Scheduled June 24-30, New Tour Mixes Cycling with Culture and Culinary Arts
Italiaoutdoors, a provider of small-group, personalized recreational vacations in Northeastern Italy, announces their 2012 “Chefs on Bikes” tour, a guided cultural and cycling exploration of the culture, foods and wines of Northeastern Italy. Scheduled for June 24-30, the 7-day/6-night tour invites cyclists to learn from the culinary expertise of Chef Kathy Bechtel and is priced at $3895 per person, based on double occupancy. With a route covering 20-35 miles per day, the tour travels through the Veneto at the foot of the Dolomite mountains and along the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Recognizing the different riding levels of participants, the small-group size (maximum 8) allows for daily customization, including longer rides, and an immersive culinary and cultural experience.
“Chefs on Bikes” follows one of the former trade routes that distributed spices and goods from the East throughout Western Europe, meandering through flat farmland, by 16th and 17th-century villas, around volcanic hills, and into the foothills of the Pre-Alps. Days begin with gentle, scenic bike rides, followed by a culinary exploration with cooking lessons and wine tastings led by Chef Bechtel. Accommodations are in elegant four-star villa hotels in Mira, Vicenza and Asolo. The program includes all transfers, all breakfasts and snacks, five dinners with wine, plus entry fees to museums and other venues. The program can also be scheduled as a private group trip of 4-12 cyclists.
Highlights of the trip are:
· A ride along the Brenta River, touring Palladian estates and the summer villas of the Venetian aristocracy
· A visit to Vicenza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city most closely associated with Andrea Palladio, noted Venetian architect of the 16th century
· Rides through the picturesque Berici Hills (Colli Berici) Wine Zone
· A visit to the medieval walled cities of Treviso, Castelfranco, and Cittadella
· Two nights in Asolo, a striking hilltop village with winding streets and a graceful piazza overlooking the valley
· A visit to Villa Cipriani, with a Bellini reception in the garden
· Six nights at opulent villas and hotels
· Two hands-on cooking classes, one with local chefs, and one with Chef and Italiaoutdoors Culinary Director Kathy Bechtel
· Daily wine tastings of Prosecco and the best of regional Veneto wines
· Tastings of regional culinary specialties at local trattorias featuring olive oils, risotto, polenta, Venetian frutti di mare, and spicy pasta dishes
Italiaoutdoors is an owner-operated specialty guide service, offering individualized programs for small groups seeking to explore the beauty and diverse culture of Northern Italy. Hiking, biking and skiing programs are offered in combination with a culinary and culture immersion in the area. Participants share a passion for a healthy lifestyle and an appreciation for the region’s history, beauty, culture, wines and culinary delights.
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Because of their small size, tours are adaptable to the fitness levels and interests of individual guests. Daily recreation is balanced with cooking lessons, wine tastings, fine meals and cultural explorations. www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com.
Italiaoutdoors Programs Focus on Biking, Skiing and Hiking
Italiaoutdoors offers bike routes for the more relaxed cyclist or more challenging rides for the stronger rider wanting aggressive hill climbs and longer days in the saddle. Ski itineraries include lessons for all levels of skier or snowboarder, guided resort skiing or backcountry explorations, and alternate activities for the non-skier.
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Hikers can enjoy hut-to-hut treks across the spectacular Dolomites, or more leisurely day hikes with four-star accommodations. All tours include daily free time to discover and enjoy the culture and foods and wines that have made Italy a favorite destination.
For more information and reservations, visit http://www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com.