARMA

    Individual arrival in Parma. Visit Parma’s city center where you will find masterpieces of art, open green spaces, and significant treasures from across the ages. This city welcomes visitors into the refined atmosphere of a small capital. Dinner is on your own. Overnight in Parma.

  • Day 2

    PARMA – FONTANELLATO – PARMA 57 km

    After breakfast cycle through the countryside along partially paved. Enter San Secondo where you have the opportunity to stop at a cheese factory to buy some Parmigiano Reggiano freshly produced. Parmesan, one of the most ancient cheeses, is still produced with the same traditional care taken eight centuries ago. The strict production regulations, the close link to the land of its origin, the use of raw milk and other natural ingredients (16 liters of milk are required to make 1 kg of Parmesan!) are key features which distinguish this cheese from the imitations. Don’t miss a tasting! Continue towards Fontanellato where you will find the mighty fortress of San Vitale, a castle dating back to XIV° century and home to a great Parmigianino painting. Dinner in a typical trattoria. Overnight in Parma.

  • Day 3

    PARMA – REGGIO EMILIA 59 km (+/- 450-500mt)

    Discover the precise area where Parmigiano is produced along with the famous Parma ham. Parma’s delicate flavor, slightly salty with fragrant aroma, is the result of the particular climate conditions in which this ham is dried and aged. The air of the region, scented by the pine woods and Versilia chestnuts of the Parma hills and balanced by the mountains of Cisa, produce the essential features of real Parma Ham. For a taste of history do not miss Torrechiara castle instead. Set on a high perch overlooking the Parma valley, this structure dating back to 1460, is one of the best preserved fortifications in the region. Continue this pleasant route through cultivated fields until you reach the ancient fortress of Montechiarugolo overlooking the river Enza and the castle of Montecchio, part of Matilda di Canossa’s duchy defense system. End your day with a ride through the city of Reggio Emilia and enjoy the beautiful buildings and churches in old town. Dinner is on your own. Overnight in Reggio Emilia.

  • Day 4

    REGGIO EMILIA – CARPI – MODENA 57 km

    Today’s route through the countryside of the Po Valley will offer many possibilities for tours and tastings. First arrive at Correggio, a prestigious small Renaissance court bearing the name of the famous painter born here. Continue through the vineyards of Lambrusco di Santa Croce DOP on the way to Carpi, a pearl of the Renaissance and ancient home to the Pio lords. Experience the significant artistic heritage of this city dating back to the Middle Ages. Visit the beautiful Romanesque church known as “La Sagra”, the historic Deportation Museum, and the city square, the third largest in Italy and the site of the great castle. Cycle the last 18 km to arrive at the day's destination, Modena. This city offers extraordinary beauty concentrated in its graceful historic center. UNESCO has acknowledged the universal value of the city's monumental treasures by designating the Cathedral, Piazza Grande, and the Ghirlandina Tower UNESCO World Heritage. Piazza Grande is the heart of life in Modena and the place where the most significant and most-loved monuments are located. The Cathedral, one of the finest masterpieces of European Romanesque, is the work of great architect Lanfranco and master sculptor Wiligelmo. Dinner in a local trattoria to experience the typical dish “Gnocco e Tigelle”. Overnight in Modena.

  • Day 5

    MODENA – VIGNOLA – CASTELVETRO - MODENA 65 km (+/-350mt)

    After breakfast depart Modena via the cycle path tracing an historic railway route to Spilamberto. Here you can visit an “acetaia”, a factory where the authentic Balsamic Vinegar is produced. This vinegar, proudly receiving PDO status in 2000, is unique among the world's vinegar-based seasonings. Unlike other vinegars which are produced from an alcoholic liquid, Balsamic Vinegar is produced directly from the juice of the grape. Continue to Vignola, the city of cherries and the famous Barozzi cake. Savor a slice of cake at the celebrated Gollini pastry and take a stroll to the mighty castle. Continue on small roads to the town of Castelvetro renowned for the PDO Lambrusco wine. Stop at a winery and enjoy a tasting. On your way back to Modena, you can stop and visit Luciano Pavarotti’s house! Dinner is on your own. Overnight in Modena.

  • Day 6

    MODENA – NONANTOLA - BOLOGNA 55 km

    Before leaving Modena, take your time to visit Enzo Ferrari house museum. Follow the cycle path leading out of Modena along the banks of the river Secchia through countryside and vineyards. The first stop is in Nonantola to visit the Abbey. Dating back to XII° century, this Romanesque masterpiece lies along the Romea Nonantolana route followed by Pilgrims around the year 1000 as they traveled to Rome. This area, dotted with manor houses and Romanesque churches, offers many options for tasting authentic Aceto Balsamico as you continue to Bologna. Dinner in a typical trattoria. Overnight in Bologna.

  • Day 7

    BOLOGNA km 20

    After breakfast a half-day of cycling will provide a tour of Bologna. In the afternoon you are free to enjoy a stroll in the beautiful city center famous for its nearly 40 km arcades, the longest in the world. Nicknamed “The Learned” for its old University, and “The Fat” for its food tradition, the city is also a “UNESCO Creative City of Music”. It has one of the largest and most wellpreserved medieval historical centers filled with restaurants, taverns, theaters and shops. Piazza Maggiore, where medieval palaces overlook energetic daily life and economic activity, offers a prime view of this beautiful city. History combines perfectly with the present while preserving antique charm. Among the symbols of Bologna are the medieval towers, particularly the magnificent Two Towers: Asinelli tower (98 m) and neighboring “twin” Garisenda (48 m, mentioned in Dante's Inferno). When you are ready to relax, indulge yourself with a slice of mortadella and a glass of Sangiovese wine! The best way to end your trip. Dinner is on your own, or you can choose to book a cooking class! Overnight in Bologna.

  • Day 8

    BOLOGNA After breakfast the tour ends.

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Tours marked with are special prices.

Start End Max. No. Guests Accommodation Price p.p.
Mar 01 2020 Mar 08 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Mar 08 2020 Mar 15 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Mar 15 2020 Mar 22 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Mar 22 2020 Mar 29 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Mar 29 2020 Apr 05 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Apr 05 2020 Apr 12 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Apr 12 2020 Apr 19 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Apr 19 2020 Apr 26 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Apr 26 2020 May 03 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
May 03 2020 May 10 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
May 10 2020 May 17 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
May 17 2020 May 24 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
May 24 2020 May 31 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
May 31 2020 Jun 07 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Jun 07 2020 Jun 14 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Jun 14 2020 Jun 21 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Jun 21 2020 Jun 28 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Sep 06 2020 Sep 13 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Sep 13 2020 Sep 20 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Sep 20 2020 Sep 27 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Sep 27 2020 Oct 04 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Oct 04 2020 Oct 11 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Oct 11 2020 Oct 18 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Oct 18 2020 Oct 25 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Oct 25 2020 Nov 01 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Nov 01 2020 Nov 08 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€
Nov 08 2020 Nov 15 2020 12 Single rooms 1,219€
Double rooms 881€

Car rental in Italy

If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.

Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote

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