Biking the streets in Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

Pasta and pastries apres-bike in Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Photo via Flickr:Pug Girl

Flavors of Italy: The very best of Emilia-Romagna Bike Tour

Italy Bike Tours

Fine food, fine art and biking between Parma, Modena, and Bologna

  • This is an easy multi-faceted cycling journey through Italy's gorgeous Emilia-Romagna region, providing ample opportunity to enjoy the region's gastronomic specialties on-site, directly from the source.

    Lying between the Po River to its north and the Apennine Mountains, to the south, it is one of the most fertile and productive regions of Italy due to its coastal climate. Many of Italy’s finest Protected Denomination of Origin products (PDO), such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Modena authentic Balsamic Vinegar, Parma ham, traditional hand-made stuffed pasta, not to mention DOCG classified wines can be found in this region.

    Food and wine are not all you will enjoy. As you pedal the landscape, you can also experience the art and history of the area with its castles and heritage villages dating back to the Ducal period, a time when extraordinary art flourished.

    Showcased during this tour is the Via Emilia. This road, built by the Romans in 187 B.C., gave rise to important cities such as Bologna, Modena, and Parma at a time when the greatest artists and architects worked in this domain.

    Highlights:

    • Food and wine of the region
    • Parma and its towering cathedral
    • Correggio’s frescoes
    • Modena and the preserved medieval center
    • Bologna, rich in palaces and medieval towers
    • Numerous castles including Torrechiara, Colorno, Fontanellato, Soragna, Montecchio, Carpi, and Vignola

    This tour is designed to explore the Italian Savoir Vivre; the historical and artistic heritage, the pleasure of good food and wine, and the love of good music!

    *This tour is offered as a 7-day or self-guided tour. See itinerary details.

    Don’t forget that Tripsite offers other amazing bike tours in Italy along with 100s of other bike tours in Europe.

  • Guided:

    Double/twin sharing: $ 2458 £ 1216 $ 2,125 1330 $ 2508 kr 14993 $ 1,515 Single supplement: $ 322 £ 159 $ 278 174 $ 328 kr 1961 $ 198

    Self-guided:

    Double/twin sharing: $ 2106 £ 1043 $ 1,821 1140 $ 2150 kr 12851 $ 1,299 Single supplement (min 2 pax): $ 490 £ 242 $ 423 265 $ 500 kr 2987 $ 302 Supplement solo travelers: $ 1053 £ 521 $ 911 570 $ 1075 kr 6425 $ 649 High season supplement *(May/Sep): $ 277 £ 137 $ 240 150 $ 283 kr 1691 $ 171 * Depending on departure dates, seasonal supplement may apply. Please enquire.

    extra options

    Titanium bike (guided):  $ 370 £ 183 $ 320 200 $ 377 kr 2255 $ 228 Titanium bike (self-guided): $ 388 £ 192 $ 335 210 $ 396 kr 2367 $ 239 Electric bike (guided): $ 490 £ 242 $ 423 265 $ 500 kr 2987 $ 302 Electric bike (self-guided): $ 647 £ 320 $ 559 350 $ 660 kr 3945 $ 399 Tandem (limited): $ 388 £ 192 $ 335 210 $ 396 kr 2367 $ 239   * Aluminium touring bikes are not available on self-guided 
    GPS device hire:  $ 83 £ 41 $ 72 45 $ 85 kr 507 $ 51

    Private transfers (price per group):
    Bologna Airport to Bologna (1-3 pax): $ 74 £ 37 $ 64 40 $ 75 kr 451 $ 46   Bologna Airport to Bologna (4-6 pax): $ 92 £ 46 $ 80 50 $ 94 kr 564 $ 57   Parma to Bologna Airport (1-3 pax): $ 314 £ 155 $ 272 170 $ 321 kr 1916 $ 194 Parma to Bologna Airport (4-6 pax): $ 351 £ 174 $ 304 190 $ 358 kr 2142 $ 216

    Dinners (self-guided):
    Bologna (Day 1): $ 74 £ 37 $ 64 40 $ 75 kr 451 $ 46 Agriturismo (Day 4): $ 52 £ 26 $ 45 28 $ 53 kr 316 $ 32 Parma (Day 5 or 6): $ 46 £ 23 $ 40 25 $ 47 kr 282 $ 28 Aperitif in Parma (Day 5 or 6): $ 24 £ 12 $ 21 13 $ 25 kr 147 $ 15

    Activities (self-guided):
    Gelato Museum and tasting: €7
    Balsamic vinegar producer visit: €5
    Parmesan cheese maker visit: $ 18 £ 9 $ 16 10 $ 19 kr 113 $ 11 Cooking classes (includes tasting meal)(min 2 pax): $ 148 £ 73 $ 128 80 $ 151 kr 902 $ 91 Cooking classes supplement (includes tasting meal)(solo travelers): $ 46 £ 23 $ 40 25 $ 47 kr 282 $ 28

    Room upgrade (self-guided)
    Double room: $ 259 £ 128 $ 224 140 $ 264 kr 1578 $ 159   Single supplement: $ 323 £ 160 $ 280 175 $ 330 kr 1973 $ 199  

    Extra nights (self-guided): 
    Bologna: $ 148 £ 73 $ 128 80 $ 151 kr 902 $ 91   Parma: $ 102 £ 50 $ 88 55 $ 104 kr 620 $ 63

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    A non-refundable admin fee of 20 Euros per person is included in the deposit amount.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Closest international airport to the tour start of Parma is Bologna, located 6 km from the city center.

    Local Travel

    From the airport you can take the Aerobus service that departs Terminal Patrenze hourly to Bologna Centrale Train station. From here, you can take the train to Parma. Total travel time is about 1 hour and one half.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before your arrival. A good website to use to explore regional weather information such as average high/low temperatures and average rainfall is weatherbase.com. Average high/low temperatures in the Parma are April 62°/42°, May, 71°/50°, June, 78°/57°, July 84°/62°, August, 80°/60°, September, 73°/55°, and October, 62°/46°

    Remarks

    The cooking class is run by Le Cesarine, a company that organizes culinary experiences at local people’s houses. Classes can take place in Bologna (best for large groups), Modena and Parma. Your class will last about 3 hours, during which you will help the Cesarina prepare 3 courses. In the 4th and final hour, you will enjoy a meal (lunch or dinner) made of the courses you prepared during the class. Water and one bottle of house wine every 3 people are included.

    Dinners consist of 3-course set menus (some restaurants allow multiple-choice menus). Drinks are not included. Please check the scheduled time of your dinner, as some restaurants in Italy open for dinner as late as 7:30 or 8:00 pm.

    Luggage transfer is included in your package. Normally, the luggage is collected from 09.00 at the reception of the hotel and is delivered at the following hotel by 15.30. Every luggage must be marked with a visible luggage tag. Please make sure yours have correct tags. If your luggage is not ready by the time the driver comes to collect it, you may need to have to pay directly a local taxi for the service. Please consider that the luggage is not insured during the transport. You need to have your own insurance. Do not leave valuables or fragile items in your luggage. Normally you cannot use the luggage transport service to skip the stage. In case you need help to skip the stage, please contact our emergency number.


Where You’ll Stay

Good quality 3-star hotels and inns on the guided option. Good quality 3-4 star hotels on the self-guided option. Please see each day’s detailed itinerary for the preferred accommodation that is used. Of course in the event of lack of availability, a comparable alternative will be offered.

What’s Included

  • Guided
  • 6 nights accommodation in 3-star hotel
  • Breakfast
  • Two dinners with local wine
  • 10-speed aluminum hybrid touring bike (Shimano with straight handlebars) with pump, rear rack bag, lock and under-seat repair pack
  • Helmet
  • Bike fitting and briefing
  • Bilingual English-Italian cycling guide
  • Support vehicle and driver on most days
  • Luggage transfer
  • Cooking class
  • Parmesan cheese factory visit and tasting
  • GPS tracks on request
  • Self-Guided
  • 6 nights accommodation in 3-4 star hotels
  • Breakfast
  • 10-speed titanium hybrid (Shimano with straight handlebars) or 11-speed racing bike with pump, rear rack bag, lock and under-seat repair pack
  • Helmet
  • Bike fitting and briefing
  • Roadblock and map
  • Luggage transfer
  • GPS tracks on request

What’s Not Included

  • Both
  • Transport to and from start/end
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Drinks
  • Helmets
  • Clipless / SPD pedals
  • GPS device
  • City taxes
  • Gratuities
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance
  • Guided
  • Balsamic vinegar mill and Ferrari Museum visits
  • Self-guided
  • Gelato Museum and tasting
  • Balsamic vinegar producers visit
  • Parmesan cheese maker visit
  • Cooking classes
TourBike
TypeBoth
SkillEasy–Moderate
Length6–7 days
From1140 Rates
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Tour Dates

2020

Self-guided:

Departures on Sunday and Monday.

Guided:

May 03, June 14, July 19, Aug 9, Sep 26, Oct 11, 2020
* Minimum of 6 required to confirm a departure. Maximum 16. 

Skill Level

This is an easy to moderate guided or self-guided tour with a terrain that varies from flat to hilly with some gentle climbs and descents. The average length of the daily rides vary from 44-62 km. The roads are 90% asphalted and 10% unpaved surfaces and trails.

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Flavors of Italy: The very best of Emilia-Romagna Map

All distances are approximate. Due to circumstances beyond control, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, therefore the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during your holiday. For example, along the way, you may find temporary deviations/detours caused by roadworks. In this case please follow the directions posted on site.

7-day Guided Option 
Day 1: Parma
Day 2: Loop ride to Torrechiara Castle, 28 mi. (45 km) (246 m)
Day 3: Parma - Reggio-Emilia, 38 mi. (62km) (292 m)
Day 4: Parma - Maranello - Castelvetro di Modena, 30 mi. (48 km) (250m)
Day 5: Loop ride to Modena, 28 mi. (44 km) (140m)
Day 6: Castelletto di Modena - Bologna, 33mi. (53 km) (320 m)
Day 7: Bologna

Day 1: Parma
Individual arrival in Parma. 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. Take a stroll to Parma’s city center where you will find masterpieces of art, open green spaces, and significant treasures from across the ages. Or do as the locals do, and find 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 a bike fitting, your local guides will host a welcome dinner where you will meet your cycling companions.

Meals: Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Button

Day 2: Loop ride to Torrechiara Castle, 28 mi. (45 km)
On your first of cycling, you will ride over delightful rolling hills amidst ancient castles and local tradition. Your goal is the Torrechiara Castle, a breathtaking structure dominating the Val Parma. Constructed between 1448 and 1460, as an instrument of defense as well as a distinguished home for the count and his lover, it offers spectacular views over the landscape. The area is today famous for its cured prosciutto ham and salami, and we recommend stopping for a taste at lunchtime. After a downhill return to Parma, your tour leaders will suggest a local trattoria for dinner and activities for your last evening in this lovely city.

Meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Hotel Button

Day 3: Parma - Reggio-Emilia, 38 mi. (62km) 
Heading out of Parma today, you'll cycle over back roads and bike paths, through farmland and small villages, towards Reggio-Emilia, in the heart of where Parmigiano is produced along with the famous Parma ham. Parma’s delicate flavor, slightly salty with a 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, produces the essential features of real Parma Ham. 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.

Meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Agriturismo La Razza 

Day 4: Parma - Maranello - Castelvetro di Modena, 30 mi. (48 km) 
An early start will see you visit the artistry of a working Parmesan cheesemaker. The proud Consorzio will explain the intricacies of this poignant but delicate cheese on your guided tour of the small factory (ending with a tasting, of course). 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, your base for the next two nights. Take a stroll among the locals over lovely cobbled lanes and alleys this evening. You might also consider an optional visit to the balsamic vinegar acetaia – or mill - where another traditional culinary mystery will be unveiled. Learn how leftovers from grapes are transformed into the sweet, rich vinegar that can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars. Dinner near the piazza is a must, where you’ll enjoy the view of the surrounding countryside below you and the Apennine mountain chain in the distance.

Meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Hotel Guerro

Day 5: Loop ride to Modena
You'll glide down on our bikes as you begin an optional loop ride to Modena, another wonderful historic art city – and UNESCO World Heritage Site - where you will have time to explore its historical town center, the magnificent Duomo and the Ghirlandina medieval tower. Your visit to Modena will not be complete without a visit to the famous covered outdoor market, and 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 your exploration of Modena, you'll ride back to Castelvetro in the afternoon for another night in town.

Meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Hotel Guerro

Day 6: Castelletto di Modena - Bologna, 33mi. (53 km) 
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. The beautiful city center, famous for its nearly 40 km arcades, the longest in the world, has been nicknamed “The Fat” for its food tradition. The city is also a "UNESCO Creative City of Music". 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).

Your tour ends with a bang in the red city (as Italians call it). You'll meet with a Bologna local who will share their secrets and passion for cooking, while you prepare a traditional meal and eat together on your celebratory good-bye dinner. 

Meals: Cooking class dinner 
Accommodation: Hotel Regina

Day 7: Bologna
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. 

Meals: Breakfast 

 

7-day Self-Guided Option 
Day 1: Bologna
Day 2: Bologna surrounds, 16-28 mi. (25-45 km) (570-1020m)
Day 3: Bologna - Modena, 39 mi. (63 km) (212 m)
Day 4: Modena - Reggio Emilia, 32 mi. (51 km) (230 m)
Day 5: Reggio Emilia - Parma, 39 mi. (62 km) (305 m)
Day 6: Loop ride to Torrechiara Castle, 30 mi. (48 km) (243 m)
Day 7: Parma
* This tour can be shortened to 5 days or lengthened to 15 days. Ask us for a customized itinerary.

Day 1: Bologna
Arrive in Bologna and meet for bike your 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.

Meals: Dinner (optional)
Accommodation: Hotel Touring

Day 2: Bologna surrounds, 16-28 mi. (25-45 km)
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.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Touring
Optional Activity: Gelato Museum and tasting (closed on Sunday and Monday)

Day 3: Bologna - Modena, 39 mi. (63 km)
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 bike path 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.

Meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Hotel Canalgrande
Optional Activity: Balsamic vinegar producer visit

Day 4: Modena - Reggio Emilia, 32 mi. (51 km)
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. 

Meals: Breakfast. Dinner (optional) - closed Sunday and Monday.
Accommodation: Agriturismo La Razza

Day 5: Reggio Emilia - Parma, 39 mi. (62 km) 
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

Meals: Breakfast. Dinner (optional)
Accommodation: Hotel Button
Optional activity: Parmesan cheese maker visit (closed Sunday)

Day 6: Loop ride to Torrechiara Castle, 30 mi. (48 km) 
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 - and you can have lunch in this historic setting.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Button

Day 7: 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!
Cooking classes are available in more than one location along the way. Contact us for more details!

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